Guided evaluation activities to understand children’s experience of an obesity prevention programme

Kathryn Tucker, Maia Ingram, Diana Martinez, Alicia Sander, Roxanna Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: In this paper, we describe an approach to engage young children in evaluating the impact of La Vida Buena, a community health worker–led childhood obesity intervention for Latino children aged 5–8 years. Design: This paper describes the collaborative process used to pilot, refine, implement and evaluate evaluation activities, including a drawing and sorting activity, with child participants. Setting: La Vida Buena was implemented with Latino children aged 5–8 years and their parents or caregivers. The children were patients at a Federally Qualified Community Health Centre in a rural town on the US–Mexico Border. The intervention was implemented in a community setting. Methods: Participants were invited to participate in Guided Evaluation Activities during the 3-month and 6-month data collection points. Children participated in a drawing and sorting activity and discussion facilitated by teenage health facilitators or a community health worker. An observer took notes during the activities, and results were analysed by a university evaluator and La Vida Buena staff. Results: Findings demonstrated that the children understood some key messages of the class and identified important areas for improvement in the curriculum content and delivery. Conclusion: By designing evaluation methods that take the unique needs and perspectives of children into account, health promotion programmes can move beyond relying on parent-centric evaluation approaches and gain a deeper understanding of how children experience health intervention programmes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Childhood obesity
  • Latino
  • children’s health
  • community health workers
  • health promotion
  • participatory evaluation
  • qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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