Train4Change Community Health Initiative
Addressing disparities within the obesity epidemic is more complex than advocating for healthier eating and exercise habits because socio-economic and environmental factors can limit access to health-promoting resources. When assistant professors Flavia Perea and Linda Sprague Martinez first partnered with community organizations to address obesity within Boston’s immigrant population in 2011, it quickly became clear that traditional nutrition or fitness programs targeting individual behavior would not be successful; the issue of employability was more important to many Boston-area women.
The Train4Change obesity mitigation program, developed collaboratively with the School of Arts and Sciences Community Health program, gave women the knowledge and skill sets to teach group fitness classes, and helped them earn group trainer certification. In October, Train4Change released an exercise video featuring their new fitness instructors. The video will be disseminated throughout the communities, and to hospitals, health centers, health insurers, and other organizations.
In measuring the program's success, Martinez saysTrain4Change has had an undoubtedly positive outcome for participants. The women are now engaged in a variety of health and fitness activities in their communities and she hopes that they will continue with this work.
Read more about the Train4Change project on the A&S web site and the Tisch College web site.