Get ur 60: A social marketing campaign to promote and facilitate physical activity among Central Texas middle school students
If allowed to continue unabated, the obesity epidemic may lead to the first decline in life expectancy in the developed world (Olshansky et al., 2005). Similar to the relationship between smoking habits in youth and adulthood, obesogenic dietary and physical activity habits in childhood may persist into adulthood (Kelder et al., 2002). Teaching children how to establish healthy eating habits and activity levels, as well as providing them the necessary resources to internalize and maintain these behaviors, may be the key to curbing this epidemic.
A school-based obesity prevention approach is advantageous for many reasons including exposure to large captive audiences, reduced costs of sustainability and long-term maintenance, and generalizability of models and results across multiple populations. The effectiveness of school-based programs has been researched over the past 20 years, with promising results.
Social marketing is a program-planning process that “facilitates the acceptance, rejection, modification, abandonment, or maintenance of particular behaviors” (Grier & Bryant, 2005). Social marketing has been shown to be effective in a variety of public health applications including improving diet, increasing physical activity, and preventing substance abuse. It is hypothesized that social marketing could further enhance the effectiveness of the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) Central Texas Middle School Project, a school-based obesity prevention program.
The development, implementation, and initial evaluation of the get ur 60 campaign, to promote the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended sixty minutes of daily activity, is described in this paper. Various components of the get ur 60 campaign were assessed to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign during the first semester of implementation. At the end of the spring semester focus groups were held to collect student reactions to the first semester of the get ur 60 campaign.
The initial results from the first semester of get ur 60 have demonstrated that the campaign as designed was feasible to implement, accepted at all intervention schools, and resulted in a measure of success.
0573: Public health
0680: Health education