Family Health Promotion

Cardiovascular Health Promotion for Families

An intervention model for families with high cardiovascular risk

This is a clinical program suitable for clinics, hospitals, and physicians interested in prevention and control of risk factors.

It is well known that heritability and familial traits exist for cardiovascular diseases. Concepts of understanding the Genetic-Environmental Interactions are important.

Cardiovascular Health Promotion for Families is a unique process of lifestyle education aimed at improving the C V health of all members of a family.

Families share life styles and genetics and family training can provide support for each other. A combination of families can be trained together since other families have similar C V risks. Adults with known coronary artery disease, or adults and children with elevated C V risk factors, are recruited as a family into an 8 to 12 week program for a group of families. Here, cardiologists and C V surgeons can refer patients from their practice to enroll their patients and patient’s family into a lifestyle training program. The program:

•  creates C V risk factor profile on each family member, with overview of program's purpose
•  takes a strongly behavioral approach in material and program
•  increases knowledge of heart-healthy behavior
•  improves eating and exercise habits
•  motivates to quit or prevent smoking, and use of moderate alcohol intake
•  shows how to manage stress effectively
•  addresses primary prevention
•  can serve as backup for CV surgery and cardiology patients



Implementation is conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of a cardiologist, a psychologist or counselor, nutritionist, an exercise specialist, and a nurse specialist to help organize the program.

Recognizing that lifestyle behaviors can impact C V health, the Family Health Promotion Manuals are developed with the materials that were shown to be effective in reducing blood pressure, increasing risk factor knowledge, and improving eating and physical activities - a start to prevention of coronary heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Risk factor profiles are conducted on all members of the family, the cardiac or high risk patient, the spouse and children. The program materials can serve as a basis for obesity prevention.


The main objective is skills development to promote self-confidence---







Supportive Relationships


are addressed in session topics.

Activities at group sessions get people moving, and family at-home activities keep them moving.



Counseling and behavioral contracting provide
opportunities for changes that are more
personally relevant, and specifically address
motivation, support and satisfaction.

Family Health Promotion


(As part of education of all family members)

• No assumptions are made that families already know the ABCs of healthy eating. The obesity epidemic and impact of central obesity and fat deposition has to be understood.

Simple comparisons of variations in everyday-type menus and recipes are made.

• Children receive approximately 1/3 of their calories from snacks! Many adults substitute snacking for meals. The "Snacking Mouse" bypasses the saturated fatty, salty and simple sugars for fresh wholesome foods.

• Fast-food restaurants have become part of Americana. But they're not healthy! "Dining Out" shows that - yes, they can be.

• The "Wise Shopper" makes substitutions in the meat, poultry and fish departments that begin the healthier home meal.

• "Reading Labels" helps the shopper to make wiser choices.

• All family members learn food preparation - from better ways of preparing microwave popcorn to draining fat from meat and soups.

• Creative methods of modifying favorite family recipes give the message: You can still eat it, but you can change it, and it will still taste good.


Implementation Manual and Nutrition Education Modules

These books serve as step-by-step guides for physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other clinicians or educators who work with individuals who have elevated C V risk factors.

I.  Implementation Manual

This manual provides comprehensive instructions for program implementation, including:

•  recruitment strategies
•  session topics with presentations
•  physical activities
•  relaxation strategies
•  behavioral contracting procedures
•  incentives

II.  Nutrition Education Modules

This manual complements the Implementation Manual and provides nutrition education material. Lesson plans on Menu Planning, Eating Out, Snacking, etc.

This two-volume set of manuals is available for $150.

Add $20 for shipping each set. Make checks payable to: The Tulane Center for Cardiovascular Health.

Send requests to:
Gerald S. Berenson, M.D.
The Tulane Center for Cardiovascular Health
1440 Canal Street, Suite 1829
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 988-7197
or E-mail

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000