Shape Up Houston is an ambitious, forward acting, community education campaign to increase awareness and encourage action surrounding the unsustainable level of obesity and its impact on the health and wellbeing of our community. Shape Up Houston is advocating for a life-long change in lifestyle as opposed to a short-term diet. Shape Up Houston is being introduced through innovative partnerships with the leading Texas Medical Center institutions, who have committed to not only set the foundation for the campaign, but provide the lead as the kick-off site.
Shape Up Houston is creating six complementary collaborations that will focus on obesity from a number of perspectives – health implications, employability, fitness, family, community, and the role of faith, during a 12-month campaign. These collaborations will be coordinated with a comprehensive education and media campaign as well as a complete evaluation, by the University of Texas School of Public Health, of Texas Medical Center outcomes.
Shape Up Houston’s approach is to deal with obesity as the community-wide multi-faceted problem that it is. Our initial focus will be the adults/parents, with the children coming later in the program once the parents have been properly educated and motivated. As an organization, Shape Up Houston concurs with leaders on the issue of childhood obesity, who recognize the difficulty to effectively address and even resolve the issue when there is an obese parent and related secondhand obesity.
The challenge to the medical center community is to demonstrate to the greater Houston community not only how to reshape one’s lifestyle with regard to health and fitness, but that healthy habits begin in the world’s largest medical center.