News 2017 Stepping up for Health

April 17, 2017

Step Up, Scale Down course offers Texans path to wellness

Contact Paula Butler at for information about Step Up, Scale Down across Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Region 4.

A 12-lesson course offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service aims to help registrants across the state work toward wellness over 12 weeks.

The next statewide series of the Step Up, Scale Down program begins April 24. The course provides weekly lessons covering meal planning, eating more fruits and vegetables and stepping up physical activity. Participants over the series duration will move toward a healthier weight, reducing chronic disease risks.

Paula Butler, a registered dietitian nutritionist and licensed dietitian, is extension regional program leader at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center of Dallas

“Participants enroll individually but are part of a larger group and have opportunities to share experiences through weekly discussion boards,” she said. “In addition to individual enrollment, the online sessions have also been successful as part of worksite wellness initiatives”

The Step Up, Scale Down program accounts for three guiding principles through its teaching methods: the common factors of “successful losers” collected by the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) data, the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and scientific research. 

“55% of people in the National Weight Control Registry database report losing weight with some type of program; 98% report they modified their food intake; 94% increased physical activity; and 78% report eating breakfast every day,” Butler said. “Step Up, Scale Down sessions are built upon these and other commonalities. They include weekly challenges, exercise resources, meal planners and healthy recipes and tips from Dinner Tonight!”   

An online version now makes Step Up, Scale Down more convenient for participation. The one-time $40 enrollment fee can be paid upon registration here.


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