Legislators, Health Advocates Discuss Ways To Tackle Obesity

healthychoiceFrom Your Health Journal…..”I really enjoyed reading an article I found in the Green Bay Press Gazette written by Patti Zarling entitled Legislators, Health Advocates Discuss Ways To Tackle Obesity. I really feel that beating obesity starts at the local level before the national level, as everyone’s needs / changes to fix the issue are so diverse. Locally in Brown County, Wisconsin, they feel that taxpayers can save money by investing in anti-obesity and other health campaigns. Nearly two-thirds of Brown County residents weigh more than they should, and a fourth of Wisconsin high school students are overweight or obese. A local report stated the obese adults spent almost $1500 more a year on medical costs, and at the state level, almost 3 million dollars. Suggestions to get more involved at the school level by improving the quality of meals so they meet a more nutritional standard, as well as increasing physical activity at school. To me, this is such a positive article to read, and will make a difference in the community. Small changes turn into big responses when handled the correct way. Please visit the Press Gazette web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. It was well written and very informative.”

From the article…..

Taxpayers can save money by investing in anti-obesity and other health campaigns, advocates told local state legislators Friday morning at a breakfast in Green Bay.

Nearly two-thirds of Brown County residents weigh more than they should, and a fourth of Wisconsin high school students are overweight or obese, according to Live54218, a local advocacy group promoting healthy lifestyles in Brown County.

Obese adults spend $1,400 more a year in medical costs than others, said Jen Van Den Elzen, director of Live54218. She noted the state spent $1.6 billion in medical costs related to obesity in 2008, and in 2011 it was projected to spend $2.7 billion in 2013.

Support for improving health issues can be handled in several ways, Van Den Elzen said, including individually, person to person, organizationally, community-wide or through public policy. Public policy changes likely offer the biggest impact, she said.

About half of Green Bay School District children qualify for free or reduced-price meals, an indication of poverty. Many eat breakfast and lunch at school, and some also eat dinner at school or have backpacks filled with food sent home with them on weekends.

“We see this as a huge opportunity to influence what youth are eating,” Van Den Elzen said. Farm-to-school programs are a way to bring healthful foods into schools, she noted. Green Bay, Ashwaubenon and Oneida schools recently have adopted farm-to-school initiatives.

These programs not only encourage students to eat good foods, but also support local farmers, she said.

To read the complete article…..Click Here

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