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Reversing the Rise in Childhood Obesity

 

Overall Objective/Impact:

The overall goal of the project is to promote healthy environments and diets to prevent obesity and diabetes in two selected Caribbean Countries (Grenada and St. Lucia).

Specific Objective(s)/Outcome(s):

  • identify the main environmental (physical, economic, socio-cultural, political) factors that impact eating and physical activity among children 7 - 11 years in Grenada and St. Lucia
  • rank (based on the perspective of a vulnerable community in each targeted country), the ease of modification of the factors that impact healthy eating and physical activity.
  • determine which of the identified factors can be positively influenced within a two-year intervention period.
  • determine whether the pilot intervention resulted in improvements in the selected obesogenic factors

Expected Results/Outputs:

  1. Documentation of risk factors that create barriers to healthy eating and physical activity in Grenada and St. Lucia (from the Preliminary Study in Phase I)
  2. Development of a recommended model for multi-country study (During Phases II and III)/li>

CARPHA Programmatic Area(s):

SP 3: Healthy Living through the Life Course

SO3: To enhance CARPHA Member States to monitor and respond to priority public health concerns throughout the Life Course (Nutrition and Physical Activity School-Based Intervention)

Status of Implementation:
 

Start Date:
 

End Date:
 

Duration:
 

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Source(s) of Funding:
 

Beneficiary CARPHA Member State(s):
 

Link to Project Document(s):

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Overview of Project:

The project is being conducted over a period of 36-month period and targets Primary School children ages 7-11 years (Grades 2-5); and their supportive environments (at school, at home and the wider community) in Grenada and St. Lucia. In each country, four schools were selected (2 intervention schools- one urban one rural; and 2 control schools - one urban one rural). The project is divided into three phases:

  1. Phase I- Preliminary Study, Intervention design, and materials development.
  2. Phase II - Implementation of the lifestyle intervention with the students
  3. Phase III - Evaluation and reporting

In Phase I of this project, a Preliminary Study was conducted over a 6-month period. It involved the implementation of the ANGELO Process through community workshops to identify the environmental factors associated with healthy eating and regular physical activity and the perceived ease of which each is modifiable. Data were also collected from key informants and focus groups with students and teachers. The ANGELO process organizes the obesogenic environments by size: the macro environment (sectors like education and health systems; food industry) and the micro-environment (settings like workplaces; households). These environments are then examined, through community workshops, by four environment types — physical, economic, policy and socio-cultural.

Phase II spans a 24-month period where an intervention is actually implemented based on the findings from Phase I. Key activities involved in phase II include the collection of baseline data; training of teachers; data collection at baseline and post intervention; and the implementation of the four components of the project.

Phase III will span a 6-month period and will involve evaluation (outcome and impact) of the project as well as Process evaluation (actually occurs in Phase II).

The project has five targeted behaviours:

  1. Eating a Variety of Foods Daily
  2. Eating Fruits and Vegetables Daily
  3. Eating Breakfast Daily
  4. Reducing Daily Intake of Fats, Salts and Sugary Snacks and Drinks
  5. Engaging in a Variety of Physical Activity daily

The project has four components:

  • Component I: Behaviour Curricula on Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Component II: Specific Nutrition and Physical Activity Programmes
  • Component III: Building Supportive Environments at School
  • Component IV: Building Supportive Environments at Home and in the Community

The first component — Behaviour Curricula on Nutrition and Physical Activity — is used to inculcate predetermined behavioural lessons within the subject areas of Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts and Physical Education. The personal skills emphasized were self-assessment and monitoring; goal setting; development of relative cognitive, affective, psychomotor and behavioural skills required for the voluntary adoption of the targeted behaviours. Teachers of the intervention schools were trained for this initiative to enable a cohesive understanding of importance of the implemented strategies in the classroom. The second component — Specific Nutrition and Physical Activity Programme — pursues the school community via incorporating information on diet and exercise into promotional days (including International health observances) or extracurricular activities. The third component — Building Supportive Environments at School — works with the school personnel to amend foods available for students as well as targeting the physical activity facilities. The final component — Building Supportive Environments at Home and In the Community — involves parental participation of intervention students to help their child embrace a healthy lifestyle.