Development and implementation of Baltimore Healthy Eating Zones: a youth-targeted intervention to improve the urban food environment

Health Educ Res. 2013 Aug;28(4):732-44. doi: 10.1093/her/cyt066. Epub 2013 Jun 13.


Poor accessibility to affordable healthy foods is associated with higher rates of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases. We present our process evaluation of a youth-targeted environmental intervention (Baltimore Healthy Eating Zones) that aimed to increase the availability of healthy foods and promote these foods through signage, taste tests and other interactive activities in low-income Baltimore City. Trained peer educators reinforced program messages. Dose, fidelity and reach-as measured by food stocking, posting of print materials, distribution of giveaways and number of interactions with community members-were collected in six recreation centers and 21 nearby corner stores and carryouts. Participating stores stocked promoted foods and promotional print materials with moderate fidelity. Interactive sessions were implemented with high reach and dose among both adults and youth aged 10-14 years, with more than 4000 interactions. Recreation centers appear to be a promising location to interact with low-income youth and reinforce exposure to messages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising
  • African Americans*
  • Baltimore
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Cooking / methods
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Food Industry / methods
  • Food Industry / organization & administration*
  • Food Industry / standards
  • Food Supply*
  • Health Plan Implementation / methods
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Observation
  • Peer Group
  • Poverty Areas
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Marketing
  • Urban Health