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New Leaf... Choices for Healthy Living

The Alabama Department of Public Health Office of Women’s Health (OWH) would like to introduce A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living. The Office of Women’s Health has partnered with the Office of Minority Health and the Nutrition & Physical Activity Division to bring this initiative to the community. This program was developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living is a structured nutrition, physical activity and assessment program for chronic disease risk reduction through weight reduction and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. 

Why A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living?

Overweight and obesity are risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, several types of cancer and other chronic diseases.  This is an important issue because of the high prevalence of overweight (27.3%) and obesity (26.9%) among women in Alabama, and the lack of community behavioral weight loss programs in some of the rural areas of Alabama.

Who is A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living for?

 A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living curriculum is targeted toward women ages 18-64. New Leaf targets women because we recognize that women are the primary caregivers for their families. Women impact food choices, food preparation and physical activity and are effective in incorporating these into their family’s lifestyle.

Where is A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living currently offered?

A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living has been implemented in several counties. They are: Macon, Lowndes, Wilcox/Monroe, Tuscaloosa, Pike, Montgomery and Coosa Counties. A New Leaf is also being launched in Dallas, Greene and Mobile Counties in the near future.

How is A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living different from diets/fads?

A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living is not a diet.  It is designed to instruct participants on making lifestyle changes that can be sustained over a lifetime. The curriculum instructs participants on how to prepare healthy meals, make informed food choices and how to include physical activity in their daily lives/activities.

How has A New Leaf…Choices for Healthy Living been successful?

The OWH has successfully implemented the New Leaf curriculum with the help of partners and community health advisors (CHA) in women ages 35 to 64+ in three rural counties of Alabama from August 2005 to present. Groups of women led by CHAs in three counties, Macon, Lowndes, and Coosa, have graduated a total of fifty-nine (59) women who completed the six-month curriculum from five (5) sites. In Macon County, 51 people were recruited and 30 (58%) completed the entire program and 26/30 lost weight (86%). In Lowndes County, 29 people were recruited and 21 (73%) completed the program and 16/21 (76%) lost weight. In Coosa County, 14 people were recruited; eight (57%) successfully completed the 6-month program and 6/8 lost weight (75%). For the Coosa county group the total weight loss was -33.1 pounds.

For more information, contact the Alabama Department of Public Health Office of Women’s Health by phone at (334) 206-5226 or by sending an email to jessica.hardy@adph.state.al.us.


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