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Strategies to Address Healthy Weight in Florida

There are a variety of factors that play a role in unhealthy weight. This makes it a complex health issue to address. Behavior, environmental and genetic factors all influence weight. At this time, behavior and environmental factors are the most promising areas for prevention and treatment actions.

Healthiest Weight Florida employs five strategies to address behavior and environmental change. These strategies, described below, closely align with national expert organization recommendations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Institute of Medicine.

Strategy One—Increase opportunities for physical activity

Regular physical activity can produce long term health benefits. People of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities can benefit from being physically active. The more physical activity you do, the greater the health benefits. Being physically active can help:

  • Control weight
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve mental health and mood
  • Improve ability to do daily activities and prevent falls in older adults
  • Increase the chances of living longer

Strategy Two—Make healthy food available everywhere

A number of factors determine what people eat, but access to healthy food and beverages has a major influence. Finding healthy food is not always convenient. Studies have found that people buy food that is readily available. And today, it is often the case that communities with the highest rates of obesity also are places where residents have few opportunities to conveniently purchase nutritious, affordable food.

Strategy Three—Promote health in the worksite

Sticking to a healthy lifestyle while at work can be difficult. Now that many people are spending most of their day sitting at a desk or inside an office, implementing health programs inside the workplace has become a vital piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle. Effective workplace programs, policies, and environments that are health-focused and worker-centered have the potential to significantly benefit employers, employees, their families, and communities.

Strategy Four—Strengthen schools as the heart of health

Schools are uniquely positioned to be a national focal point for healthy weight promotion because children spend up to half of their waking hours in school and consume between one-third and one-half of their daily calories in the school setting.

Strategy Five—Market what matters for a healthy life

When the messages around us focus on health, it becomes easier to think about making healthy choices. Healthiest Weight Florida seeks to make useful health information and advice available through campaigns, social media, and other resources.

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Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not for profit organizations, businesses, and entire communities to help Florida's children and adults make choices about healthy eating and active living.