266792 Social Marketing Approach to Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Low-Income, Urban, and Ethnically Diverse Schools and Neighborhoods in Michigan: Preliminary Reports from Project FIT

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Hye-Jin Paek, PhD , Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Hanyang University, Ansan, South Korea
Yumi Jung , Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies & Media (TISM), Michigan State University, EAST Lansing, MI
Hyun Jung Oh , Advertising, PR, & Retailing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Katherine Alaimo, PhD , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Karin Pfeiffer, PhD , Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Joey Eisenmann, PhD , Helen DeVos Childrens Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI
Joseph Carlson, PhD , Division of Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Tracy Thompson, MPH Candidate , Institute for Health Care Studies, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, MI
Heather Betz, PhD , Department of Kinesiology, Albion College, Albion, MI
Julie Orth, MS, RD , Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Objectives: This study presents the role, design, and results of the social marketing approach used in Project FIT, a school-, and community-based program for promoting healthy eating and physical activity (PA) in four low-income, urban, and ethnically diverse elementary schools and neighborhoods in Michigan.

Method: The process evaluation included quantifying promotion activities and monitoring the program website (theProjectFIT.org) using google analytics. The outcome evaluation included survey data from: students in four intervention schools (4 waves, N = 136) and two control schools (N=195); their parents (N=215); and customers in the neighborhood stores (N = 313). The survey questions included awareness, beliefs, and knowledge about Project FIT; channel of information; brand loyalty; and attitudes toward the program, PA and healthy food consumption. Mean difference tests, partial correlations, and logistic regressions were performed to examine the associations among the variables.

Results: FIT awareness increased up to 98 % at wave 4 in the intervention schools. FIT attitudes were significantly associated with the students' vegetable/fruit/whole grain consumption and PA. The parent and store participants reported a relatively low awareness of the project (48% and 22.5%). FIT parental attitudes were significantly associated with the parents' physical activity with children and their fruit/vegetable consumption. The store customers who were aware of Project FIT tended to buy and consume promoted healthy foods.

Conclusion: The social marketing approach utilized in Project FIT contributed to increasing awareness and promoting healthy behaviors. Challenges included integrating multiple intervention components, reaching different target audiences, and promoting multiple behaviors.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the social marketing component of a community-based, multi-component program (Project FIT) for promoting physical activity and healthy eating Discuss what worked, what didnít, and what are the challenges.

Keywords: Obesity, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was in charge of the social marketing aspect of the project
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.