242359 San Antonio's efforts to reduce obesity-related health disparities: Strategic planning to improve community access to healthy food options and opportunities for physical activity

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:30 AM

Mary Thomas, MB&BS, MPH , San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) Metro Health, San Antonii, TX

Obesity health disparities, community health planning


As part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative to address the obesity epidemic, San Antonio is employing several policy, system, and environmental changes to reduce and prevent obesity while maximizing health equity. With some populations experiencing a greater burden of health problems and disease, due in part to limited access to resources and low socioeconomic status, San Antonio conducted a strategic community health planning process to identify areas of greatest need and adapted their policy and environmental changes accordingly. This presentation will provide an overview of that planning process to identify areas in greatest need, and how strategies were selected and adapted to maximize health equity. Additionally, the presentation will highlight some of the interventions being implemented in the disparate communities to improve access to healthy food options and opportunities for physical activity in the neighborhoods. Some of the policy and environmental changes to be highlighted include efforts with restaurants to provide certified healthier menu options; a corner store initiative to provide access to healthy food choices in areas of greatest need; efforts to increase physical activity through shared-use facilities; and other efforts to offer free access for physical activity such as policy and systems changes to expand the operational hours of community centers, install fitness stations in parks and at libraries, and promote the use of walking trails in parks. This presentation will highlight the development and implementation process and challenges for these initiatives, and describe preliminary results.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe a community health planning process for the selection of strategies to maximize health equity for obesity reduction/ prevention at neighborhood level(by healthy eating options and promoting physical activity) 2.Discuss the development and implementation of various system and policy changes that provide healthy eating options such as a Healthy Restaurant coalition and a corner store initiative. 3.Describe various policy and environmental change initiatives to increase access for communities to engage in free physical activity in their neighborhoods. (Fitness in parks ,Shared Use)

Keywords: Planning, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceived the idea and prepared the abstract
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.