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Date of Original Version



Nutrition and Food Sciences


Shape Up Under 5 (SUU5) was a two-year early childhood obesity prevention pilot study in Somerville, Massachusetts (2015–2017) designed to test a novel conceptual framework called Stakeholder-driven Community Diffusion. For whole-of-community interventions, this framework posits that diffusion of stakeholders’ knowledge about and engagement with childhood obesity prevention efforts through their social networks will improve the implementation of health-promoting policy and practice changes intended to reduce obesity risk. SUU5 used systems science methods (agent-based modeling, group model building, social network analysis) to design, facilitate, and evaluate the work of 16 multisector stakeholders (‘the Committee’). In this paper, we describe the design and methods of SUU5 using the conceptual framework: the approach to data collection, and methods and rationale for study inputs, activities and evaluation, which together may further our understanding of the hypothesized processes within Stakeholder-driven Community Diffusion. We also present a generalizable conceptual framework for addressing childhood obesity and similar complex public health issues through whole-of-community interventions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.