Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior – Volume 45, Number 4S, 2013
Wise at Every Size: A Program for Women of Southeast Alaska to Increase Fitness & Reduce Chronic Disease Risk
by: Janai Meyer, RD, CLC, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99901; K. Natwick, RD, CLEC
Develop a Health at Every Size®-oriented lifestyle intervention curriculum. Invite SEARHC WISEWOMAN Program participants to attend the group intervention, and provide pre- and post-intervention screenings for fitness level, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol. Reduce clinical CVD risk, as measured by the Framingham Formula.
Alaska Native and low-income, rural non-Native women living in Southeast Alaska, enrolled as WISEWOMAN program participants.
Theory, Prior Research, Rationale
Health at Every Size® recognizes that dieting is ineffective, and has proven to be more effective than dieting in the long-term with regard to sustained decreases in blood pressure and cholesterol levels (Bacon, L. et al., Journal of American Dietetic Assoc: 2005).
Wise at Every Size (WAES) was designed to provide support for women to increase fitness and reduce risks of chronic disease. The eight-session WAES group intervention curriculum included a combination of patient-centered nutrition counseling, social support, self-esteem and positive body image education using a Health at Every Size® emphasis. Physical activity promotion through collaboration with the WISEWOMAN program was an important element.
Outcome evaluation included analysis of pre- and post-intervention clinical screening measures, cardiorespiratory fitness measure changes, and participant satisfaction evaluations of the intervention experience.
Conclusions and Implications
Out of 200 participants, 176 women completed pre-and post-screenings. Proxy fitness scores (2 minute step-test) improved by 18%, and the mean 10 year CVD All Risk (Framingham formula) Score decreased by 2.33 points. The majority of participants reported acquiring new knowledge, improved body image, and increased time spent being physically active. In 2010, The Indian Health Service recognized WAES as a best-practice in diabetes prevention.
CDC-WISEWOMAN, HRSA, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
Janai has cultivated her skills and expertise as a registered dietitian, nutritional therapist, and board certified breast-feeding counselor throughout villages and islands in Southeast Alaska. Plus, her fierce dedication to busting common wellness myths lends a practical, straight-forward element to her counseling and when you’re working with your body and its many needs.
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