Check Out That Body: A Community Awareness Campaign in New York City

  • Amy Bleakley
  • Cheryl Merzel
  • Peter Messeri
  • Tom Gift
  • C. Kevin Malotte
  • Susan Middlestadt
  • Nancy VanDevanter
Original Paper


The authors evaluate the effectiveness of the small media campaign in raising community awareness about the importance of going for a health check up. Data were collected over time from 535 respondents ages 15–30 years using cross-sectional surveys in two low-income, predominantly African–American communities in New York city. Regression analyses indicated campaign material recognition at 15 months was significantly higher in the intervention community relative to the comparison community. There were no significant changes in social norms, attitudes, or beliefs. Media campaigns aimed at adolescents and young adults on a community-wide level are an effective means of gaining material recognition. EditorsStrategic Implications: This research illustrates the effect of a public health media campaign on awareness, but it also serves as a reminder to public health officials that awareness is not necessarily sufficient to promote attitudinal or behavioral health changes.


Small media campaigns Preventive health care Community-based participatory research 



This research was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Mental Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Bleakley
    • 1
  • Cheryl Merzel
    • 2
  • Peter Messeri
    • 3
  • Tom Gift
    • 4
  • C. Kevin Malotte
    • 5
  • Susan Middlestadt
    • 6
  • Nancy VanDevanter
    • 7
  1. 1.The Annenberg Public Policy CenterUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Lehman College and The Graduate CenterThe City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.California State UniversityLong BeachUSA
  6. 6.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  7. 7.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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