Background: Childhood obesity rates in minority populations continue to rise despite leveling national trends. Although interventions that address social and environmental factors exist, processes that create demand for policy and environmental change within communities have not been identified. Community Context: We developed a pilot program in South Omaha, a Nebraska Latino community, based on the community readiness model (CRM), called SaludableOmaha. We used CRM to explore the potential of youth advocacy to shift individual and community norms regarding obesity prevention in South Omaha and to advocate for health-promoting community environments. Methods: We used CRM to assess supply and demand for health programs, engage the community, determine the community's baseline readiness to address childhood obesity, and guide youth advocacy program development. We conducted our project in 2 phases. In the first, we trained a cohort of youth. In the second, the youth cohort created and launched a Latino health movement, branded as SaludableOmaha. A third phase, which is currently under way, is directed at institutionalizing youth advocacy in communities. Outcome: At baseline, the community studied was at a low stage of readiness for change. Our program generated infrastructure and materials to support the growth and institutionalization of youth advocacy as a means of increasing community readiness for addressing obesity prevention. Interpretation: CRM is an important tool for addressing issues such as childhood obesity in underserved communities because it provides a framework for matching interventions to the community. Community partnerships such as SaludableOmaha can aid the adoption of obesity prevention programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health