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Rural Health Information Hub

Tuscola County Health Department

  • Project Title: Thumb Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Campaign
  • Grant Period: 2006-2009 FORHP Outreach grantee
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Ann Hepfer
  • Intervention Setting: Community/school
  • Program Overview: The Tuscola County Health Department, in collaboration with partners, worked across a three-county region to implement a four-pronged program to address obesity. The intervention included community presentations, an adult walking program, a youth walking program, and a community outreach/social marketing campaign. It was carried out in response to data from a local implementation of the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, which identified a need for obesity information and programming.

    In developing their approach, the health department and its partners examined the health programs already offered in the community. They targeted school-aged youth and parents of those youth for walking programs. For the marketing component, they targeted the entire community.

    Evaluation methods included a survey of nutrition and physical activity practices implemented prior to the start of the program, at four and 12 months. The results showed minimal program effects on dietary and physical activity practices during the implementation phase. When the HRSA grant ended, the adult walking program was picked up by another organization that implemented a similar program. The other program components were not sustained due to funding challenges.

Resources required for implementing program

  • Implementation staff
  • Space to hold presentations and implement programs
  • For evaluation, tools to administer and analyze surveys
  • Pedometers for walking program