Priority: Fitness & Nutrition
Mom's kick off the Great Places to Walk Grant County trail guide in 2007 at Fox Field.
Photo by Mary Alice Murphy
Fitness & Nutrition: What is it, and why is it a Grant County Wellness Priority?
An individual's fitness and nutrition levels can impact their health, but beyond individual choices there is the community's choices that can further impact their health. Is healthy nutritious food available and affordable? Are there safe places to walk? Are there even sidewalks to walk on? These community factors can have an incredible impact on individual health. The Health Council wants to work at the policy level to change the health and better the residents' fitness and nutrition choices.
Some factors that effect Grant County residents fitness and nutrition:
22% of adults smoke
21% are obese
7% have diabetes
20% physical inactivity (report no leisure time activity)
84% Grant County high school students report eating less than five servings of fruit and vegetables a day and participating in less than the one hour of recommended daily exercise.
A recent study of Body Mass Index (BMI) in four grades in the Grant County public schools found that nearly half of the students were overweight or obese.
Sections of Grant County are considered a Food Desert
, parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.
Some of our past and present projects:
Fitness & Nutrition in the Community (FANC) -
Grant County Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities
- A Robert Wood Johnsons Foundation grant to increase the availability of fresh, locally grown produce to transform the eating habits of the community. It envisions neighborhoods with complete streets and sidewalks, crosswalks and bicycle lanes, trails, playgrounds and safe routes to schools to promote active lifestyles among children.
Plant Walk at Earth Day -
- 800 resdients tried four easy steps to live healthier lives: 5 fruit & vegtables, <2 hours of TV, 1 hour of exercise & 0 (zero) sugary drinks a day. The Challenge was made by the Grant County Commission.
Fitness and Nutrition Plan FY07
Improve healthy eating habits and increase physical activity in Grant County
Strategy 1: Promote infrastructure for options for safe physical activity
Indicator: An increase of number of safe routes, trails and bike paths.
Support Trail and Open Spaces Groups. Increase awareness of trails in community
Assess current numbers of trails and routes safety and use.(ADA accessible, horse, strollers)
Create maps of trails and routes in community and make assessable to public
Completion of trail maps for communities
Support of existing Trails and Open Spaces Groups
Strategy 2: Increase community awareness and access to good nutrition
Indicator: Increase in number of community gardens, # of people affected by educational outreach
Assess # of community gardens in county
Cooking class and/or cooking for life
Family Cooking Class
Awareness campaign in media in families going back to eating together
“Supersize me” focus group-discussions.
Increase awareness of first identifiers to warning signs of under-nourished. Knowing when people are displaying signs and proper contact for referral.
Identify community members at risk for nutrition assistance
Change in eating habits
Sponsor Radio show La Sabrosa with La Vida and HC to co-host a 15 minute show twice a month on Food and nutrition education.
Strategy 3: Promote local policy to that supports nutrition and activity objectives.
Indicator: Increase in local policies that promote safe physical activities and local policy that supports nutrition
Support WAAG, Safe routes to school, Trails and Open Spaces
Reports from Health Council to policy makes
Incentive program for better food choices.
Support `Alimento para el ninos' (nutrition for the child)-backpack program), meals on wheels