Core Research Project – Mobility and Vitality Lifestyle Program

Project Title: Reducing Obesity in Older Adults

Move Up LogoPrincipal Investigator: Anne Newman

Project Identifier Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Center – Core Project (2014-2019)

Funding Source: PRC Program

Project Status: Active

Host Institution: University of Pittsburgh: Center for Aging and Population Health – Prevention Research Center (CAPH-PRC)

Health Topics Obesity, older adults, elderly health, physical activity, healthy eating

Obesity is common in older adults.  As the epidemic is not lessening, it will become even more urgent an issue to address as the baby boomer generation reaches old age.  In older adults, obesity threatens mobility directly and indirectly through multiple chronic diseases such as arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and lipid disorders.  These conditions contribute substantially to disability.  The American Society for Nutrition, The Obesity Society, and the American Heart Association all recommend weight loss with exercise for the management of obesity in older adults.  This implementation project aims to focus on reducing obesity and subsequent chronic disease in older adults.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh PRC have adapted the Look AHEAD program into an evidence-based weight management intervention called the Mobility and Vitality Lifestyle Program (MOVE UP) and are currently implementing it in community settings. The Look AHEAD clinical trial, a weight loss and physical activity intervention, was highly effective in preventing disability in people with type 2 diabetes. Participants will include men and women ages 60-75 with a BMI between 27-45. MOVE UP will be implemented in approximately 26 sites in Allegheny County. Participants will be recruited using recommendations from sites, newsletters or newsletter announcements, presentations at membership gatherings, targeted mailings to membership, and mailings to the population surrounding the site. MOVE UP programs will be led by trained community health workers who are connected to their respective community site. The curriculum has a focus on implementation of key lessons around diet/nutrition and physical activity. An assessment of participants’ dietary intake and physical function will be taken at baseline, 1, 9, and 13 months using standard questionnaires and measures. Participants will be seen weekly in a group session during the first 5 months, twice a month for the next 4 months, and monthly for the final 4 months. Each participant will receive curriculum handouts at each session. At the sessions, participants will receive information on calorie control, nutrition, physical activity and exercise, as well as safety. For diet, participants will be encouraged to consume 30% fewer calories from fat while maintaining an adequate protein intake. For physical activity, they will be encouraged to achieve an initial physical activity goal of 50 minutes/week and safely increase to 175 minutes/week. Researchers will conduct an evaluation that will inform the development of strategies for sustainability considering the cost of the program, organizational capacity, and program adaptation to inform future dissemination. Recruitment of sites, group leaders, and participants is ongoing. Please contact the PRC if interested.

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Last Updated Sep 23, 2016