Date of Graduation

Summer 8-10-2020

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

College/School

School of Nursing and Health Professions

Abstract

Obesity continues to be a growing epidemic in the United States. Individuals who live in low-income communities’ face inequities in areas that continue to have adverse and long-lasting consequences. These consequences can extend from economic conditions, social support, and a lack of access to healthy eating choices and physical activity, all of which contribute to higher obesity rates. It is essential to increase opportunities for change in low-income communities and provide ongoing recommendations to policymakers to allocate resources where it is needed. This paper aims to examine a Health Ambassador model in low-income communities tailored to residents in public housing and other community settings through a community-based intervention. The proposed model focuses on healthy eating, active living, and advocacy to combat obesity in communities utilizing public housing as the appropriate setting to inform individuals and their families about the importance of nutrition, food, health, and their environment. The model effectively elevates community leaders to serve as Health Ambassadors, which in part are from the same community of residents living in public housing but not limited to this community setting. As a result, healthy behaviors that are influenced by a complex interweaving economic, social, and personal factors will be tackled through supportive behavior change. A key aspect to successfully implement this community-based intervention is to make the interventions accessible to the community. The Health Ambassador model will build on existing initiatives that encourage and assist local government and community organizations to put in place healthy eating and active living policies.

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