Scientific Objectives of the HBCR Workgroup:

  • To advance measurement of health behavior change
  • To advance theory and understanding of health behavior change mechanisms
  • To develop, test and disseminate health behavior change interventions

Indicators of Success:

  • Publications and conference presentations
  • Funding
  • Interventions adopted and maintained by community, organizations and/or translated into policy
  • Visiting scholars, interns, research practicum students

Rationale for HBCR Workgroup:

The highest morbidity and mortality due to chronic diseases (Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, Obesity) have demonstrated strong associations with a number of health behaviors, such as physical activity, healthy nutrition, smoking, and alcohol intake. However;

  • More than 1/3 of adults do not meet national recommendations for physical activity:
  • Only 24% consume the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables
  • 1 in 5 Americans regularly smoke
  • 30% report excessive alcohol use

Multiple health behavior interventions have strong potential to advance health promotion, health benefits, quality of life, and reduce health-care costs.

  • Adoption of healthy lifestyles is estimated to save over $16 billion in annual medical costs.
  • Adoption of 3 healthy behaviors is estimated to reduce chronic disease by 68 to 71%.
  • Despite this, health behavior change interventions have been stunted by inconsistent measurement, methodological issues, and lack of understanding of how and why (theory).

The true potential of these more comprehensive interventions remains unrecognized, requiring research to advance theory, measurement, intervention, and translation/dissemination.