Development and implementation of a school-based obesity prevention intervention: lessons learned from community-based participatory research

Prog Community Health Partnersh. Fall 2009;3(3):249-55. doi: 10.1353/cpr.0.0085.


Background: National, state, and local policies aim to change school environments to prevent child obesity. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) can be effective in translating public health policy into practice.

Objectives: We describe lessons learned from developing and pilot testing a middle school-based obesity prevention intervention using CBPR in Los Angeles, California.

Methods: We formed a community-academic partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion to identify community needs and priorities for addressing adolescent obesity and to develop and pilot test a school-based intervention.

Lessons learned: Academic partners need to be well-versed in organizational structures and policies. Partnerships should be built on relationships of trust, shared vision, and mutual capacity building, with genuine community engagement at multiple levels.

Conclusion: These lessons are critical, not only for partnering with schools on obesity prevention, but also for working in other community settings and on other health issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / organization & administration*
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Policy
  • Health Promotion*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Development*
  • Qualitative Research
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Schools