Black men lead nearly every category of health risk, morbidity and mortality. There needs to be a targeted initiative that teaches Black men about the common risk factors for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. The PETROC initiative will focus on obesity and the lack of physical activity amongst Black men, as common denominators for chronic disease prevention.

The purpose of PETROC is to get African American men to become more active through walking or running. The Black Men's Health Initiative will outfit males with a new pedometer, encourage them to walk or run and monitor their pregress at 5, 10 and 15 weeks.

The specific objectives of PETROC will be to:

1. Provide pedometer for each male participant
2. Educate men on the benefits of increased physical activity
3. Track and chart progress
4. Record the actual benefits of the walking program (weight loss, etc.)
5. Offer an incentive to those who walk 50, 100 or 150 miles
6. Create "healthy" competition by comparing the number of steps, miles and/or total weight loss and honoring those with the greatest level of achievement annually

The overall goals of the PETROC project is to get African American men to be more physically active. It is anticipated that the interest, fun, media exposure and sense of competition that surrounds the project will be additional incentives to join this new initiative.

Reducing the weight of African American men, will reduce risk for all chronic disease and cancers, increase their mobility and improve their overall quality of life. The Black Men's Health Initiative believes that we have to create more fun, exciting and innovative methods to motivate those segments of the population with the highest health risks. We feel that PETROC is that kind of program.