UK gets historic $1.8 million grant to fight obesity in six highly obese counties: Clinton, Elliott, Lewis, Letcher, Logan, Martin

The Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Kentucky is getting $1.8 million in federal funds over the next three years to fight obesity in several of the Kentucky counties most affected by the problem.

“Researchers and extension personnel in UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and College of Public Health will work in six Kentucky counties that have obesity rates higher than 40 percent … Logan, Clinton, Lewis, Martin, Letcher and Elliott,” Katie Pratt writes for UKAgNews.

The work will focus on reducing chronic disease rates, advocating healthier lifestyles, reducing of health disparities and supervising health-care spending. It will be overseen by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is the first time the CDC has directly funded a Cooperative Extension program,” said Ann Vail, director of the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences, part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “The grant will support building and strengthening collaborations between extension and public health personnel at the university, community and state levels.”
Extension agents, state extension professionals, local health departments, UK public-health specialists and community health coalition members will create programs designed to reduce obesity rates and improve residents’ overall health. Strategies will be modified to fit the needs of each county.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is part of $4.6 million that the agency “has dedicated to this program, which has resulted in awards to six land-grant universities,” Pratt reports.
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