Monday, February 7, 2011

Anti-obesity Program

It looks like good things are due to happen now that San Diego County is putting the $16 million two-year federal grant money to work in reducing obesity and overall healthy living.  Read on to see the latest.

"A year after San Diego County received a $16 million two-year federal grant to reduce obesity rates and promote healthy living, public officials held a kick-off ceremony in Balboa Park on Wednesday to showcase programs they’ve developed.
The initiative, called Healthy Works, includes projects that will focus on promoting physical activity, better access to healthy food, and healthy school environments.
“Obesity is a national threat that we’re taking on,” said Nick Macchione, director of the county Health and Human Services Agency. “This is about empowering people to make healthy choices.”
Most Healthy Works projects are just now being implemented, but Macchione said they’re designed to continue long after the two-year grant ends.
Projects include expanding Safe Routes to School programs, incorporating more walking and bicycling into county transportation plans, increasing the number of farmers markets that accept food stamps, expanding participation in school breakfast and summer meals programs, and creating more community/school garden programs.
Other projects:

Creating a central food distribution center to reduce the number of crops taken to Los Angeles and then shipped back to San Diego buyers.

Forming leadership academies in San Diego, Oceanside, Lemon Grove and National City with residents developing and implementing local improvement projects.
Increasing physical education programs, starting with eight school districts —— La Mesa-Spring Valley, Mountain Empire Unified, National, San Diego Unified, San Marcos Unified, San Ysidro, Chula Vista Elementary and Grossmont Union High school districts.
Healthy Works is a partnership between the county, UCSD, San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego County Office of Education, Community Health Improvement Partners, San Diego State University, and several community-based subcontractor organizations.
San Diego was among 50 communities nationwide that split $372 million from the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009".

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