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Building Capacity for Obesity Prevention
Local public health practitioners face varied challenges in improving access to fresh and nutritious foods in their regions. The Building Capacity for Obesity Prevention Project (BCOP) was created to help them. BCOP is a unique partnership between the PRCHN; The Ohio State University’s SNAP-Ed program; and the Ohio Department of Health’s Creating Healthy Communities Program (CHC). The aim of the project is to develop diagnostic tools that can be used by CHC and SNAP-Ed practitioners as they implement and sustain four different nutrition-related policy, systems, and environment (PSE) interventions. The targeted interventions include:
  • Farmers’ Markets
  • Healthy Food Retail
  • Farm to School
  • Healthy eating policies in child care
The first step of the study was to gather feedback from SNAP-ED and CHC practitioners and community members about factors influencing implementation of the four targeted PSE areas. Between April and June of 2015, BCOP researchers conducted a total of 41 focus groups and interviews with 194 community members (47 coalition members, 127 community members receiving or eligible to receive SNAP, 11 CHC practitioners and 9 SNAP-Ed practitioners) in nine Ohio counties.

The data that was collected at the focus groups and interviews provided rich information about perceived factors that influence successful implementation of PSE projects. New staff member Eunlye Lee, PhD., attended focus groups and interviews in two counties. She notes that many participants seemed excited about the implementation of the four PSE approaches because they thought it would increase access to healthy and nutritious foods in their areas, especially for low-income families with children. The research team is now moving into the second stage of the study, which will focus on analyzing the data. Data will be used to guide the development of four diagnostic tools that can be used by SNAP-ED and CHC practitioners to help assess readiness to implement PSE projects in their service areas.

The third stage of the study will be focused on creating a website where practitioners can access the four diagnostic tools as well as a compendium of resources to help guide the implementation and sustainability of their PSE projects. Videos and short stories featuring SNAP-ED and CHC practitioners who have tackled obstacles and/or successfully gotten resources related to implementing the nutrition related PSE interventions will also be available on the website that will launch in early Summer 2016. Stay tuned to the PRCHN Connection for further updates as BCOP progresses.

Visit the BCOP webpage.
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