• Research on Physical Activity and Health: Where Is Latin America?

    Pedro C. Hallal, Diana C. Parra, Mario R. Azevedo, Michael Pratt, and Ross C. Brownson

    The initiative of devoting a supplement of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health to Latin American research could not be timelier. The region is experiencing rapid epidemiologic, demographic, and lifestyle transitions, which are leading to an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases. Overweight and obesity now exceed underweight in most countries from Latin America and chronic diseases account for approximately 57% of total mortality in the region.

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  • Project GUIA: A Model for Understanding and Promoting Physical Activity in Brazil and Latin America

    Michael Pratt, Ross C. Brownson, Luiz Roberto Ramos, Deborah Carvalho Malta, Pedro C. Hallal, Rodrigo S. Reis, Diana C. Parra, and Eduardo J. Simões

    As noncommunicable or chronic diseases (NCDs) have spread across the globe, becoming the leading causes of death, disease, disability, and health care costs, it has become increasingly important for public health to address their underlying causes. Two approaches to doing so are gaining ascendancy: 1) examining and addressing underlying social determinants of health and 2) understanding and applying evidence-based strategies targeting the 4 key health behaviors underlying NCDs—physical activity, diet, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption.

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  • Assembling the Puzzle for Promoting Physical Activity in Brazil: A Social Network Analysis

    Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 7 (2), S242 – S252

    Ross C. Brownson, Diana C. Parra, Marsela Dauti, Jenine K. Harris, Pedro C. Hallal, Christine Hoehner, Deborah Carvalho Malta, Rodrigo S. Reis, Luiz Roberto Ramos, Isabela C. Ribeiro, Jesus Soares, Michael Pratt

    Physical inactivity is a significant public health problem in Brazil that may be addressed by partnerships and networks. In conjunction with Project GUIA (Guide for Useful Interventions for Physical Activity in Brazil and Latin America), the aim of this study was to conduct a social network analysis of physical activity in Brazil.

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  • Promoting Physical Activity in Brazil: The Promise & the Challenge

    Revista Brasilera de Atividade fisica e Saude. Pelotas, . 2012 Fev 17(1):1-4 Diana Parra, Ross Brownson

    Brazil is one of the few countries around the world that has recognized the important priority of physical activity promotion and has granted it a prominent place on the national agenda. The Brazilian government, along with other important non-governmental organizations and academic institutions, are working together to support research, practice, and policy for promoting physical activity.

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  • How Does Network Structure Affect Partnerships for Promoting Physical Activity? Evidence from Brazil & Colombia.

    Social Science & Medicine. 2011 Nov;73(9):1365-70.

    Parra DC, Dauti M, Harris JK, Reyes L, Malta DC, Brownson RC, Quintero MA, Pratt M.

    The objective of this study was to describe the network structure and factors associated with collaboration in two networks that promote physical activity (PA) in Brazil and Colombia. Organizations that focus on studying and promoting PA in Brazil and Colombia were identified using a modified
    one-step reputational snowball sampling process. Participants completed an on-line survey between December 2008 and March 2009 for the Brazil network, and between April and June 2009 for the Colombia network.

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  • Developing a Research Agenda for Promoting Physical Activity in Brazil Through Environmental & Policy Change

    Rodrigo S. Reis, Cheryl M. Kelly, Diana C. Parra, Mauro Barros, Grace Gomes, Deborah Malta, Thomas Schmid, and Ross C. Brownson

    This was a mixed-methods study (qualitative and quantitative) conducted by Project GUIA (Guide for Useful Interventions for Activity in Brazil and Latin America) in February 2010–January 2011. A total of 240 individuals in the PA field (186 practitioners and 54 researchers) were asked to generate research ideas; 82 participants provided 266 original statements from which 52 topics emerged. Participants rated topics by “importance” and “fea- sibility;” a separate convenience sample of 21 individuals categorized them. Cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling were used to create concept maps and pattern matches.

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  • Scaling up physical activity interventions in Brazil: how partnerships and research evidence contributed to policy action

    Diana C. Parra, Christine M. Hoehner, Pedro C. Hallal, Rodrigo S. Reis, Eduardo J. Simoes, Deborah C. Malta, Michael Pratt and Ross C. Brownson

    In this paper, we summarize key findings from a large-scale cross-national collaboration to understand physical activity promotion in Brazil. We describe the main aspects of the partnership of Project GUIA (Guide for Useful Interventions for Activity in Brazil and Latin America) that sustained the collaborative effort for eight years and describe how the evidence gathered from the collaboration triggered political action in Brazil to scale up a physical activity intervention at the national level. This example of scaling up is unprecedented for promoting health in the region and is an example that must be followed and evaluated.

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