Bronx Health REACH works with individuals in schools, churches, and other community settings to promote healthy behaviors. Obesity prevention is a focal point of the coalition’s work with school-age children, as well as in its health programming in churches. Through the Faith-Based Outreach Initiative, Bronx Health REACH has trained 47 health coordinators at partner churches and has implemented nutrition and fitness programs to promote individual behavior change.

The Bronx Health REACH Obesity Prevention Program

In the South Bronx, 4 out of 10 elementary school children are overweight or obese. To fight this epidemic, Bronx Health REACH staff is training elementary school teachers to implement an evidence-based nutrition education curriculum in their classrooms. The six session curriculum created by the Social and Health Research Center teaches students about choosing healthy foods, the steps to good health, and setting personal goals to improve health habits.

To reinforce messages about healthy eating outside of school, Bronx Health REACH also conducts workshops for parents. Workshops cover different topics in nutrition and physical activity, including how sugary drinks affect health, the value of home cooked meals, the importance of fruits and vegetables, and where to find opportunities for physical activity. Parents receive a pedometer and are encouraged to set weekly goals to improve their health.

Bronx Health REACH is evaluating the effectiveness of the child and parent curriculums in partnership with the Johnson & Johnson/John Hopkins Community Health Care Scholars Program.

MARC Academy and Family Center

For the past decade, the MARC Academy and Family Center, located on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, has worked with Bronx Health REACH to promote healthy eating to students and their families. MARC uses the Eat Well Play Hard and the SPARK curricula to incorporate nutrition education and physical activity into their preschool and after school programs. Classroom nutrition education frequently involves hands on opportunities for children to taste and prepare new foods and the center involves families in healthy eating through nutrition workshops where parents learn tips for preparing and serving healthy foods at home. Read more about how MARC has transformed the center’s environment in our Institutional and Organizational section.

To learn more about Bronx Health REACH’s Individual level Nutrition and Fitness work, contact us.