158142 Using participatory assessment and youth leadership to change physical activity environments

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 1:00 PM

Michele Erickson , Anderson Partnership for Healthy Children, Anderson, CA
This presentation will share the strategies, experiences, successes and challenges of the South Shasta Healthy Eating, Active Communities Collaborative in engaging multiple community sectors to improve food and physical activity environments in Anderson, California. The core collaborative, consisting of the Anderson Partnership for Healthy Children, the Shasta County Public Health Department, the Anderson High School District and its five feeder elementary districts, used participatory assessment and youth leadership strategies to build community interest and involvement in advocating for environmental changes. Activities in support of the strategy included community outreach and training on smart growth and the general plan process, students and adult residents participating in assessing and GIS mapping the community's walking routes and trails, several youth “PhotoVoice” and action research projects and presentations to decision-makers, including the traffic commission, parks director and a school board. To date, positive results of the strategy include: the Collaborative enhanced its relationship with the City's Parks and Recreation and Planning departments; the new maps assisted the City in its general plan update; a “Walk Anderson” guide was developed and distributed to encourage greater use of trail systems and support for walkable neighborhoods; PhotoVoice projects resulted in significant street, park and school improvements; youth projects still in progress seek to reduce marketing of unhealthy foods to children and expand healthy offerings at schools.

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify three participatory assessment strategies. 2.Discuss the potential for participatory assessment to engage multiple sectors. 3.Analyze the advantages and challenges of cross-sector strategies.

Keywords: Obesity, Participatory Action Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.