Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 199–205 | Cite as

Obesity Interventions in the Community

Engaged and Participatory Approaches
  • Christina Economos
  • Stacy Blondin
Obesity Prevention (A Must, Section Editor)


Obesity is a pervasive global public health concern of utmost priority. Effective and efficient interventions are urgently needed to reverse current trends, especially among children. The past decade has witnessed increasing adoption and implementation of community-engaged and -participatory interventions that employ a bottom-up approach to identifying and realizing sustainable solutions within communities. It is argued herein that community-based approaches are most effective when implemented via a systems perspective that integrates across societal sectors. This approach seizes upon the synergistic effects that result from simultaneously mobilizing community assets at multiple levels. This paper provides an overview of the evolution and theory behind community-engaged, community-participatory, and systems-level interventions, discusses recent findings in the field, offers reflections based on first-hand experience, outlines advances in relevant resources, and lays forth potential and promising directions for future research. It emphasizes the centrality and necessity of community-engaged systems-level interventions in halting and reversing the obesity epidemic.


Obesity prevention Interventions Community-engaged Community-based participatory research Systems perspective Community assets 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Christina Economos reports personal fees from HBO Documentaries (Consultant on website for HBO Documentary "Weight of the Nation"), outside the submitted work.

Stacy Blondin declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Friedman School of NutritionTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Food Policy and Applied Nutrition, Friedman School of NutritionTufts UniversityBostonUSA

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