The Shape Up Somerville community-based prevention program is a campaign initiated in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1998 and targeted at the issue of childhood obesity. After more than fifteen years of collective community effort, the campaign has resulted in measureable improvements in the area of public health, community engagement, and interaction between the stakeholders. According to the information from the interviews, the four key ingredients for early and sustained program success demonstrated in the report are multi-level nature of the intervention, the presence of a common agenda ensuring the alignment of efforts from multiple stakeholders and the mutually reinforcing effect, the existence of a robust communication network for the distribution of information, and the means of enforcing accountability to the participating organizations.Shape Up Somerville Community-Based Program Essay
The perceived importance of the program can be attributed to the expected increase in the quality of life resulting from the change of lifestyle and environment associated with the improvement of public health. In addition, the overall social climate of the community is expected to improve due to the increased opportunities resulting from the infrastructural and administrative changes. Finally, the campaign is expected to bring new possibilities for local businesses and have an overall positive impact on the community’s economy.
The focus of the campaign on the younger population can be attributed to the fact that almost half of schoolchildren in the area were overweight or at risk of being overweight. In addition, such focus adds to the long-term effects of the program and increases its sustainability.Shape Up Somerville Community-Based Program Essay
The program’s components align with several Healthy People 2020 objectives. For instance, the NWS-2, NSW-14, and NSW-15 are consistent with the initiative to provide the students with access to fruits and vegetables and encouragement to eat as much as they want in school cafeterias. The NWS-5, on the other hand, aligns with the introduction of several organic food markets (including a mobile one) in Somerville. Finally, the NWS-10.2 is directly related to the campaign’s goal as well as the target population group (ODPHP, n.d.).Shape Up Somerville Community-Based Program Essay