HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living)

Banner image for HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living)

This project is a clinic-community based intervention to implement an early life-cycle approach to obesity prevention among pregnant women and women with infants from low-income families.



To target pregnant women & women with infants 12 months & younger by exploring community resources and barriers in order to maintain behavior change.

Study Design:

6 week CHW-led group education program, exercise sessions, & cooking demonstrations.

Principal Investigator: Shreela Sharma

Co-Investigators: Deanna Hoelscher, Courtney Byrd-Williams, Shelton Brown

Project Coordinator: Melisa Danho

Pilot Evaluation of HEAL - A Natural Experiment to Promote Obesity Prevention Behaviors Among Low-Income Pregnant Women

(Sharma SV, Chuang RJ, Byrd-Williams C, Danho M, Upadhyaya M, Berens P, Hoelscher DM; Prev Med Rep.; 2018)

Photo of Henry (Shelton) Brown, III

Henry (Shelton) Brown, III, PhD

Photo of Courtney Byrd-Williams

Courtney Byrd-Williams, PhD

Principal Investigator, Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite; Director, Maternal and Child Health Training Program Photo of Ru-Jye (Lindi) Chuang

Ru-Jye (Lindi) Chuang, DrPH, MS

Photo of Melisa Portuondo Danho

Melisa Portuondo Danho, MPH, RD

Program Coordinator, Dietitian Photo of Deanna Hoelscher

Deanna Hoelscher, PhD, RDN, LD, CNS, FISBNPA

Photo of Shreela V. Sharma

Shreela V. Sharma, PhD, RD, LD

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HEAL – A natural experiment to promote obesity prevention behaviors among low-income pregnant women

Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) is a six-week, multi-component program to promote breastfeeding, healthy dietary habits, cooking skills and physical activity among Medicaid-eligible pregnant-women in Texas.