Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

Interventions on diet and physical activity: What Works

The community

Community-level interventions target communities, neighbourhoods, families, parents, couples and disadvantaged populations.

In the evidence reviewed the following were effective: diet education programmes that targeted high-risk groups (e.g. menopausal, pre-diabetic women) and were multi-component interventions; community development campaigns with intersectoral cooperation and/or focused on a common goal (e.g. reduction in cardiovascular disease risk); group-based physical activity programmes or classes for a homogenous group of individuals.

The most successful community interventions generally comprised many different activities and usually included both diet and physical activity components. The majority had a strong educational component, were theory-based and focused on facilitating changes in behaviour.

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