Setting appropriate and achievable goals is an important component of the planning of any health promotion intervention. Past obesity prevention programs have been criticised for failing to adequately define a successful outcome (10). Jeffrey (45) believes that a failure to set specific weight-related goals was a contributing factor to the ineffectiveness of community CHD programs to prevent increases in the mean BMI of participants over time. Clear goals for obesity prevention not only provide outcome measures against which preventive programs can be evaluated, but they also guide the nature and the content of preventive efforts. Setting inappropriate goals, such as unattainable reductions in the prevalence of obesity in the community or reductions in the mean population BMI, are counterproductive and dangerous. Failure to achieve them will be taken as a measure of the weakness of an intervention and can often lead to the premature curtailment of potentially useful obesity prevention initiatives.
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