211101 Engaging Community Residents in Creating Healthy Food & Physical Activity Environments: Perspectives from CCROPP Community Residents & HEAC Parents

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:30 PM

Sallie Yoshida, DrPH, RD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Liz Schwarte, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Lisa Craypo, MPH, RD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Jeremiah Robert Garza, MA, MPH, CHES , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Sarah Samuels, DrPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Emerging research demonstrates that the social and physical environment can have profound effects on human health. Residents living in low-resource communities have disparate health outcomes such as higher rates of chronic illnesses, and in particular, obesity and diabetes. In California, nearly one-quarter of youth ages 12 17 are overweight or at risk for being overweight, with African American and Latino youth having higher rates of overweight than whites. In addition, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Alaska Natives are diagnosed with diabetes at far higher rates than whites.

The California Endowment's Healthy Eating, Active Communities (HEAC) program and the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) aim to eradicate obesity in ethnically diverse communities through place-based strategies that focus on community driven action and policy change to improve environments that support access to healthy food and physical activity.

To give a voice to and support the work of community residents in the HEAC and CCROPP target communities, 16 focus groups were conducted in fall of 2008 to understand challenges in accessing healthy food and physical activity and to explore factors that engage community members to advocate for improvements in their community. Findings will describe residents' perceptions of facilitators and barriers to accessing healthy food and physical activity, concerns regarding their social and built environments, resources needed to support and build the capacity of community residents as advocates, and strategies to engage more residents to improve access to healthy food and physical activity in schools, afterschool programs and in neighborhoods.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe three concerns community members face in their neighborhoods and the relation of these concerns to overweight and obesity. 2. List at least three barriers and facilitators to accessing healthy food and physical activity in low resource communities. 3. Describe strategies to build the capacity of community residents and parents to advocate for policies and environmental changes that support access to healthy food and physical activity opportunities.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in designing the focus group research and data analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.