A Needs Assessment for Obesity Prevention among the Adolescent African American Population in Richmond County, GA Open Access

Mody, Amish (Fall 2018)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/02870w91r?locale=en


Background: Obesity, which can have serious effects on a person’s physical, metabolic and psychological health, has become a serious health problem in the United States. Nearly 35% of Americans are obese, and it is now considered a chronic disease by the American Medical Association. In Georgia, nearly one-third of adults in the state are obese, and childhood obesity rates are second only to those in Mississippi. Richmond County in Georgia has a high prevalence of obesity and ranks poorly in measures related to social, economic and environmental factors impacting obesity. Richmond County also has a large African American community, which is known to experience a disproportionately high burden of obesity.   

Purpose: The purpose of this community needs assessment is to (1) describe the demographic, social, economic, and institutional context of Richmond County as it relates to the development of obesity; and (2) enumerate promising approaches to develop comprehensive, multilevel obesity prevention strategies for the African American population aged 13-19 years in Richmond County, GA.

Methods: We review community background factors and compile secondary health data to identify the context for multi-level interventions incorporating health behavior theories. No primary data were collected for this Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Secondary demographic data sources such as the United States Census Bureau, County Health Rankings, Richmond CHNA, Richmond County Health Report, and Health databases were utilized. Additional secondary data sources such as city, county and state websites were also used. Information regarding community background, community organizations and coalitions were utilized to describe available community resources, partnerships, and health benchmarks from which to design the interventions.  

Summary: 33.9% of adults in Richmond County are obese (BMI>30). Richmond County falls into the Augusta Public Health District, which reports obesity prevalence of 32% in the total population and 38% among African Americans. Obesity prevalence increased in both adults and youth during the 18 years between 1999-2000 and 2015-2016. Available evidence suggests that the promotion of healthy eating behaviors and regular physical activity from an early age are crucial for obesity prevention. We therefore focused our review on strategies that could be applied among adolescents aged 13-19 years. Drawing on the framewoks of the Health Belief Model (HBM) and the Social Ecological Model (SEM), we sought to identify school and community based educational programs as key strategies for advancing knowledge, modifying attitudes and behaviors, and empowering individuals for lifestyle modification. Based on this Community Health Needs Assessment, we conclude that the highest priority approach is to conduct an intervention within the Richmond County School System to implement 5 key recommendations: Got Water Campaign, Removing Sugary Sodas, 10-minute physical activity, Student Pledge Campaign and Parent Toolkit.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 1

Part I: Community Background 4

Chapter 1: Geographic Location 5

Chapter 2: Sociodemographic Characteristics 7

Chapter 3: Economic Overview 14

Chapter 4: Physical and Natural Environments 22

Chapter 5: Culture & Social Dynamics 35

Chapter 6: Government and Politics 42

Part II: Community Health Analysis 49

Chapter 7: Vital Statistics & the Burden of Disease 50

Chapter 8: Health Care System 88

Chapter 9: Community Resources 97

Part III: Multi-Level Intervention 111

Chapter 10: Intervention 111

Chapter 11: Recommendations 159

References 170

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