158551 Engaging youth to work across sectors advocating healthier environments for food and physical activity

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 1:45 PM

Rosa Soto , California Center for Public Health Advocacy, Baldwin Park, CA
Community-based public requires that those intended to benefit from the changes take active and leading roles in directing the change. When the goal is to improve food and physical activity environments for children, engaging youth advocates becomes a powerful way to assure that changes meet the needs of those affected, and that changes have buy in. The Baldwin Park HEAC collaborative has given youth the tools and opportunity to become involved in advocating for policy and institutional change to improve their environment, not only within their schools, but in the community at large. This presentation discusses how Baldwin Park HEAC engaged youth advocates, and presents the results of their ongoing efforts. Youth, working along with parent groups and other key stakeholders, have educated the city and the school district about the challenges they face when trying to make healthier lifestyle choices. Baldwin Park youth have participated in advocacy trainings, conducted audits of neighborhoods and parks, and developed youth-led Photovoice displays that visually demonstrate challenges and opportunities to improving the community of Baldwin Park as seen through the eyes of youth. They have also contributed to the City's Parks Master Plan and the school district's wellness policy. A new teen center has become a focal point for youth-led programming. Current efforts include a youth led marketing and advertising strategy to support the implementation of state nutrition standards (SB12 and SB965) and a community-led effort to ban transfat in Baldwin Park restaurants.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the rationale for and importance of youth involvement in advocacy regarding childhood obesity prevention. 2. Develop strategies for engaging youth. 3. Identify three possible arenas for youth participation or leadership in healthy environment advocacy.

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.