Adolescent Levers for a Diet and Physical Activity Intervention Across Socioecological Levels in Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, and Jamaica: Mixed Methods Study Protocol.
JMIR research protocols 2020 ; 10: e26739.
Odunitan-Wayas FA, Wadende P, Mogo ERI, Brugulat-Panés A, Micklesfield LK, Govia I, Mapa-Tassou C, Mukoma G, Smith JA, Motlhalhedi M, Wasnyo Y, Were V, Assah F, Okop KJ, Norris SA, Obonyo C, Mbanya JC, Tulloch-Reid MK, King AC, Lambert EV, and Oni T
DOI : 10.2196/26739
PubMed ID : 34255729
PMCID : PMC8317027
The increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases that are prevalent in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is largely attributed to modifiable behavioral risk factors such as unhealthy diets and insufficient physical activity (PA). The adolescent stage, defined as 10 to 24 years of age, is an important formative phase of life and offers an opportunity to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases across the life course and for future generations.
The aim of this paper is to describe a protocol for a study using a convergent mixed methods design to explore exposures in the household, neighborhood, school, and the journey from home to school that may influence diet and PA behaviors in adolescents from LMICs.
Male and female adolescents (n≥150) aged between 13 and 24 years will be recruited from selected high schools or households in project site countries to ensure the socioeconomic diversity of perspectives and experiences at the individual, home, and neighborhood levels. The project will be conducted at 5 sites in 4 countries: Kenya, Cameroon, Jamaica, and South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg). Data on anthropometric measures, food intake, and PA knowledge and behavior will be collected using self-report questionnaires. In addition, a small number of learners (n=30-45) from each site will be selected as citizen scientists to capture data (photographs, audio notes, text, and geolocations) on their lived experiences in relation to food and PA in their homes, the journey to and from school, and the school and neighborhood environments using a mobile app, and for objective PA measurements. In-depth interviews will be conducted with the citizen scientists and their caregivers to explore household experiences and determinants of food intake and foodways, as well as the PA of household members.
The study described in this protocol paper was primarily funded through a UK National Institute for Health Research grant in 2017 and approved by the relevant institutional ethics review boards in the country sites (South Africa, Cameroun, and Jamaica in 2019, and Kenya in 2020). As of December 23, 2020, we had completed data collection from adolescents (n≥150) in all the country sites, except Kenya, and data collection for the subgroup (n=30-45) is ongoing. Data analysis is ongoing and the output of findings from the study described in this protocol is expected to be published by 2022.
This project protocol contributes to research that focuses on adolescents and the socioecological determinants of food intake and PA in LMIC settings. It includes innovative methodologies to interrogate and map the contexts of these determinants and will generate much-needed data to understand the multilevel system of factors that can be leveraged through upstream and downstream strategies and interventions to improve health outcomes.