Online Program

Overview: Trends in Organized Efforts to Conduct and Evaluate Healthy Eating and Obesity Prevention Interventions in Low-Resource Communities

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Susan Foerster, MPH, RD (Ret), Evaluation Committee Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators, Carmichael, CA
Tina Tamai, MPH, Hawaii State Department of Health, Honolulu, HI
Introduction:  Traditional health promotion aims to enable and empower communities to overcome health barriers through community organizing, building capacity (empowerment), and supporting community members because residents can best identify their community’s needs, influence peers, and effect permanent change.  Early evaluation approach was rudimentary and poorly formalized. Communities were funded to do what they thought best, but results were often unclear, slow or unsustainable.

Approach:  As evaluation processes matured and emphasis on evidence based intervention evaluation began driving program options. CDC and USDA asked for increasingly far-reaching but prescriptive results. Meanwhile, experts recommended comprehensive, multi-component, large-scale approaches. Emphasis on multiple spheres of influence, ‘root causes’, and networks of public, non-profit, philanthropic and business stakeholders, like the Partnership for a Healthy America, emerged.  Breakthrough concepts like Collective Impact— common agendas, shared metrics, coordinated activities, deep partnerships, continuous communication, and long-term commitment—challenge traditional evaluation and hold promise to address complex challenges.

Results:  The mix of approaches, infrastructures and funding called for by CDC’s signature chronic disease prevention programs, USDA’s 16 food assistance programs, and the Congressional directive for SNAP-Ed and CDC to coordinate have the potential for significant impact, especially in harmony with philanthropic and private-sector initiatives.  PSEs added to nutrition education and social marketing allow a more powerful set of SNAP-Ed interventions. Further results will be included in presentations to follow.

Discussion: Low-resource communities require coordinated, intentional programs and strategies. Leaders who understand how to capture and measure the newly available synergies can fill gaps and significantly accelerate positive change.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the ways in which nutrition education and obesity prevention intervention and evaluation efforts have changed over time. Identify two promising opportunities related to utilizing policy, systems, and environmental approaches as well as other concepts, such as collective impact. Analyze ways in which the federal government recognized and facilitated adoption of promising practices to improve health in low-resource communities

Keyword(s): Evidence-Based Practice, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in this field for more than 20 years and lead the SNAP-ed Evaluation committee for ASNNA.
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.