Online Program

Farm to Family Obesity Initiative: A comprehensive prevention program involving physical activity, nutrition education and a food access program in Louisville, KY

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Angelique Perez, MPH, Food Literacy Project, Louisville, KY
Megan Clarke, M.H.S., Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Jessica Houston, MT, International Health- Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Fannie Fonseca-Becker, PhD, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: 21% of children in Kentucky are overweight or obese and often have limited access to fresh produce. Collaborative efforts with Kentucky One Health, Food Literacy Project, and New Roots allowed for implementation of the Farm to Family Obesity Prevention Initiative with technical assistance from Johns Hopkins University and funding from Johnson and Johnson Community Health Program.  This program aims to prevent childhood obesity among an at-risk population of children by increasing knowledge of healthy eating, self-efficacy related to food choices, and improved healthy eating behaviors.

Methods:  Using a collaborative approach, academic partners helped to enhance the in-house capacity of Farm to Family in monitoring and evaluation by designing a program based on a conceptual framework that informed program goals, objectives, interventions, and outcomes. An 8-month pilot was implemented during which children and caregivers completed a nutrition and physical activity education program with access to farm fresh produce. The pilot was followed by a 20-month implementation phase using revised curriculum and data collection tools.

Results:  Among 82 participating children, 17.07% were overweight and 29.27% were obese at baseline. Preliminary results show improved nutrition and physical activity knowledge. Additionally, implementation of intervention activities increased in-house capacity and community reach beyond monitoring and evaluation, enhancing long-term sustainability.  

Conclusion:  Evaluation of this comprehensive obesity prevention program identified key areas as successful components for effectiveness and long-term sustainability. Capacity building provides a strong foundation for program sustainability. Academia/Community partnerships can advance monitoring and evaluation systems for community-based programs.

Learning Areas:

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
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effectiveness of a lifestyle education intervention program with a focus on childhood obesity prevention. Demonstrate the benefits of capacity building, evaluation and monitoring for community-based organizations, including the use of conceptual framework, data management and analytic tools. Describe the advantages and challenges of academia and community partnerships.

Keyword(s): Community Health Planning, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-principal for the Farm to Family Initiative focusing on a comprehensive approach to obesity prevention among children including experiential nutrition education, physical activity, and food access programs. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for preventing obesity in children.
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.