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Preventing Chronic Disease | Engagement of Adolescents in a Health Communications Program to Prevent Noncommunicable Diseases: Multiplicadores Jóvenes, Lima, Peru, 2011 - CDC

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Preventing Chronic Disease | Engagement of Adolescents in a Health Communications Program to Prevent Noncommunicable Diseases: Multiplicadores Jóvenes, Lima, Peru, 2011 - CDC

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Engagement of Adolescents in a Health Communications Program to Prevent Noncommunicable Diseases: Multiplicadores Jóvenes, Lima, Peru, 2011

Francisco Diez-Canseco, MPH; Yulissa Boeren; Renato Quispe, MD; Mey lin Chiang; J. Jaime Miranda, MD, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Diez-Canseco F, Boeren Y, Quispe R, Chiang Ml, Miranda JJ. Engagement of Adolescents in a Health Communications Program to Prevent Noncommunicable Diseases: Multiplicadores Jóvenes, Lima, Peru, 2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:140416. DOI: Web Site Icon.


Several risk factors for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including obesity, are associated with behaviors established in infancy that persist throughout adolescence and adulthood. As such, adolescents should be engaged in the design and implementation of NCD prevention strategies.
Community Context
In Lima, Peru’s capital, the proportion of adolescents aged 15 to 19 is 9.3% of the city’s population, and school enrollment rates are high. The prevalence of excess weight in Peruvian adolescents is 14.2%, and prevalence has not declined in recent years. Also recently, NCDs and their risk factors have gained more attention in public health and policy areas, with regulatory action focusing on healthful nutrition to address obesity and related NCDs. The Multiplicadores Jóvenes (Young Multipliers) project was conducted among adolescents aged 15 to 17 from 9 public secondary schools in peri-urban areas of Lima, Peru.
The project provided basic communication tools and knowledge of NCD prevention and public health research to adolescents during 16 weekly participatory sessions to enable them to design and disseminate healthful lifestyle promotion messages to their school peers.
Thirty of 45 participants finished the program. Seven communications campaigns were designed and implemented in schools, reaching 1,200 students. The participants gained motivation, increased knowledge, and developed communication skills that were combined to implement healthful lifestyle promotion campaigns.
Engaging young people in public health promotion activities was feasible and advantageous for the design of tailored prevention-related content and its dissemination among peers.


Sanja Stanojevic, Paola Lema, and Mijail Garvich contributed to the design phases of the project. We are grateful to Alessandro Demaio, Louise Finer, Sandeep P. Kishore, Katherine Sacksteder, and Wendy Sharpe for their critical revisions to earlier versions of this manuscript. An International Engagement Award from Wellcome Trust (WT093541MF) funded this project. The funders had no role in study design, data collection or analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Mr Diez-Canseco, Dr Miranda, and the CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases were supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Global Health Initiative under the contract Global Health Activities in Developing Countries to Combat Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases (contract no. 268200900033C-1-0-1).

Author Information

Corresponding Author: J. Jaime Miranda, MD, PhD, CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Av. Armendáriz 497, 2do Piso, Miraflores, Lima 18, Peru. Telephone: 011-51-1-241-6978. Email:
Author Affiliations: Francisco Diez-Canseco, Yulissa Boeren, Renato Quispe, CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Mey lin Chiang, School of Communication, Universidad de Lima, Lima, Peru.


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