SCOPE (Sustainable Childhood Obesity Prevention through Community Engagement)

Created by experts and led by by Dr. Shazhan Amed of BC Children’s Hospital, SCOPE (Sustainable Childhood Obesity Prevention through Community Engagement) targets the prominent issue of childhood obesity.  Community-based programs are currently being piloted in Abbotsford and Prince George with a mission of making healthy choices amongst children more attainable.  SCOPE’s website is available here.

Obesity is a complex issue and thus broad based collaboration and collective action are key.  SCOPE uses Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to target the health issue at hand by engaging community members in the entire research process.

SCOPE has 4 main objectives:

  1. Develop and maintain effective community partnerships resulting in collaboration and collective action.
  2. Work with the community to identify successful programs and areas of need, and define priorities for local action.
  3. Implement sustainable and effective local action that builds upon existing successes and addressed areas of need.
  4. Help community members measure the impact of their efforts over time.

 SCOPE Community Action Cycle

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To lower confusion around what exactly it means to be healthy with respect to proper nutrition and physical activity, SCOPE simplifies such information into their “LIVE 5-2-1-0” rules.

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Enjoy5 or more vegetables or fruits a day

Power Down – no more than 2 hours of screen time a day

Play Activity – at least 1 hour every day

Choose HealthyZERO sugar-sweetened drinks

Laura Louden, community coordinator with SCOPE, suggested in an article to the Abbotsford Times that a lack of education is likely to be directly related to an unhealthy lifestyle.  This brings up issues of low health literacy that have been discussed previously.  Louden says “evidence suggests that if you don’t quite have the education background, then maybe you’re not going to learn as much in terms of what is healthy for you”.  Providing clear instruction through the use of their LIVE 5-2-1-0 rules, the project helps educate communities and supplies them with resources to act as key players in their lifestyle changes.

Community engagement can be applied to a vast range of health issues.  What are your thoughts on the use of CBPR and other collaborative techniques in public health?

Resources/References

SCOPE website: http://www.childhood-obesity-prevention.org/

Abbotsford Times article: http://www.abbotsfordtimes.com/health/heavy+dose+health/5463060/story.html

– Hannah T

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One response to “SCOPE (Sustainable Childhood Obesity Prevention through Community Engagement)”

  1. kaitlaurid says :

    Thank-you for bringing this program to attention. I was initially intrigued by thier “community engagement” approach, however upon further reading this program is really another individual behaviour initiative that puts on the onus on children and parents/guardians to reduce and prevent obesity. The focus on individual behaviours – eat your fruits and veggies, exercise everyday – removes the focus away from the structural causes of obesity, and he obeogenic envionment we are living in. In regards to the Abbotsford Times article, we should all be up in outrage and writing letters to outline WHY a lack of education is not the primary concern leading to unhealthy lifestyles, and encouraging the Times to engage in a dialogue about how communities can mobilize to truely make healthy environments and policies.

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