Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

First Advisor

Sonya Jones


The Guide to Community Preventive Services currently does not have sufficient evidence to recommend any nutrition strategies for obesity prevention. Nonetheless, food systems changes are recommended for childhood obesity prevention by the C.D.C., U.S.D.A., and many thought-leading organizations. Creating healthy food communities will require physical and social environmental changes. Community-based groups need to build their capacity to frame community health issues as physical and social environmental issues. This research partnered with community-based groups to build their capacity for advocacy by using media framing research and strategic communications training. Specifically we: 1) conducted a media content about food systems, childhood obesity and the link between them; 2) increased community-based groups’ understanding of collective action framing and the social determinants of health through planning an issues campaign; and 3) provided research, tools, facilitation, and technical assistance to community based groups as they planned issue campaigns. In our first manuscript, we described the process of increasing the advocacy capacity of a community-based group using the tenets of collective action framing theory; described a media content analysis and how we applied to practice through communications trainings; and finally, how one community group grappled with re-framing food systems change issues. In our second manuscript, we described the process of raising the consciousness of a food system advocacy group, how we facilitated the definition of group values, and tied their values to social justice and the advocacy work.


© 2015, Casey Denise Childers