Winston-Salem State University's (WSSU) Department of Human Performance and Sports Sciences (HPSS) has received a grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the amount of $200,000 to implement an obesity intervention designed to to improve the psychosocial well being and physical health of African American women. Despite the massive efforts to combat the national obesity epidemic, African American women continue to have the highest obesity rate (CDC, 2012). The total cost of obesity permeates all facets of life. Wellness coaching has the potential to address this obesity epidemic in community settings. The proposed study will use a wellness coaching approach to improve obesity outcomes in African-American women age 30-65. The purpose is to develop, implement and evaluate the impact of community based wellness coaching obesity intervention on psychosocial well being and obesity outcomes in African-American women. The study entitled "The COACH Approach to Obesity Prevention: Changing Outcomes, Attitudes, Character, & Health," is a 16 week gender-specific and culturally tailored obesity intervention targeting African American women.
Human Performance and Sports Science is the lead organization and will partner with five local organizations with key resources to assist with successful implementation of the project. WSSU has a strong tradition of conducting research and community outreach projects aimed at various issues related to wellness and elimination of health disparities. Thus, the university has the capacity and structure to conduct the research project. The project will partner with the Novant Health Maya Angelou Center for Women's Health and Wellness of Forsyth Medical Center, the YWCA of Winston-Salem, the Mental Health Association in Forsyth County, and Goler Memorial AME Zion Church.