Ending Obesity Improving Health
About the project:
This study aims to capitalize on the unique opportunities presented in communities in the City of Houston to develop a partnership to promote sustainable obesity reduction via shared vision, community outreach and education. It consists of numerous interactive meetings, workshops, symposia and conferences to establish an academic-community partnership, identify community-research priorities, and develop a long-term collaborative agenda, focusing on the problem of obesity across the lifespan with particular attention to children and women. The partnership uses the Texas Obesity Research Center (TORC) in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston (UH) as a framework organization to support the partnership and agenda, and rely on longstanding community ties of community members to the TORC and the UH.
To establish the partnership, Science & Community research team members, graduate students and undergraduate interns attend two community events and health fairs each month and measure blood pressure and BMI and distribute educational brochures about dietary habits, physical activity, and weight. Brochures include facts, guidelines, recommendations and tips and strategies that others have found successful for initiating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Community members are also given a copy of their health measurements along with brief feedback from students about national guidelines and are recommended to take the screening measurements with them the next time they see their health care provider. Through community health fairs, the Science & Community team has been able to form new partnerships and promote the project and project events in various ethnic communities. The number of attendees at each event ranges from 50-2,500 and has resulted in a partnership of over 200 ethnic minority adults, including 23 stakeholders and 13 active Community Advisory Board (CAB) members. In addition to community engagement, Science & Community provides students an opportunity to interact with members of our community and participate in health promotion and education activities. Community health fairs and all S&C events are staffed by research team members, graduate students and undergraduate interns who commit time and effort to engaging the community and educating the public about obesity, dietary habits, and physical activity.
Science & Community is funded by a grant award to Dr. Rebecca E. Lee by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (5U13HD063190). Click to view video footage and photos from our previous Science & Community events or visit us on Facebook to view more events, pictures and videos and receive more project updates.