Objective: To assess the feasibility of employing an ecologically guided childhood obesity relevant surveillance system. Methods: Cross-sectional qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 31 organizational representatives across 28 unique organizations and/or departments from three purposively sampled communities in the Capital Health Region in Alberta, Canada. Results: All the organizational representatives surveyed reported awareness of childhood obesity and 36% reported participation in child obesity initiatives. Data to support a surveillance system are available but not in a suitable format, and privacy legislation present significant barriers. Interest in developing and sustaining an ecologically based surveillance system was low (18%). Conclusion: Due to the heterogeneity of available data and limited vision for the development and implementation of a surveillance system, the application of an ecologically based surveillance system relevant to childhood obesity may be constrained. Broad-based awareness of childhood obesity by a wide range of organizations could assist in establishing an effective coalition to address this issue over the long term by supporting the establishment of a surveillance system.
Chronic Diseases in Canada Vol. 30, Issue 3, p. 95-106