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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Scaling up community-based obesity prevention in Australia: Background and evaluation design of the Health Promoting Communities: Being Active Eating Well initiative

Andrea M de Silva-Sanigorski14*, Kristy Bolton1, Michelle Haby2, Peter Kremer3, Lisa Gibbs4, Elizabeth Waters4 and Boyd Swinburn1

Author Affiliations

1 WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia 3217

2 Victorian Department of Health, 50 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Australia 3000

3 School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia, 3217

4 Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:65  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-65

Published: 12 February 2010

Abstract

Background

There is only limited evidence available on how best to prevent childhood obesity and community-based interventions hold promise, as several successful interventions have now been published. The Victorian Government has recently funded six disadvantaged communities across Victoria, Australia for three years to promote healthy eating and physical activity for children, families, and adults in a community-based participatory manner. Five of these intervention communities are situated in Primary Care Partnerships and are the subject of this paper. The interventions will comprise a mixture of capacity-building, environmental, and whole-of-community approaches with targeted and population-level interventions. The specific intervention activities will be determined locally within each community through stakeholder and community consultation. Implementation of the interventions will occur through funded positions in primary care and local government. This paper describes the design of the evaluation of the five primary care partnership-based initiatives in the 'Go for your life' Health Promoting Communities: Being Active Eating Well (HPC:BAEW) initiative.

Methods/Design

A mixed method and multi-level evaluation of the HPC:BAEW initiative will capture process, impact and outcome data and involve both local and state-wide evaluators. There will be a combined analysis across the five community intervention projects with outcomes compared to a comparison group using a cross-sectional, quasi-experimental design. The evaluation will capture process, weight status, socio-demographic, obesity-related behavioral and environmental data in intervention and comparison areas. This will be achieved using document analysis, paper-based questionnaires, interviews and direct measures of weight, height and waist circumference from participants (children, adolescents and adults).

Discussion

This study will add significant evidence on how to prevent obesity at a population level in disadvantaged and ethnically diverse communities. The outcomes will have direct influence on policy and practice and guide the development and implementation of future obesity prevention efforts in Australia and internationally.

Trial registration

ACTRN12609000892213