GET HIP TO HEALTH: UH STUDY RECRUITING
AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN
HIP Project Focuses on Health Behaviors of African American Women
HOUSTON, Jan. 9, 2007—African American women in Houston
have an opportunity to pursue better living through increasing their
exercise and consumption of fruits and vegetables as part of a University
of Houston study called Health Is Power (HIP).
“We’re looking for African American women who are ready
to work together to improve their health,” Rebecca Lee, assistant
professor in the UH Department of Health and Human Performance and
lead investigator in the HIP project, said. “We know that
good health is one of the greatest blessings anyone can have, but
getting there is always the challenge. The New Year is a great time
to refresh our healthy goals and HIP can help.”
The HIP project is now recruiting African American women in Houston
between the ages of 25 and 60 years old who would like to improve
their health by exercising more or eating more fruits and vegetables.
Women must be able to perform physical activity, like walking, or
change their diet without medical supervision. Eligible women will
receive free health assessments (weight, height, body fat, blood
pressure and resting heart rate), a modest stipend and attendance
incentives. Participants will be randomly assigned to either physical
activity or nutrition classes and must agree to adopt goals set
by their group, such as participating in a walking program or eating
more fruits and vegetables.
Those interested in participating in the HIP study should contact
Project Director Jacque Reese-Smith at
713-743-1183 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The HIP project is a five-year study funded by a $3 million grant
from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of
Health. The project focuses on African American women, because they
are more vulnerable obesity and related illnesses, Lee said, and
because there is little research done with African American women.
The HIP project began in the summer of 2006 and has already enrolled
three waves of women in Houston. The project is still enrolling
women. Interested women should call immediately to enroll in the
January wave. Women will complete three health assessments to track
their progress: at the beginning of the study, at the six month
mark and at the one year mark. In all, 250 women will participate
in the HIP project in Houston.
“Group strategies, or ‘social cohesion groups,’
have been successful in helping people meet individual goals, but
this project is different because it focuses on a group of women
with a shared goal,” Lee said. “These groups usually
have stronger outcomes and better maintenance than groups that focus
on individual goals because participants are going through the program
together and have a shared goal.”
Lee said the program has been rated highly by participants. More
than 90 percent of the women who have completed the program so far
agreed that HIP motivated them to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The
same women said they also would recommend HIP to a friend.
Lee has conducted extensive research on the subject of obesity,
in particular the neighborhood factors that may lead to obesity,
such as availability and quality of fresh produce, and the quality
and quantity of physical activity resources available in neighborhoods.
To read more about her research, please visit:
For more information on the UH Department of Health and Human Performance,
please visit www.hhp.uh.edu/
For more information on Lee’s research, please visit www.hhp.uh.edu/undo/.
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