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Portland, OR, United States

McCarron D.A.,McCarron Group LLC | McCarron D.A.,University of California at Davis | Richartz N.,McCarron Group LLC | Richartz N.,Cambridge Healthcare | And 6 more authors.
Pediatrics | Year: 2010

Overweight among America's youth has prompted a large response from foundations, government, and private organizations to support programmatic interventions. The architecture for many of these programs was derived from "experts," whereas the perspective of families, and communities - those most affected and most instrumental in altering behavior - is rarely the driving force. Shaping America's Youth (SAY) was established to assess programs that target nutrition and physical activity and to promote the necessary family and community input. In a 2004 report, SAY documented how community efforts are motivated, funded, structured, and evaluated. It identified discordance between that effort and the opinions of experts. To ensure that the voices of families and communities are integrated into such local and national policies and programs, SAY initiated a unique series of 5-day-long town meetings, input from which was independently statistically analyzed. Across a range of demographics, the results indicated that participants perceive the barriers and solutions similarly. There was broad agreement that the family has primary responsibility, starting with a need to focus on improved quality and duration of family time directed at nutrition and activity. Concurrently they identified needed actions from external sources, including clear and consistent nutrition information; ready access to healthy foods; and a built environment that promotes physical activity. Rather than one-dimensional or governmental solutions, they expressed a need for community-based partnerships integrating health care, education, environment, government, and business. Although this citizen-engagement process did not identify specific actions, it defined basic steps that communities must integrate into future approaches. Copyright © 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Source

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