Online Program

Voices for Healthy Kids: Findings from Opinion Research on Obesity

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Carter Headrick, State Advocacy, American Heart Association, Dallas, TX
One of the keys to finding success in reversing the obesity epidemic is effective message development for public engagement.  Opinion research can be a critical tool for public health policy and advocacy efforts by providing insight into how the public thinks about, talks about, and acts upon the many complex health issues under the umbrella of obesity. The right messages provide the opportunity to build momentum and support for obesity prevention campaigns across the country. Voices for Healthy Kids conducted extensive opinion research at the local, state, and national level on obesity and related issues. The research examined the public’s opinions about obesity and its consequences, the connection between obesity and other health issues such as diabetes and heart disease, and the role of personal and governmental responsibility in addressing the problem. Levels of support for obesity prevention policies were also measured. To build upon prior-research, terms commonly used among public health professionals such as “the built environment” and “sugar-sweetened beverages” were specifically tested for understanding and effectiveness among the general public. Research findings have been used to develop a suite of motivating messages and tools for strategic advocacy use in the field with plans for future evaluation.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe national overview of research findings, demonstrate examples of tools created with the new research, and identify how a state/local campaign has used message research to add value to their advocacy campaign.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of State & Local Obesity Policy for the American Heart Association and Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative.
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.