Policies Impact Evaluation in Childhood Obesity Prevention
Lita Palomares Estrada, University of Basel
Childhood obesity is one of the most serious global public health challenges of the 21st century, affecting every country in the world. In just 40 years the number of school-age children and adolescents with obesity has risen more than 10-fold, from 11 million to 124 million. Obesity can affect a child’s immediate health, educational attainment and quality of life. Children with obesity are very likely to remain obese as adults and are at risk of developing serious noncommunicable diseases.
Preventing obesity has direct benefits for children’s health and wellbeing, in childhood and continuing into adulthood. The behavioural and biological responses of a child to the obesogenic environment can be shaped by processes even before birth, placing an even greater number of children on the pathway to becoming obese when faced with an unhealthy diet and low physical activity. Successfully influencing human behavior requires an understanding of how behaviors change. Research consistently shows evidence-based communication programs can increase knowledge, shift attitudes and cultural norms and produce changes in a wide variety of behaviors.
My PhD project will develop and test an intervention program to promote healthy nutrition and health enhancing physical activity in Peruvian children that is based on evidence from Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) and Health Behavior Change research.
Keywords: Nutrition, physical activity, SBCC, intervention program
Lita is a PhD student in Public Health & Epidemiology at the PHD Program Health Science (PPHS) at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Basel. She holds a Master’s degree in Food and Nutrition Management and Teaching. Lita has a Professional Degree as Licentiate in Nutrition and a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Peru. She has experience as Consultant of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and as University Professor at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. Also, she is Member of the Latin American Nutrition Society and Member of the Latin American Nutrition Leadership Program.
Supervisor: Frank Wieber