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Reduce human obesity across Indiana through community-based programs.

Background

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified some disturbing trends about obesity and physical activity among Hoosiers:

  • 57.3 percent of youth ages 10-17 are obese.
  • 68.4 percent of men and 56.8 percent of women are overweight or obese.
  • $264 is spent on medical costs related to obesity and related chronic disease per Indiana resident each year.
  • 40 percent of people older than 18 participate in less than the recommended amount of physical activity.

Research shows that communities that develop a planned approach to community health, and then create a local health coalition to implement that plan, more effectively address health issues such as obesity. Our goal is to reduce obesity (and the resulting chronic diseases) by helping every Indiana county create and/or strengthen community-based educational programming via Healthy Community Coalitions (55 counties currently have such coalitions).

Who We’ll Engage

We will engage physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, public health advocates, school administrators, school food service personnel, teachers, parents, youth, 4-H members and leaders, Master Gardeners, farmers market organizers, community garden organizers, food pantry operators, parks department personnel, community fitness advocates, minority outreach center staff, county health department officials, local policy makers, researchers, and small- and large-business owners.

Intended Outcomes

As a result of our efforts, we expect youth and adults to choose more nutritious food, eat more sensible portions, and increase physical activity. These lifestyle changes will reduce obesity and the incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Action Objectives

  • Help communities develop and/or strengthen local health initiatives and build support for health, wellness, and nutrition programs. The coalition’s diverse members will set the direction and make decisions on community initiatives.
  • Help communities organize health coalitions that will draw members from many segments of their communities.
  • Provide coalitions the tools they need to improve their communities’ access to healthy foods and physical activities.
  • Develop and deliver comprehensive, community-based health, nutrition, and physical activity programs for children, seniors, parents, and caregivers through schools and preschools, 4-H clubs, and other community groups. Use innovative and creative delivery methods including Facebook, YouTube, interactive websites, etc.

Success Indicators

  • Health coalitions will be active in every Indiana county.
  • Community members will participate in prevention-oriented health practices (exercise, healthy eating, etc.).
  • The incidence and severity of chronic diseases among program participants will decline.

Check this site regularly to check our progress.