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Process evaluation of a community-based intervention program: Healthy Youth Healthy Communities, an adolescent obesity prevention project in Fiji
journal contributionposted on 2014-12-01, 00:00 authored by G Waqa, Marj MoodieMarj Moodie, J Schultz, B Swinburn
Nearly one-half of the adult population in Fiji between the ages of 15–64 years is either overweight or obese; and rates amongst school children have, on average, doubled during the last decade. There is an urgent need to scale up the promotion of healthy behaviors and environments using a multi-sectoral approach. The Healthy Youth Healthy Community (HYHC) project in Fiji used a settings approach in secondary schools and faith-based organizations to increase the capacity of the whole community, including churches, mosques and temples, to promote healthy eating and regular physical activity, and to prevent unhealthy weight gain in adolescents aged 13–18 years. The team consisted of a study manager, project coordinator and four research assistants (RAs) committed to planning, designing and facilitating the implementation of intervention programs in collaboration with other stakeholders, such as the wider school communities, government and non-governmental organizations and business partners. Process data were collected on all intervention activities and analyzed by dose, frequency and reach for each specific strategy. The Fiji Action Plan included nine objectives for the school settings; four were based on nutrition and two on physical activity in schools, plus three general objectives, namely capacity building, social marketing and evaluation. Long-term change in nutritional behavior was difficult to achieve; a key contributor to this was the unhealthy food served in the school canteens. Whilst capacity-building proved to be one of the best mechanisms for intervening, it is important to consider the cultural and social factors influencing health behaviors and affecting specific groups.