Consultant, Infectious Diseases
Rochester campus of Mayo Clinic
Approximately one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are obese or overweight. Childhood obesity disproportionately affects children of ethnic minorities and low-income populations. The myriad mechanisms that contribute to this disparity are complex and incompletely understood. Addressing this disparity requires changes to both environment and behaviors of children and their families. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is particularly well suited to addressing the interplay between health behaviors and sociocultural disparities to help children lose weight and prevent them from gaining weight. Rochester Healthy Community Partnership is a robust CBPR partnership in Rochester, Minnesota. With Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Rochester, we propose to perform a comprehensive assessment of existing physical activity and nutrition programming and define opportunities to enhance these programs at BGC. Using mixed methodology, our specific aims are to: 1) describe existing program infrastructure and outcomes for physical activity and nutrition; and 2) assess perceived barriers, facilitators and opportunities for improvement to sustaining healthful physical activity and nutrition behaviors among BGC members. Qualitative data from focus groups with gender-stratified BGC members, and with parents and staff/volunteers will provide information on existing physical activity and nutrition infrastructure, perceived strengths and opportunities, and facilitators and barriers to healthful behavior. Quantitative data from validated questionnaires will assess current levels of physical activity and dietary habits, and social and cognitive correlates of healthful habits of BGC members. Results of this study will be used as preliminary data to support an extramural grant application to develop sustainable healthy behaviors in children and adolescents.