After conducting the needs assessment and asset mapping, implementers of rural obesity prevention programs
set priorities to take action on problems such as barriers to healthy eating and physical activity. For an
overview of the methods that can be used, see Set
Goals and Priorities in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.
Many formal approaches to priority setting include a role for an outside facilitator, such as a community
healthcare provider, an individual from the public health department, or a researcher who partners with
community members. One formal approach is Adapted Intervention Mapping (AIM).
Adapted Intervention Mapping (AIM)
AIM is a tool designed for use by partnerships between communities and universities. It provides a framework for
planning and implementing programs to increase opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating. Critical
elements of AIM include:
- Involvement of community members
- Emphasis on partnerships
- Identification of evidence-based practices
- Integration of theory and findings from literature
Using AIM, researchers identify evidence-based practices, which are then considered and ranked by community
A key step in the AIM process involves helping a community network decide which environment and policy changes to
implement using available resources. This is done by ranking importance by changeability.
How important is an issue for affecting obesity in the community?
How easy or difficult will it be to change the issue?
Source: Health Promotion Planning: An Educational and
Ecological Approach, Third Edition
Green, L.W. & Kreuter, M.W.; Mayfield Publishing Company, Mountain View, CA. 1999
An example of how AIM has been applied in school settings is outlined in Figure 2-2, and can be adapted for other
Figure 2-2: Using AIM to Choose Targets for Change (School Setting)
of the Adapted Intervention Mapping (AIM) Process
Colorado School of Public Health; Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center