Background and Purpose
Obesity rates in the U.S. have increased dramatically over the last 30 years, and obesity is now an epidemic in the United States. In Florida, only 33.9% of adults are at a healthy weight. The increasing prevalence of obesity is most concerning when viewed in the context of its impact on overall health. Obesity increases the risk of many serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cancer. For this reason, the Florida Department of Health is working to address obesity through the Healthiest Weight Florida initiative.
Florida’s county and municipal governments play an important role in decreasing the prevalence of unhealthy weight in their jurisdictions. Obesity and associated chronic diseases have a considerable economic impact on individuals and communities and some people are more seriously affected by factors such as the availability and accessibility of healthy food and the safety, accessibility and existence of spaces for physical activity.
In addressing this issue, the Florida Department of Health created the Healthy Community Champions Recognition Program. The Department will be recognizing municipal and county level governments statewide for taking a Health in All Policies approach to comprehensive planning and allow them to share their progress and lessons learned. Health in All Policies as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a collaborative approach that integrates and articulates health considerations into policymaking across sectors to improve the health of all communities and people. The Healthy Community Champions Recognition is now a two-year designation with opportunities to receive technical assistance to further the adoption and implementation of health in all policies.
In 2019, The Florida Department of Health recognized 33 communities as the Healthy Community Champions and recognized 46 communities in 2018. Municipalities are playing an essential role in improving the health of their community and people by implementing a variety of policies that have been shown to increase physical activity and improve nutrition in support of obesity prevention and chronic disease prevention.
The 2020 Healthy Community Champion Recognition Application is Coming Soon.
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