State Releases Plan To Combat Obesity
During a recent national obesity summit in Raleigh, a statewide team of obesity prevention professionals released North Carolina's new five-year plan.
It is called "Eat Smart, Move More: North Carolina's Plan to Prevent Overweight, Obesity and Related Chronic Diseases." Also released were the Eat Smart, Move More County Profiles, a collection of one-page documents profiling the successes and needs of each county in the state in the area of obesity prevention.
The Eat Smart, Move More State Plan is a five-year plan offering overarching goals and measurable objectives for anyone working in the area of overweight and obesity prevention. The plan is designed to help organizations and individuals address overweight and obesity in their community and begin to create policies and environments supportive of healthy eating and physical activity.
The plan's four goals are:
n Increase healthy eating and physical activity opportunities for all North Carolinians by fostering supportive policies and environments.
n Increase the percentage of North Carolinians who are at a healthy weight.
n Increase the percentage of North Carolinians who consume a healthy diet.
n Increase the percentage of North Carolina adults, youth and children ages 2 and up who participate in the recommended amounts of physical activity.
Not only does the plan include goals and objectives to guide the state's obesity prevention efforts, but also it provides specific strategies for increasing awareness, changing behaviors, and creating policies and environments that promote and support physical activity and healthy eating in a variety of settings.
"Through these strategies, we can all come together to create a North Carolina where healthy eating and physical activity are the norm, rather than the exception," said Kathryn Kolasa, member of the Eat Smart, Move More State Plan writing team. "Working together we can create a North Carolina where adults and children of all ages and abilities eat smart and move more wherever they live, learn, work, play and pray."
Also announced was the release of the Eat Smart, Move More County Profiles. The County Profiles -- one of which has been created for each of the state's 100 counties -- highlight local successes in the area of obesity prevention, but also emphasize the need for more policies and environments that help make healthy eating and physical activity the norm, rather than the exception.
"We are excited to be able to offer this resource to each of the counties in our state," said Cathy Thomas, head of the Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch. "We should be proud of what our counties are doing -- they have taken great strides in increasing opportunities for members of communities to eat smart and move more. However, there is a lot of work to be done and it will take all of us working together to make a difference."
The release of these documents was a part of the Healthier North Carolina Summit, a day-long conference that brought together state and national leaders and experts to address the fight against obesity. The event was hosted by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the N.C. Division of Public Health, in partnership with Healthy Carolinians.
For more information about the summit, interested persons can visit www.HealthyAmeri-cans.org/ncsummit.
Both the Eat Smart, Move More State Plan and the County Profiles support Eat Smart, Move More: North Carolina, a statewide movement that seeks to reverse the rising tide of obesity and chronic disease among North Carolinians by helping them to eat smart, move more and achieve a healthy weight.
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