Mejores Hábitos Mejor Vida: An obesity prevention program plan and evaluation for underserved populations of Costa Rica Public Deposited

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  • February 27, 2019
  • DeCoster, Julie
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Public Health Leadership Program
  • The burden of obesity and related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries such as Costa Rica is rapidly increasing due to globalization, urbanization, and increasingly sedentary lifestyles. NCDs are responsible for about 80% of deaths, yet these could be prevented by modifying major risk factors such as unhealthy diets and physical inactivity, which can lead to overweight and obesity. Mejores Hábitos Mejor Vida is a program created for International Service Learning (ISL), a non-governmental organization that enlists student volunteer teams, to educate underserved communities about improving nutrition and physical activity to prevent obesity and NCDs. This paper provides a review of community-based programs in Latin America that provide education about diet and exercise. Next, it provides a detailed description of the program plan, including its theoretical framework, goals and objectives, and plan for implementation. Activities for the program include curriculum development, volunteer and staff training, community member recruitment, and patient education. This is followed by a plan for evaluation of the program, which describes both observational and pre-test/post-test study designs, including evaluation planning tables, and presents the plan for dissemination. Lastly, the paper concludes with a summary of lessons learned, personal experience working with ISL in Costa Rica, and future implications.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Paper type: Program Plan/Evaluation
  • Track: HC&P
  • Calleson, Diane
  • Master of Public Health
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2012
Deposit record
  • b6f6bdeb-f0b9-4907-a2ad-769b5d2e1080

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