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Let's Discuss: Multilevel Interventions to Increase Physical Activity & Improve Nutrition and Create Change in Communities

We launched the R2R community of practice several years ago with the aim of bringing together researchers and practitioners in an ongoing discussion around the promise and perils of moving evidence-based programs and polices into practice.  Few aspects of this conversation have drawn the attention of community members as much as the inter-relatedness of nutrition, environment, physical activity and obesity prevention.
 
In her presentation, Dr. Melissa Laska primary research interests are in environmental, social and behavioral determinants of obesity among young people, including access to healthy foods in underserved communities. Next, Peri L. Nearon outlined the wide-ranging work of ShapingNJ ---- a public-private partnership of more than 230 organizations working together to address the obesity epidemic by promoting healthy communities through improved nutrition and increased opportunities for physical activity throughout New Jersey.
 
Each offered a unique perspective on the opportunities and directions for how researchers and practitioners can collaborate with one another to improve the health of their communities through shared resources, approaches and interventions.
 
So, let's continue the conversation online - both speakers spoke to the challenges faced by their interventions and the lessons that they learned.  Do you have questions for our speakers? Please take this opportunity to share your experiences, lessons learned and projects.  

What an exciting session this afternoon! We had more than 271 of you join us and are delighted by the robust response.  Unfortunately, we were not able to get to all of the questions posed for the speakers so are looking forward to posting their responses on R2R. We look forward to your continued questions and a robust ongoing discussion.

  • Cheryl asked: "Peri are you looking at cancer and implications of health changed behaviors?"
  • Kanako asked, "Peri: Can you tell us a little bit more about technical assistance and partner networking that you did through social media?"
  • Jill asked, "New Jersey - What kind of outreach did you do to employers and what was your staffing to complete your project?"
  • Annette wrote: "We had planned to incorporate a component to our reduction of obesity program that was targetted to pregnant and breastfeeding women. We have encountered some "pushback" because of this because of some recent articles that contest the relationship between BF and reduction of obesity. Have either of you encountered a similar challenge to addressing BF in your programs for addressing overweight and obesity".

Did anyone else see CDC’s recent State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2014? The report presents data on physical activity behaviors and environmental supports that encourage increased physical activity in each state.

You can use this report to learn what states across the nation are doing to encourage and support physical activity and to identify opportunities for improving community supports in your state.  Individual Action Guides summarize each state’s data and provide suggested actions that state health departments can take to encourage and increase physical activity in their states.

Many of the states studied showed evidence of the issues addressed on the May cyber-seminar: most states have some environmental and policy supports in place that encourage physical activity.  However, more work is needed to ensure that adults and youth have opportunities for safe and convenient physical activity in their schools and communities.  

Policy, systems, and environmental changes are needed if we are going to create communities that value physical activity for all members of all ages and abilities. Individual change is hard when the environment doesn't allow for physical activity. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work, so it is critical to use a community-specific lens when working on policy change efforts.

I am curious to learn how your community uses data such as this report to create/support programming.

 

 

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