Stakeholder perceptions of obesity-prevention strategies: A comparison of geographically diverse rural counties

Stephanie T. West, Melissa S. Weddell, Lauren M. Whetstone, Stephanie B. Jilcott Pitts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Understanding barriers and facilitators to strategies directed at obesity-prevention policy change, particularly in rural, southern US counties where obesity is more prevalent, is important so that strategies deemed most winnable can be pursued. As such, community stakeholders and policy makers were interviewed using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention Assessment in 2 rural, geographically diverse regions of North Carolina. Stakeholder interviews revealed many similarities despite population differences and unique geographic challenges to each region. In both Western and Eastern North Carolina, strategies involving increasing opportunities for physical activity were deemed the most winnable, whereas strategies incentivizing businesses to locate in underserved areas and limiting advertisements of unhealthy food and beverages were deemed the least winnable. Differences among Western and Eastern North Carolina regions revolved around zoning, geographic constraints, and topographically influenced local food strategies. These findings add to the literature by systemically identifying similarities and differences among geographically diverse rural communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-520
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • besity
  • physical activity
  • policy
  • prevention
  • rural


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