The Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health found that confidence in one’s ability to engage in regular physical activity, enjoyment of physical activity, support from others, positive beliefs concerning the benefits of physical activity, and lack of perceived barriers to being active were consistent influences on physical activity patterns among adults and young people in the US (USDHHS, 1996). Based on this research and the IOM’s recommendations, FitWorth focuses on behavioral awareness as the first step toward sustainable behavioral change in preventing the upward trend of childhood obesity in Fort Worth.

  • Harvard School of Public Health reports that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.
  • Research indicates that physical exercise boosts the flow of blood to certain parts of the brain, spurring the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is critical to the development and cognition of school-age children. Exercise also decreases stress, reduces the risk of stroke, and helps control blood sugar, all vital for employers to take consider in combating the cost of chronic disease.
  • Behavior change theory states that real change relies on a threat, fear, response efficacy, and self-efficacy. Individuals have to understand the risk in a personal way, then believe in their ability to take effective action. FitWorth provides awareness of the dangers of poor nutrition and physical inactivity in a non-critical way, then provides opportunities to take immediate action with proven results, compelling the community to truly change.