In rural communities like Akron, Iowa, nearly 20 percent of the population live at a higher risk of obesity and obesity related illness.
A new grant is allowing the Akron Mercy Medical Clinic to study the issue to help find a solution.
"Partly it's gonna be coaching, partly it is counseling," said Dr. Cynthia Wolff. "So it's gonna be a little bit of everything put together....we call it a pragmatic study. It's going to be looking at the way things really are in your life."
Exactly 40 patients from the clinic have been chosen based on certain criteria.
For the next 36 months, they'll be following a plan set up by two of the clinics' nurses.
"We'll give them kind of the basic structure for each patient, but then we'll work from there depending on the patients goals and what they want," said nurse, Julie Eekhoff. "This is basically their program that their formulating for themselves."
Even though it's a 'patient-centered' approach, Eekhoff says their main focus is the same.
"Motivation will be the key factor," said Eekhoff. "But also helping them with resources that we don't normally get in our office setting right now."
For patient Mary James, motivation is exactly why she is so excited to start the program.
"It is time to lose weight and get in a healthy regimen again," said James. "And be for healthy living."
Dr. Wolff hopes that by working with patients, they can find what will work best in the long run.
"We're not looking at making people skinny, that's not the approach of this, " said Dr. Wolff. "This is a lifestyle health change."
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