There are unacceptably high rates of overweight, obesity and severe obesity that disparately affect young, low-income, African Americans in the city of Philadelphia. In West Philadelphia, an area with a population that is largely African American and with poverty rate among the highest in the country and having a Promise Zone designation; 43% of the community is obese. One out of five youth in Philadelphia perform no physical activity at all. Research has demonstrated the positive moderating effect of family-level interventions to increase intervention efficacy with African American youth. Approaches that incorporate two and three generations hold promise not only to increase the interventions health impacts on individual participants, but also to influence health outcomes for entire families. Therefore, building on the University of Pennsylvania's (Penn's) longstanding partnerships with the Philadelphia schools as family and community hubs, we propose a intergenerational approach to increasing easily accessible, safe, enjoyable and sustainable physical activity for youth and their families in West Philadelphia.
Our specific aims are as follows:
Specific Aim 1 : Identify interest, goals, priorities and barriers related to physical activity- Convene focus group with youth and their families; these focus groups will be supported by Penn's Academically Based Community Service Courses.
Specific Aim 2 : Catalog the current state of physical activity interventions, share ideas and vision for program improvements, collaboration and new activities. Identify a group of diverse stakeholders to identify strengths and barriers to current activity programs, and then develop possible action plans that would increase activity.
Sub aim -2A- Representatives from the key stakeholder group will be invited to join a Community Advisory Board (CAB).
Sub aim 2 B will result in the development of an MOU.
In Specific Aim 3 we will convene a seminar and a conference, presented by School District leaders, community organizations, researchers and attended by a broadly diverse group of key stakeholders to review possible action plans and develop a health disparity research and action agenda that will support further development and implementation of action plans selected to move forward.
Specific Aim 4 will focus on frequent dissemination and health education.
Sub Aim 4 A- Develop a CBPR proposal focused on increasing activity and improving health outcomes in youth and their families.
The proposal -Community/Academic Partnership to Increase Activity in Youth and their Families- is relevant to public health for several reasons. At its core we are building public health partnerships using a multi-sectoral, community-based approach. Our aims are consistent with the City of Philadelphia's Department of Public Health's mission to change the context in which we live to assure that all Philadelphia residents can easily engage in physical activity, thereby helping protect against chronic disease.