Factors associated with local public health agency participation in obesity prevention in southern States.
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OBJECTIVES: Obesity rates in the southern US states are higher than in other states. Historically, large-scale community-based interventions in the United States have not proven successful. With local public health agencies (LPHAs) tasked with prevention, their role in obesity prevention is important, yet little research exists regarding what predicts the participation of LPHAs. METHODS: Cross-sectional data from the 2008 National Association of City and County Health Officials profile study and two public health conceptual frameworks were used to assess structural and environmental predictors of LPHA participation in obesity prevention. The predictors were compared between southern and nonsouthern states. Univariate and weighted logistic regressions were performed. RESULTS: Analysis revealed that more LPHAs in southern states were engaged in nearly all of the 10 essential public health functions related to obesity prevention compared with nonsouthern states. Presence of community-based organizations and staffing levels were the only significant variables in two of the six logistic regression models. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insights into the success rates of the obesity prevention efforts of LPHAs in southern and nonsouthern states. Future research is needed to understand why and how certain structural elements and any additional factors influence LPHA participation in obesity prevention.
author list (cited authors)
Hatala, J. J., & Fields, T. T.
complete list of authors
Hatala, Jeffrey J||Fields, Tina T