"Participants who are randomly assigned to Fit and Strong! Plus will learn strategies to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables and whole grains as well as monitoring their food intake. Participants will also learn more about what may be triggers for overeating and mindless eating that can contribute to weight gain," said Fitzgibbon, who is also professor of medicine in the UIC College of Medicine.
Fit and Strong! was developed by Hughes and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Administration on Aging. The program is used at 54 sites in Illinois, North Carolina, West Virginia and Florida.
The program provides 60 minutes of exercise and 30 minutes of education three times a week for eight weeks.
The focus is on making exercises easy to do, developing individual routines, and reinforcing new behaviors, said Hughes, professor of community health sciences in the UIC School of Public Health.
The U.S. is spending billions of dollars on hip and knee replacements and there is an urgent need to develop effective and affordable solutions that can be implemented in the community, according to Hughes.
UIC researchers will partner with the Chicago Park District to conduct the study at three sites: Eckhart Park, Washington Park and Columbus Park. Nationally certified exercise instructors will be trained to conduct the programming.
All participants will be evaluated at two, six, 12, 18 and 24 months. The researchers will assess dietary changes, weight loss, exercise participation, measurement of osteoarthritis symptoms, anxiety and depression.
The researchers will also analyze Medicare claims data for participants before and after the intervention to evaluate health care use and cost.
|Contact: Sherri McGinnis Gonzlez|
University of Illinois at Chicago