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Increasing community capacity to prevent childhood obesity : challenges, lessons learned and results from the Romp & Chomp intervention

de Groot, Florentine, Robertson, Narelle, Swinburn, Boyd and de Silva-Sanigorski, Andrea 2010, Increasing community capacity to prevent childhood obesity : challenges, lessons learned and results from the Romp & Chomp intervention, BMC Public health, vol. 10, no. 522, pp. 1-8.

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Title Increasing community capacity to prevent childhood obesity : challenges, lessons learned and results from the Romp & Chomp intervention
Author(s) de Groot, FlorentineORCID iD for de Groot, Florentine orcid.org/0000-0001-6718-5239
Robertson, Narelle
Swinburn, Boyd
de Silva-Sanigorski, Andrea
Journal name BMC Public health
Volume number 10
Issue number 522
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2010-08-31
ISSN 1471-2458
Summary Background
Obesity is a major public health issue; however, only limited evidence is available about effective ways to prevent obesity, particularly in early childhood. Romp & Chomp was a community-wide obesity prevention intervention conducted in Geelong Australia with a target group of 12,000 children aged 0-5 years. The intervention had an environmental and capacity building focus and we have recently demonstrated that the prevalence of overweight/obesity was lower in intervention children, post-intervention. Capacity building is defined as the development of knowledge, skills, commitment, structures, systems and leadership to enable effective health promotion and the aim of this study was to determine if the capacity of the Geelong community, represented by key stakeholder organisations, to support healthy eating and physical activity for young children was increased after Romp & Chomp.

Methods

A mixed methods evaluation with three data sources was utilised. 1) Document analysis comprised assessment of the documented formative and intervention activities against a capacity building framework (five domains: Partnerships, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Workforce Development, and Organisational Development); 2) Thematic analysis of key informant interviews (n = 16); and 3) the quantitative Community Capacity Index Survey.

Results
Document analysis showed that the majority of the capacity building activities addressed the Partnerships, Resource Allocation and Organisational Development domains of capacity building, with a lack of activity in the Leadership and Workforce Development domains. The thematic analysis revealed the establishment of sustainable partnerships, use of specialist advice, and integration of activities into ongoing formal training for early childhood workers. Complex issues also emerged from the key informant interviews regarding the challenges of limited funding, high staff turnover, changing governance structures, lack of high level leadership and unclear communication strategies. The Community Capacity Index provided further evidence that the project implementation network achieved a moderate level of capacity.

Conclusions
Romp & Chomp increased the capacity of organisations, settings and services in the Geelong community to support healthy eating and physical activity for young children. Despite this success there are important learnings from this mixed methods evaluation that should inform current and future community-based public health and health promotion initiatives.

Trial Registration Number: ANZCTRN12607000374460
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
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
Socio Economic Objective 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice © 2010 de Groot et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30031979

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Created: Wed, 15 Dec 2010, 13:15:05 EST by Florentine De Groot

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.