Tulane University Prevention Research Center

Movin’ for LIFE (Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy)


Obesity in the U.S. is a major public health concern. More than 78.6 million adults and 12.7 million children and adolescents (2-19 years old) living in the U.S. are obese. In the greater area of New Orleans, nearly 70% of adults are overweight or obese. A healthy diet and adequate amounts of physical activity can help control weight. Research has shown, however, that a person’s physical and social environment can present challenges to eating healthy and exercising regularly. The Tulane University Prevention Research Center (PRC) conducts research to increase physical activity and improve the food environment in New Orleans to prevent overweight and obesity in New Orleans.

Researchers from the Tulane PRC plan to conduct a research study in the 9th Ward, an underserved minority neighborhood in New Orleans and compare it to another underserved minority neighborhood called New Orleans East (NOE). 

Assessments of environmental venues for physical activity and food access will be collected. A variety of strategies will be used to promote active and healthy lifestyles. A social marketing campaign will be instrumental in promoting current and new clubs, programs and activities related to healthy eating and being physically active. The environmental assessments will help researchers determine if strategies employed have been effective in increasing physical activity and purchase and consumption of healthy foods, leading to healthy weight-related behaviors and possible reduction or prevention of obesity in New Orleans.

This research project aims to increase healthy weight-related behaviors among residents in the 9th Ward through physical activity and fresh fruit/ vegetable consumption and ultimately achieve a healthier population in the City of New Orleans. Research results will be shared through the PRC’s various communication channels, including their website, social media, policy briefs, and scientific publications and presentations.

Project Identifier Creating physical and social environmental improvements to increase physical activity and healthy eating

Funding Source PRC Program

Project Status Active

Host Institution Tulane University

Health Topics Obesity & overweight | Physical activity | Nutrition

Research setting Community | Urban area

Race or ethnicity African American or Black

Gender No specific focus

Age group Adults (25-49)

Contact Information Center
Tulane Prevention Research Center
1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301
New Orleans, LA 70112

Principal Investigator
Carolyn C. Johnson

PRC Deputy Director
Keelia O’Malley
Phone: (504) 988-3286