Collaboration for a Healthy Community The Center for Community Health Promotion in the Yakima Valley of Washington State is a collaboration of community partners and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Center and its Community Advisory Board (CAB) has undertaken many projects to improve the health of Hispanics in the Valley;most notably, we have focused on cancer awareness and screening, diabetes awareness, prevention, and intervention, and pesticide exposure among children of farm workers. In the past two CAB meetings, the CAB members have expressed dismay at the incidence of obesity among Hispanic youth and have expressed interest in writing a grant to combat the problem. A variety of factors have been identified which contribute to the increase in obesity rates in children. Most adolescents and children lack daily, quality physical activity both in schools and in free time. Other risk factors for obesity include limited access to healthy affordable foods, and a greater availability of high-energy-dense foods and sugary drinks;the latter are the largest source of added sugar and an important contributor of calories in the diets of children in the United States. In response to RFA MD-12-006, the CAB met to discuss a proposal to fight the obesity problem in the Valley. In discussing how to plan and implement a project, the CAB came up with a number of components that will be pursued in this proposed project. First, the focus will be on diet/nutrition and physical activity. Secondly, involving schols and other organizations (e.g., churches) the group wishes to address policy changes. Thirdly, the group wishes to use evidence-based communication messages to inform the community (parents and youth alike) of healthy eating and healthy physical activity. During the three-year infrastructure building period, the CAB will conduct a needs assessment, identify potential pilots, and evaluate the outcomes of the pilot. This will prepare the group for Phase II, the large-scale trial implementation phase.
In this collaboration between organizations and residents of the Yakima Valley in Washington State, we will develop a community infrastructure to address youth obesity. In the first three years, we will conduct pilot projects to assess the feasibility o a full-scale project in Phase II.