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Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2010 Summer;4(2):89-98. doi: 10.1353/cpr.0.0115.

Development of a theater-based nutrition and physical activity intervention for low-income, urban, African American adolescents.

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Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy, USA.



Childhood overweight is disproportionately worse in minority and low-income populations. Theater is a promising and effective tool for delivering health education to these underserved populations, but no known studies have examined the use of theater to promote both nutrition and physical activity to minority youth.


To develop an interactive, theater-based intervention that conveys health messages to low-income, urban, African Americans and engages them in learning ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle.


Community partners worked to develop a theater-based nutrition and physical activity intervention. A focus group provided urban adolescents' thoughts about their desires for the intervention. Based on input from all community partners, the group created a theater-based intervention. Researchers used a quasi-experimental (pre-/posttest) design with a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. Participants learned health messages through theater, dance, and music and gave feedback on the program sessions and materials. The program ended with a dinner theater performance showcasing information that students learned during the intervention.


Participants received six theater-based health lessons. Learning objectives for each health education session were achieved. Each participant contributed to and performed in the final performance. All program participants were highly satisfied with the theater-based method of learning health messages.


A community-academic partnership succeeded in developing a theater-based nutrition and physical activity intervention that satisfied participating adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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