Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Program

Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Program


Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Program My name is Teresa Byrd. I am an Ob/Gyn
here in the department at UTHealth. This program is Healthy Eating Active Living. The project itself is aimed at targeting women that are pregnant, that are either
overweight or obese, and also women that are overweight or obese that have a
child less than one year of age. We know that the children of obese women tend to become overweight themselves or obese themselves and over their
lifetimes are at risk for diabetes, hypertension, and a lot of things that plague our society. So the goal of the project itself was to get women involved and help them learn how to take care of themselves and their families and create
an environment where they are able to do this and able to promote healthy living
with their family. It consists of about six sessions, a couple with some dietitians that are there — certified dietitians and counselors and community workers that help to educate the patients on diet and exercise. They do things, like, go through what are carbohydrates, what are proteins and different parts of the diet, and then educate the patients on what is a balanced diet and how to track your eating and make sure you’re doing the
best thing for your body and for your pregnancy. They also have cooking classes during the sessions where they teach them about the foods that they should eat. They also help them prepare healthy meals, and they serve the meals afterward to the families so that they can taste it and see how — how much they enjoy it. They also provide the families with 30 pounds of fresh produce every week, which most of the patients really enjoy because it’s free food, it’s fresh, and it’s things that they’re learning and experimenting with that really help them become successful in having a healthier diet and healthier living overall. Some of the other things that help the patients stay involved are they provide childcare during the sessions, they also help provide transportation for the patients, whether that be in financial assistance or other things. They also
help with parking, and the patients are eligible for up to a hundred dollars in
gift cards for their participation. What we found with the groups is that the
women really enjoy having other people to participate, other moms as well as themselves. It gives them a group to feel connected with, to also understand that there are people going through the same and having the same problems as they do, and just the support
overall makes them feel like a little small community, and so the patients
really take to that atmosphere. We encourage the moms to bring their
significant others — their husbands, their spouses, the other support people in the family. If there’s a grandmother or an aunt, whoever is there with the family helping to take care of the family, we want them to be involved as well.
That’s where we see this being most successful, is that we get moms and their families
to become involved and become a cohesive unit, and therefore they all get on board
with Healthy Eating Active Living, which is what our ultimate goal is. Ask your UT Physician or call 832.325.7314 for more information.

2 thoughts on “Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Program

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *