Understanding key components of community-based obesity prevention initiatives in Australia – a follow-up survey — ASN Events

Understanding key components of community-based obesity prevention initiatives in Australia – a follow-up survey (#179)

Kristy Bolton 1 2 , Tahna Pettman 2 3 , Rebecca Armstrong 2 3 , Elizabeth Waters 2 3 , Penny Love 2 , Erin Smith 2 , Steven Allender 1 2 , Tim Gill 2 4 , John Coveney 2 5 , Boyd Swinburn 2 6
  1. WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  2. The CO-OPS Collaboration, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  3. Jack Brockhoff Child and Wellbeing Program, The McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing, Melbourne School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  5. School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  6. Nutrition and Global Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Background and aim

Community-based initiatives are recognised as an important strategy within a population-wide portfolio approach to preventing obesity, and represent a significant component of the health promotion investment in Australia.  A range of community-based obesity prevention initiatives (CBOPI) currently underway in Australia, with varying characteristics, reach and dose.  Lessons are rapidly being learnt; but often in isolation.The Collaboration of Community-based Obesity Prevention Sites (CO-OPS) has been established to facilitate translation and exchange of knowledge amongst practitioners and other key stakeholders in obesity prevention and to ensure the lessons are shared. 

To follow up on a pilot survey conducted in 2009, CO-OPS is conducting a survey of CBOPIs across Australia in 2013.The survey aims to describe the scope, reach, characteristics of CBOPIs, alignment with best practice principles and identify key components that are known to contribute to effectiveness. 


A revised survey was developed based upon the CO-OPS 2009 survey, the WHO good practice appraisal tool and CO-OPS best practice principles.  The survey explores a range of factors related to principles of best practice, obesity prevention planning, implementation and evaluation, governance, and community engagement. The new survey was recently piloted among key stakeholders. Obesity prevention practitioners will be invited to complete the survey online via CO-OPS membership network (n=1500).  

Results and conclusion:

Preliminary data will be analysed descriptively to report the number, scope, nature and characteristics of CBOPIs in Australia, and to assess adherence to ‘best practice’. This survey will collect comprehensive and coordinated data on the characteristics of CBOPI across Australia. The findings will be useful to understand the status of ‘best practice’, identify gaps, and assess the potential effectiveness of existing effort. Key components of initiatives will be useful in informing future practice.