Preventing Childhood Obesity through Collaborative Public Health Action in Communities

  • Vicki L. Collie-Akers
  • Stephen B. Fawcett
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)

Obesity, including among children, is a global public health problem that has grown dramatically over the last several decades (Wang & Lobstein, 2006). The rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in the population, and its dramatic implications for health care costs, requires collaborative public health action (Institute of Medicine, 2003). Obesity is caused by an imbalance of energy intake—too many calories consumed in food and drink in relation to energy used or calories burned in daily activity (Goran, Reynolds, & Lindquist, 1999). It is “a multi-factoral condition with wide-ranging causes, including genetic, social, cultural, and behavioral factors” (Parsons, Power, Logan, & Summerbell, 1999).

Obesity prevention efforts focus on the personal and environmental factors that affect the key behaviors of physical activity and healthy nutrition (Dietz & Gortmaker, 2001). Personal factors include: a) knowledge and skill, such as knowledge of healthy food choices and skills in physical activity; b) experience and history, such as a history of positive consequences of engaging in physical activity; and c) biology/genetics including a family history or predisposition to obesity. The “prominent predictor” of obesity among children is overweight in early childhood (Salbe, Weyer, Lindsay, Ravussin, & Tataranni, 2002).


Physical Activity Childhood Obesity Community Intervention Community Inter Faith Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andersen, R. E., Franckowiak, S. C., Snyder, J., Bartlett, S. J., & Fontaine, K. R. (1998).Can inexpensive signs encourage the use of stairs? Results from a community intervention. Annals of Internal Medicine, 129, 363–369PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Beech, B. M., Klesges, R. C., Kumanyika, S. K., Murray, D. M., Klesges, L., McClana-han, B., et al. (2003). Child- and parent-targeted interventions: The Memphis gems pilot study. Ethnicity and Disease, 13, S40–S53PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Biglan, A., Ary, D., & Wagenaar, A. C. (2000). The value of interrupted time-series experiments for community intervention research. Prevention Science, 1, 31–49PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2002). Syndemics overview: What procedures are available for planning and evaluating initiatives to prevent syndemics?Retrieved February 24, 2004 from
  5. Cullen, K., Bartholomew, L., & Parcel, G. (1997). Girl scouting: An effective channel for nutrition education. Journal of Nutrition Education, 92, 86–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dietz, W. H., & Gortmaker, S. L. (2001). Preventing obesity in children and adolescents.Annual Review of Public Health, 22, 337–353PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fawcett, S. B., Boothroyd, R., Schultz, J. A., Francisco, V. T., Carson, V., & Bremby, R.(2003). Building capacity for participatory evaluation within community initiatives.Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 26, 21–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fawcett, S. B., Carson, V. L., Lloyd, J., Collie-Akers, V. L., & Schultz, J. A. (2005). Promoting healthy living and preventing chronic disease: An action planning guide for communities. Lawrence, KS: University of KansasGoogle Scholar
  9. Fawcett, S. B., Francisco, V. T., Hyra, D., Paine-Andrews, A., Schultz, J. A., Russos,S., et al. (2000). Building healthy communities. In A. Tarlov & R. S. Peters (Eds.),Society and population health: A state perspective. New York, NY: New PressGoogle Scholar
  10. Fawcett, S. B., Francisco, V. T., & Schultz, J. A. (2004). Understanding and improving the work of community health and development. In J. R. Burgos (Ed.), Theory,basic and applied research, and technological applications in behavior science(pp.209–242). Guadalajara, Mexico: Universidad de GuadalajaraGoogle Scholar
  11. Fawcett, S. B., Schultz, J. A., Carson, V., Renault, V., & Francisco, V. T. (2003). Using internet based tools to build capacity for community-based participatory research and other efforts to promote community health and development. In M. Minkler & N. Wallerstein (Eds.), Community-based participatory research for health (pp. 155–178).San Francisco: Jossey-BassGoogle Scholar
  12. French, S. A., Story, M., & Jeffery, R. W. (2001). Environmental influences on eating and physical activity. Annual Review of Public Health, 22, 309–335PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gill, A. A., Veigl, V. L., Shuster, J. J., & Notelovitz, M. (1984). A well woman's health maintenance study comparing physical fitness and group support programs. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, 4, 286–308Google Scholar
  14. Goodman, R. M., Steckler, A., Hoover, S., & Schwartz, R. (1993). A critique of contemporary community health promotion approaches: Based on a qualitative review of six programs in Maine. American Journal of Health Promotion, 7, 208–220PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Goran, M. I., Reynolds, K. D., & Lindquist, C. H. (1999). Role of physical activity in the prevention of obesity in children. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 23, S18–S33PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harris, K., Paine-Andrews, A., Richter, K., Lewis, R., Johnston, J., James, V., et al.(1997). Reducing elementary school children's risks for chronic diseases through school lunch modifications, nutrition education, and physical activity interventions.Journal of Nutrition Education, 29, 196–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Harvey-Berino, J., & Rourke, J. (2003). Obesity prevention in preschool native-american children: A pilot study using home visiting. Obesity Research, 11, 606–611PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Institute of Medicine. (2003). The future of the public's health in the 21st century.Washington, DC: The National Academies PressGoogle Scholar
  19. Institute of Medicine. (2005). Preventing childhood obesity: Health in the balance.Washington, DC: The National Academies PressGoogle Scholar
  20. Institute of Medicine. (2007). Progress in preventing childhood obesity: How do we measure up? Washington, DC: The National Academies PressGoogle Scholar
  21. Israel, B., Schultz, A., Parker, E., & Becker, A. (1998). Review of community-based research: Assessing partnership approaches to improve health. Annual Review of Public Health, 19, 173–202PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jeffery, R. W., & French, S. A. (1998). Epidemic obesity in the United States: Are fast foods and television viewing contributing? American Journal of Public Health, 88, 277–280PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnston, J., Marmet, P. F., Coen, S., Fawcett, S. B., & Harris, K. J. (1996). Kansas lean: An effective coalition for nutrition education and dietary change. Journal of Nutrition Education, 28, 115–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kahn, E. B., Ramsey, L. T., Brownson, R. C., Heath, G. W., Howze, E. H., Powell, K. E.,et al. (2002). The effectiveness of interventions to increase physical activity. A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 22, 73–107PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kerr, N. A., Yore, M. M., Ham, S. A., & Dietz, W. H. (2004). Increasing stair use in a worksite through environmental changes. American Journal of Health Promotion,18, 312–315PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. King, A. C., Taylor, C. B., Haskell, W. L., & Debusk, R. F. (1988). Strategies for increasing early adherence to and long-term maintenance of home-based exercise training in healthy middle-aged men and women. American Journal of Cardiology, 61, 628–632PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kreuter, M. W., Lezin, N. A., & Young, L. A. (2000). Evaluating community-based collaborative mechanisms: Implications for practitioners. Health Promotion Practice, 1, 49–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Luepker, R. V., Murray, D. M., Jacobs, D. R., Jr., Mittelmark, M. B., Bracht, N., Carlaw,R., et al. (1994). Community education for cardiovascular disease prevention: Risk factor changes in the Minnesota heart health program. American Journal of Public Health, 84, 1383–1393PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Merzel, C., & D'Afflitti, J. (2003). Reconsidering community-based health promotion: Promise, performance, and potential. American Journal of Public Health, 93, 557–574PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Minkler, M., & Wallerstein, N. (2003). Community-based participatory research for health.San Francisco: Jossey-BassGoogle Scholar
  31. Paine-Andrews, A., Francisco, V. T., Fawcett, S. B., Johnston, J., & Coen, S. (1996).Health marketing in the supermarket: Using prompting, product sampling, and price reduction to increase customer purchases of lower-fat items. Health Marketing Quarterly, 14, 85–99PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Paine-Andrews, A., Harris, K. J., Fawcett, S. B., Richter, K. P., Lewis, R. K., Francisco,V. T., et al. (1997). Evaluating a statewide partnership for reducing risks for chronic diseases. Journal of Community Health, 22, 343PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Parcel, G. S., Green, L. W., & Bettes, B. A. (1988). School-based programs to prevent or reduce obesity. In N. A. Krasnegor, G. D. Grave & N. Kretchmer (Eds.), Childhood obesity: A biobehavioral perspective (pp. 143–157). Caldwell, NJ: Telford PressGoogle Scholar
  34. Parsons, T. J., Power, C., Logan, S., & Summerbell, C. D. (1999). Childhood predictors of adult obesity: A systematic review. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 23, S1–S107PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Ploeg, J., Dobbins, M., Hayward, S., Ciliska, D., Thomas, H., & Underwood, J. (1996)Effectiveness of community development projects. Retrieved May 16, 2002 from
  36. Robinson, T. N., Killen, J. D., Kraemer, H. C., Wilson, D. M., Matheson, D. M., Haskell, W.L., et al. (2003). Dance and reducing television viewing to prevent weight gain in African-American girls: The Stanford gems pilot study. Ethnicity and Disease, 13, S65–S77PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Rochon, J., Klesges, R. C., Story, M., Robinson, T. N., Baranowski, T., Obarzanek, E.,et al. (2003). Common design elements of the girls health enrichment multi-site studies (gems). Ethnicity and Disease, 13, S6–S14PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Roussos, S. T., & Fawcett, S. B. (2000). A review of collaborative partnerships as a strategy for improving community health. Annual Review of Public Health, 21, 369–402PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Salbe, A. D., Weyer, C., Lindsay, R. S., Ravussin, E., & Tataranni, P. A. (2002). Assessing risk factors for obesity between childhood and adolescence: I. Birth weight, childhood adiposity, parental obesity, insulin, and leptin. Pediatrics, 110, 299–306PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shortell, S. M., Zukoski, A. P., Alexander, J. A., Bazzoli, G. J., Conrad, D. A., Hasnain-Wynia, R., et al. (2002). Evaluating partnerships for community health improvement:Tracking the footprints. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 27, 49–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sorensen, G., Emmons, K., Hunt, M. K., & Johnston, D. (1998). Implications of the results of community intervention trials. Annual Review of Public Health, 19, 379–416PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Stolley, M. R., & Fitzgibbon, M. L. (1997). Effects of an obesity prevention program on the eating behavior of African American mothers and daughters. Health Education and Behavior, 24, 152–164PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Story, M., Sherwood, N. E., Himes, J. H., Davis, M., Jacobs, D. R., Jr., Cartwright, Y.,et al. (2003). An after-school obesity prevention program for African-American girls: The Minnesota gems pilot study. Ethnicity and Disease, 13, S54–S64PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Summerbell, C. D., Waters, E., Edmunds, L. D., Kelly, S., Brown, T., & Campbell, K. J.(2005). Interventions for preventing obesity in children. Cochrane Database Systematic Review, (3), CD001871Google Scholar
  45. Task Force on Community Preventive Services. (2001). Increasing physical activity. A report on recommendations of the task force on community preventive services.Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports Recommendations Report, 50, 1–14Google Scholar
  46. Thompson, B., Coronado, G., Snipes, S. A., & Puschel, K. (2003). Methodologic advances and ongoing challenges in designing community-based health promotion programs. Annual Review of Public Health, 24, 315–340PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Victora, C. G., Habicht, J. P., & Bryce, J. (2004). Evidence-based public health: Moving beyond randomized trials. American Journal of Public Health, 94(3), 400–405PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wang, Y., & Lobstein, T. (2006). Worldwide trends in childhood overweight and obesity.International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 1, 11–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicki L. Collie-Akers
    • 1
  • Stephen B. Fawcett
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KansasLawrence

Personalised recommendations