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The Team Up for Healthy Living research project was developed by a team of researchers at ETSU led by the late Dr. Tiejian Wu in response to a growing concern over adolescent obesity in northeast Tennessee.
Adolescence is widely recognized as a critical time for establishing healthy lifestyle patterns. By encouraging personal wellness, leadership and positive peer modeling at a young age, we may prevent the development of obesity and chronic diseases in adulthood.
To date, obesity prevention projects targeting high school students are limited. This project aims to conduct a cross-peer led education program in regional high schools using ETSU undergraduate students as peer educators. The peer education model is increasingly valued as a method for encouraging positive behavior change in this age group. Eventually, we hope to determine if this program is effective in improving health outcomes in the high school students, and to identify which factors contribute to the programs success.
Team Up for Healthy Living has two major components: 1) An eight-week intervention targeting students in Lifetime Wellness classes; and 2) Student assessments at baseline, three-months, and one year following the baseline assessment (see Timeline). Participating schools will be randomly picked to be a part of the intervention or to act as usual care schools. The usual care schools will continue with the standard Lifetime Wellness curriculum. Student assessments will take place at all participating schools.