Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Identify Potential Interventions to Overcome Barriers to Adolescents' Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

Published in: Journal of Behavioral Medicine, v. 32, no. 5, Oct. 2009, p. 491-502

Posted on RAND.org on October 01, 2009

by Ying-Ying Goh, Laura M. Bogart, Bessie Ko Sipple-Asher, Kimberly E. Uyeda, Jennifer Hawes-Dawson, Josephina Olarita-Dhungana, Gery W. Ryan, Mark A. Schuster

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Using a community-based participatory research approach, we explored adolescent, parent, and community stakeholder perspectives on barriers to healthy eating and physical activity, and intervention ideas to address adolescent obesity. We conducted 14 adolescent focus groups (n = 119), 8 parent focus groups (n = 63), and 28 interviews with community members (i.e., local experts knowledgeable about youth nutrition and physical activity). Participants described ecological and psychosocial barriers in neighborhoods (e.g., lack of accessible nutritious food), in schools (e.g., poor quality of physical education), at home (e.g., sedentary lifestyle), and at the individual level (e.g., lack of nutrition knowledge). Participants proposed interventions such as nutrition classes for families, addition of healthy school food options that appeal to students, and non-competitive physical education activities. Participants supported health education delivered by students. Findings demonstrate that community-based participatory research is useful for revealing potentially feasible interventions that are acceptable to community members.

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