$54,000 from CDC will help some counties fight obesity, inactivity

Multiple counties across the state have been awarded federally funded grants from the state Department for Public Health to help fight obesity and inactivity in their communities, according to a DPH news release.

“To build a healthier state, Kentuckians must have access to healthy food and exercise,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Stephanie Mayfield said in the release. “A healthy lifestyle starts with fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables and regular physical activity. This is an important step to ending obesity and lessening the chronic disease burden.”

The grants, which total $54,000, are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Local health departments and their community partners determined three strategies to improve access to healthy foods and physical activity, and the grants have been awarded to help counties implement them.

One of the strategies targeted in the grant proposals include developing a ‘5-2-1-0 Healthy Numbers for Kentucky Families’ campaign. This evidence-based strategy emphasizes eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day; limiting screen time to no more than two hours a day; being physically active at least one hour a day; and drinking zero sweetened beverages.

Six counties will be awarded $1,000 each to implement the 5-2-1-0 campaign: Floyd, Graves, Henderson, Marshall, McCreary and Rockcastle.

The second strategy targeted in the grant proposal is to increase farmers’ markets in underserved areas, increase farmers’ markets that accept nutrition assistance benefit programs and provide incentives to help make healthy food more affordable.

Eight counties will be awarded $3,000 each to work toward implementing these strategies: Clinton, Fayette, Floyd, Jackson, Kenton, Letcher, Owen and Warren.

The third strategy targeted in the grant proposal is to develop a community pedestrian plan that supports accessible and affordable active transportation options for all users.

Three counties will get $1,000 each to develop these plans: Clay, Harrison and Rockcastle. And seven counties will receive $3,000 awards to implement their pedestrian plans: Clark, Clinton, Greenup, Rowan, Russell, Warren and Whitley.

“These grants will help communities reinforce the recommended healthy behaviors by improving walkability and access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” Elaine Russell, coordinator for the DPH obesity prevention program, said in the release. “Surrounding people with multiple opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity are the best ways to combat obesity and its associated chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.”

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