Multidisciplinary Center awarded grant to address childhood obesity
With the help of grant funding from the Tallahassee COPE Coalition, the College of Social Work’s Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Consulting Center (MDC) is partnering with the PACE Center for Girls to provide a curriculum-based intervention for treating and preventing obesity that will include: nutrition education, physical activity and a behavioral activation treatment program. Collaborating with the Coalition and community partners, the MDC will introduce PACE’s students to a variety of wellness activities that can be practically integrated into their daily lives. The MDC is also engaging local partnerships to provide nutrition education, access to healthy foods, gardening and cooking demonstrations.
MDC clinicians will provide an empirically-based treatment component called Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depression (BATD), developed by Carl Lejuez, Ph.D. and colleagues, which helps individuals to
1.) develop a healthy and active lifestyle through the identification of life values and daily activities consistent with those values, and;
2.) develop a structured plan for increasing participation in these health-supporting activities in several areas of their daily lives.
BATD is particularly appropriate for use with at-risk adolescents because it focuses on identifying values and goal-setting for achieving a healthy lifestyle, and supports the task of developing one’s own identity while dealing with unique family and social challenges.
Input from the youths participating in the program will be examined through focus groups regarding the real-life barriers and stressors challenging their ability to manage susceptibility to adverse physical and mental health outcomes, including obesity. PACE counselors will play a significant role in the collaboration, including participation as co-therapists. Family engagement will also be encouraged through the provision of monthly healthy meals, wellness activities, presentations and demonstrations. Working closely with PACE, MDC hopes to develop a program that is sustained beyond the two years of COPE Coalition’s grant funding.
The MDC is a university-based clinic and training program that provides a range of psychological services to children and adolescents and their families, including diagnostic evaluations, therapeutic interventions and teacher and family consultation services. Clients are referred by 20 school districts and a number of medical and community agencies. The service goal of the MDC is the provision of a range of high quality, empirically-based psychological services delivered in an ethical and professional manner to a diverse client population presenting with complex academic, medical, emotional or behavioral issues.
For more information about the Multidisciplinary Center, visit mdc.fsu.edu.