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Process evaluation of a community-based adolescent obesity prevention project in Tonga

Fotu, Kalesita F., Moodie, Marj M., Mavoa, Helen M., Pomana, Siosifa, Schultz, Jimaima T. and Swinburn, Boyd A. 2011, Process evaluation of a community-based adolescent obesity prevention project in Tonga, BMC public health, vol. 11, Article number 284, pp. 1-11, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-284.

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Title Process evaluation of a community-based adolescent obesity prevention project in Tonga
Author(s) Fotu, Kalesita F.
Moodie, Marj M.
Mavoa, Helen M.
Pomana, Siosifa
Schultz, Jimaima T.
Swinburn, Boyd A.
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 11
Season Article number 284
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2011-05-09
ISSN 1471-2458
Summary Background: The rising burden of obesity in Tonga is alarming. The promotion of healthy behaviours and environments requires immediate urgent action and a multi-sectoral approach. A three-year community based study titled the Ma’alahi Youth Project (MYP) conducted in Tonga from 2005-2008 aimed to increase the capacity of the whole community (schools, churches, parents and adolescents) to promote healthy eating and regular physical activity and to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity amongst youth and their families. This paper reflects on the process evaluation for MYP, against a set of Best Practice Principles for community-based obesity prevention.
Methods: MYP was managed by the Fiji School of Medicine. A team of five staff in Tonga were committed to planning, implementation and evaluation of a strategic plan, the key planks of which were developed during a two day community workshop. Intervention activities were delivered in villages, churches and schools, on the main island of Tongatapu. Process evaluation data covering the resource utilisation associated with all intervention activities were collected, and analysed by dose, frequency and reach for specific strategies. The action plan included three standard objectives around capacity building, social marketing and evaluation; four nutrition; two physical activity objectives; and one around championing key people as role models.
Results: While the interventions included a wide mix of activities straddling across all of these objectives and in both school and village settings, there was a major focus on the social marketing and physical activity objectives. The intervention reach, frequency and dose varied widely across all activities, and showed no consistent patterns.
Conclusions: The adolescent obesity interventions implemented as part of the MYP program comprised a wide range of activities conducted in multiple settings, touched a broad spectrum of the population (wider than the target group), but the dose and frequency of activities were generally insufficient and not sustained. Also the project confirmed that, while the MYP resulted in increased community awareness of healthy behaviours, Tonga is still in its infancy in terms of conducting public health research and lacks research infrastructure and capacity.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-11-284
Field of Research 111715 Pacific Peoples Health
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, BioMed Central
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30035363

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Population Health
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.