Healthy Ways

Translating the Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Intervention Rural African American Communities

Obesity is a significant and growing problem in the US that negatively impacts health and well-being of racial and ethnic minorities, people of low socioeconomic status, and persons living in rural communities and in the South. The obesity problem is a major public health concern in Arkansas, where the obesity rate for adults is higher than the rate for other adults in the nation. However, in general, few resources are available in communities to address the obesity problem, such as effective behavioral weight loss programs. Research has shown that the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Lifestyle Intervention, a successful behavioral weight loss program promoting diet and exercise/lifestyle change, can have major health benefits and reduce the chances of getting type 2 diabetes. However methods are needed to successfully deliver the DPP weight loss program to rural, underserved communities so they can benefit from this state-of-the-art program.

The HEALTHY Ways research project is examining ways to provide the DPP behavioral weight loss program in rural Southeast Pulaski county communities. Participants will attend group meetings to learn healthy eating and physical activity patterns or will receive self help materials to promote weight loss. The HEALTHY Ways research project is supported by the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health.

HEALTHY Ways is conducted in support of the overall mission of the Arkansas Center for Health Disparities, which is to develop research to improve access to quality prevention and health care programs for racial and ethnic minorities, with a goal of reducing health disparities. By collaborating with communities to conduct research examining ways to address the obesity problem, the goal of reducing health disparities moves closer to becoming reality for Arkansans.

For further information or questions contact:
Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health
(501) 526-6654