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OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY: DESIGNING AN INTEVENTION FOR THE COMMUNITY WITH THE COMMUNITY

by Fitzgerald, Katharine R

Abstract (Summary)
This project was designed as an assessment of the overweight and obesity resources available in the City of Pittsburgh and the two boroughs of Braddock and Wilkinsburg. This project also designs a participatory action research intervention to address the specific needs and barriers of the region in regard to healthy lifestyles. This project was designed to address three objectives of HealthyPeople 2010: 1) to increase the proportion of adults who are at a healthy weight, 2) to increase the proportion of adults who exercise for at least 30 minutes daily and 3) to increase worksite accessible nutrition and weight management counseling. Methodology Two assessments of the region, a physical activity resource assessment and assessment of health and wellness opportunities offered by the regions top ten employers were facilitated. The physical activity resource assessment surveyed five parks in the region for walkability, barriers and incentives for community use. In conjunction with the assessment a participatory action research intervention with 13 collaborative partners was designed. The next stage assessments include focus groups and surveys. Results The five parks were found to offer a refuge from urban life within the city limits. Amenities in regard to public toilets, park information, parking and exercise information such as mile markers were often lacking. Eight of ten region employers offer health and wellness programs. The scope of services varied as did employee utilization of such services. Conclusions Allegheny County offers excellent venues for outdoor recreation. Unfortunately the public does not access these facilities. Employers in the region offer health and wellness programs but without substantial incentives, employees may abstain from participation. Determining the specific barriers to healthier lifestyle choices through participatory action research methodology is a first step to improving the overall health in the region.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Martha Ann Terry

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:behavioral and community health sciences

ISBN:

Date of Publication:06/07/2006

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