Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity


Plan Components for the Problem Description

I. Problem/health issueI: Problem/Health Issue

Identify Contributing Factors
When developing the problem description, it is important to understand the factors that contribute to the health problem or issue. For example, knowing that the issue is obesity, you might consider trying to answer the following planning questions

  • What factors contribute to the problem of obesity?
  • What causes or contributes to those factors?

To answer these questions, look at theoretical and empirical literature. Your answers should be based on theory or evidence, not your own opinions.

A social marketing intervention probably won't be able to address all contributing factors. Concentrate on factors that you can change.

Identifying the contributing factors for a problem can be the beginning of a logic model for your program. You'll likely only be able to create the skeleton of a model here, but it could help you organize research and your thoughts about how behavior change connects to health outcomes. Later, you can input the parts of the model that show how your program plans to affect behavior.


Make sure that you include the environmental and policy factors that contribute to the health problem and don't just focus on individual behaviors.