Community interventions to improve access to food and physical activity resources can reduce obesity rates and improve obesity-related health outcomes. We describe a Kentucky community project that consisted of collaborating with grocery store managers to improve the consumer food environment and partnering with community members to improve walking trails, bicycle racks, and other physical activity resources. We surveyed 2 random samples of community residents in 6 participating rural counties, 741 in 2016 (year 1) and 1,807 in 2017 (year 2). Fruit and vegetable intake significantly increased from year 1 (mean servings fruits, 2.71; vegetables, 2.54) to year 2 (mean servings fruit, 2.94; vegetables, 2.72). Although moderate physical activity did not change from year 1 to year 2, concern among residents about places to be physically active improved (P = .04). Involving community members in promoting obesity prevention programs may improve dietary intake and alleviate community concern about physical activity.
|Journal||Preventing chronic disease|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2019|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Our project was funded by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because the goal of our CDC cooperative agreement was program evaluation of development and delivery interventions at the community level, we used a quasi-experimental study design. Baseline data were collected in year 1 of the study before the intervention began, and data from follow-up surveys were collected in 2017 after completion of the intervention. To understand the key drivers of obesity and identify opportunities for obesity prevention in rural communities we selected 6 counties on the basis of US Department of Agriculture Rural Codes of 7 or higher (https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/rural-urban-continuum-codes/) and on the basis of an obesity prevalence of 40% or more (Clinton, Elliott, Letcher, Lewis, Logan, and Martin counties). These counties were identified as high-priority areas for intervention by the 1416 High Obesity Areas Grant Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (2). These counties had poverty rates ranging from 25.7% to 35.7%, food insecurity rates of 15.2% to 20.1%, and an unemployment rate ranging from 9.6% to 17.3%.
We thank all the cooperative extension agents and community leaders who participated in our study. This work was supported by a cooperative agreement with CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (no. 5NU58DP005483). No copyrighted material, surveys, instruments, or tools were used.
© 2019 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health