intervention, and helps people move away from the thought that prevention can simply be changed with education. These multi-level ideals, if used together, can produce more powerful outcomes. According to Ms. Fulmer, legislation, and other policy initiatives, gives a “bigger bang for the buck.” In other words, much time and effort are placed on individual knowledge and skill, when many individuals do not have sufficient resources in place to be successful. Many people would appreciate the opportunity to increase activity, but if they reside in a neighborhood that is unsafe, with inadequate sidewalks and activity resources, daily activity may not be reasonable. If there is little public transportation, there may be barriers to
ADULT OBESITY IN TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS 19 access grocery stores that can provide fresh fruit and vegetables. Many areas with the higher rates of obesity in Tarrant County have environmental factors that limit many adults to healthy lifestyles. Ms. Fulmer drove me through some areas in south Tarrant County that struggle with obesity. These areas look so different from the North Tarrant County neighborhoods where I live and work. This area struggles with poverty, and it was clear; increasing access to recreation, and grocery stores, with better police patrol may enhance the healthy lifestyle of the residents.
ADULT OBESITY IN TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS 20 I spent several hours at the” Hispanic Wellness Fair,” an annual community event geared to the Hispanic community, and their specific issues. Every presenter was bilingual, and all of the fliers and education material was in English and Spanish. They did health screening, (cholesterol, glucose, BMI, blood pressure, skin assessment) with several services represented (Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, health care agencies, YMCA, Diabetes Coalition) There were several stations, each one representing a community need. They offered cooking demonstrations, and had dieticians, life coaches, and exercise specialists. The majority of those in attendance were Hispanics, and there were fun and games for children. This annual event provides education and options for wellness to the Hispanic community, and offers free parking with public transportation. Each table gives away pens, cups, magnets, toys for children, etc., and draws thousands each year. Another interesting interview was with my friend and colleague, Shelly W., who had bariatric surgery in 2009. S. was 100 pound overweight, and struggled with obesity her entire adult life. She told me she tried Weight Watchers, Nutri-System, and other fad diets, and she would lose weight, only to re-gain it back, and weigh more than before. She was borderline diabetic, and was on medication for high blood pressure. Her biggest complaint was her inability to be active, and her weight kept her from enjoying daily activities. She was embarrassed to go out, and
ADULT OBESITY IN TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS 21 her self- esteem suffered. A year after her surgery, she lost almost 100 pounds, and has kept the weight off. She no longer has high blood pressure, and her glucose is
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- Spring '16
- TARRANT COUNTY, Fort Worth, Texas, adult obesity