Targeted approaches by culturally appropriate programmes

Shiriki Kumanyika

in Childhood Obesity Prevention

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199572915
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595110 | DOI:
Targeted approaches by culturally appropriate programmes

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The development of childhood obesity is linked to socio-cultural, economic, and environmental transitions that result in excess availability of low cost, high energy processed foods and soft drinks coupled with decreased physical activity and increased opportunities for sedentary pursuits, such as television watching. Reducing obesity prevalence requires stabilizing population weight levels and, particularly, preventing excess weight gain from childhood onward through interventions on diet and physical activity. The World Health Organization concludes that, with respect to diet and physical activity interventions, ‘What is known is that interventions in low- and middle-income countries should be sufficiently adapted to the cultural context and involve community members — both in the formative assessment, intervention design, and implementation — for the intervention to work’. Culturally appropriate interventions are also important with respect to culturally distinctive ethnic minority populations in high income countries, associated with observations of higher obesity levels or steeper trends of increase in these populations. This chapter highlights selected ongoing or completed studies of obesity prevention in ethnic minority populations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, exemplifying various approaches to cultural appropriateness and suggesting directions for advancing knowledge and practice.

Keywords: ethnic minority; obesity; children; intervention; eating; health promotion; physical activity; African American; race; culture

Chapter.  7675 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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