"Science and Community: Ending Obesity Improving Health" (S&C) aimed to reduce obesity in Houston by developing community partnerships to identify research priorities and develop a sustainable obesity reduction program. Partnership members were recruited from S&C events and invited to participate in in-depth interviews to gain insight into obesity prevalence, causes, and solutions. Members (n = 22) completed a 60-90-min in-depth interview. The interview guide consisted of 30 questions about pressing health problems in the community, potential solutions to health problems and obesity and how the environment has impacted obesity and health behaviors in the community. Interviewees (n = 12 women and 10 men) were mostly Hispanic/Latino (n = 9) and African American (n = 7). Common problems identified were childhood obesity, balancing a healthy diet and physical inactivity. Interviewees identified obesity as a major problem in their communities and cited access to quality food and physical activity resources as both a problem and a solution. Additional emergent themes focused on solutions, including increasing awareness and education, coordinated efforts among organizations and using an ecologic approach to combat obesity. Community insight gleaned from this study may be used to enhance relevance and sustainability of programs developed to reduce obesity and suggests possible avenues for participatory research and intervention.
Keywords: African American; Hispanic; community health; health promotion; interviews; obesity; public health; qualitative research.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.