The state just released a strategy for balancing nutrition and exercise in kids. And bravo to them!
It’s part of a state-wide effort to reduce obesity in the state, which currently is at around 60%. With a variety of programs large and small, personal and institutional, it looks to me as if the state has taken a major step to help urban, rural, and suburban residents live healthier lives. Access to healthy fruits and vegetables in every neighborhood, an emphasis on making sure that there are safe places to walk and play, and teaching children and their families to make good choices are the main themes.
With the focus on children, the state has set up school and family-based programs, and has partnered with Federal programs. A major innovation is the development of a continuing medical education program so that healthcare professionals can improve their skills when they see patients. And there are also ideas that families and small communities can put into practice without funding.
One of the key features that really impressed me was the shopping trips with a dietician! Entire families went along, and learned about portion size in action, as well as the real deal on nutrition labeling. And providing farmers markets vouchers as part of the Womens Infants and Childrens grants is an excellent way to improve the diets of people who don’t have money.
Take a look at this program. It’s comprehensive, and gives me hope that change is possible.