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Health enhancement has been associated with the development of empowerment and self-responsibility among program participants. However, if not well planned and implemented, health promotion programs may be at odds with the development of these philosophical objectives. In fact there has been a recognition that traditional treatment approaches may be ineffective for enhancing health. This inadequacy currently seems apparent in the exercise and/or fitness component of programs. Lack of emphasis on enhancement processes may be exemplified by symptoms such as program dependency among participants. Therefore, if empowerment and self-responsibility are philosophical objectives of a program, methods must be congruent with this philosophy.
Larry L. Fahlberg is with the Department of Health Education and Lauri A. Fahlberg is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.