Achieving health for a lifetime: a community engagement assessment focusing on school-age children to decrease obesity in Durham, North Carolina.
BACKGROUND: Obesity is a prominent problem in the United States and in North Carolina. One way of combating it is with community-engaged interventions that foster collaboration between health-oriented organizations and community residents. PURPOSE: Our purpose was to assemble a multifaceted group in Durham, North Carolina, to identify factors affecting obesity-related lifestyle behaviors; assess policies, resources, and the population's perception of the problem of obesity; and develop plans to improve health outcomes related to obesity. METHODS: A team consisting of more than 2 dozen partners was assembled to form Achieving Health for a Lifetime (AHL) in order to study and address obesity in the community, initially focusing on elementary school-age children. The team developed a resource guide by collecting information by telephone interviews of provider organizations; geospatial resource maps were created using high-resolution geographic information systems, Duke's Data Support Repository, and county and city records; and focus groups were conducted using the nominal group technique. RESULTS: The AHL team, in collaboration with 2 other teams focused on diabetes and cardiovascular disease, identified 32 resources for diabetes, 20 for obesity, and 13 for cardiovascular disease. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the team identified an area of Durham that had only 1 supermarket, but 34 fast-food restaurants and 84 convenience stores. LIMITATIONS: The focus on particular neighborhoods means that the information obtained might not pertain to all neighborhoods. CONCLUSION: The AHL team was able to assemble a large community partnership in Durham that will allow the members of the community to continue to work toward making residents healthier. Communities facing similar challenges can learn from this experience.
Corsino, L; McDuffie, JR; Kotch, J; Coeytaux, R; Fuemmeler, BF; Murphy, G; Miranda, ML; Poirier, B; Morton, J; Reese, D; Baker, S; Carter, H; Freeman, R; Blue, C; Yancy, WS
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