Developing an obesity intervention in Micronesia: From needs assessment to planning

Ann D Collier, Suzanne R Daiss, Everlynn Temengil, Samantha Cody Russell, Julia Caroline Miller, Fumiana M. Renguul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Evidence-based obesity reduction programs in the Pacific are scarce to nonexistent. Using a community-based participatory research model (CBPR) we developed a collaboration between our university and a small Pacific Island nation. We established an advisory council of local stakeholders and then conducted an extensive needs assessment with youth, parents, professionals, and lay public. Only 9% of participants had tried a weight loss program. There was a strong tendency to engage in binge-eating cycles; difficulty eating healthy during frequent community celebrations with few healthy food options available in general; and limited traditions that involved physical activity. Participants wanted to learn how to increase their physical activity, make healthier food choices, and learn to reward themselves for healthy behaviors. Diets were most frequently high in energy or protein foods, followed by starch, sugary and fried foods; they ate vegetables and fruits least often. Together, our team then created the culturally relevant Fit Kit Palau©. We highlight lessons learned including how to determine partnerships; manage multiple cultural and geographic barriers; build capacity; and balance program fidelity with responsivity. As the program moves forward, we hope to increase access, engagement, and adherence and provide a model for other PI countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Binge-eating
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Mindfulness
  • Obesity intervention
  • Pacific Islanders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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