A community-driven approach to generate urban policy recommendations for obesity prevention

Julia Díez, Pedro Gullón, María Sandín Vázquez, Belén Álvarez, María del Prado Martín, María Urtasun, Maite Gamarra, Joel Gittelsohn, Manuel Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


There is an increasing research interest in targeting interventions at the neighborhood level to prevent obesity. Healthy urban environments require including residents’ perspectives to help understanding how urban environments relate to residents’ food choices and physical activity levels. We describe an innovative community-driven process aimed to develop environmental recommendations for obesity prevention. We conducted this study in a low-income area in Madrid (Spain), using a collaborative citizen science approach. First, 36 participants of two previous Photovoice projects translated their findings into policy recommendations, using an adapted logical framework approach. Second, the research team grouped these recommendations into strategies for obesity prevention, using the deductive analytical strategy of successive approximation. Third, through a nominal group session including participants, researchers, public health practitioners and local policy-makers, we discussed and prioritized the obesity prevention recommendations. Participants identified 12 policy recommendations related to their food choices and 18 related to their physical activity. The research team grouped these into 11 concrete recommendations for obesity prevention. The ‘top-three’ ranked recommendations were: (1) to adequate and increase the number of public open spaces; (2) to improve the access and cost of existing sports facilities and (3) to reduce the cost of gluten-free and diabetic products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number635
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Built environment
  • Citizen science
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Healthy food
  • Obesity
  • Photovoice
  • Physical activity
  • Policy recommendations
  • Urban environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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