How do you make a healthy community?

July 20, 2010

It’s a loaded question, isn’t it?  I think it depends on what healthy means to you. 

You can look at it as an overall picture of having the right environment, or structurally speaking the best designs for making walking and biking easier.  But I really believe a healthy community is made up of healthy people.  You can’t make a healthy community without individuals who have a personal interest in their own health and well-being.  Does it mean you eat only healthy foods, or do you enjoy an occasional treat?  Does it mean you go to the gym seven days a week, or do you simply enjoy an active lifestyle?  Maybe it’s a balance of food and movement for all ages. 

Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign is making it clear that every one of us needs to be involved in solving the childhood obesity problem within a generation.  Take a good hard look at yourself, your family, your community.  After all, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) evidence shows adult obesity rates have increased in 28 states.  In fact, 38 states have an obesity rate above 25%!  One in four adults are obese in most states in our United States.  RWJF hasn’t published new data on childhood obesity yet, but as adults we have to take personal responsibility for our own health and our children’s health, because it is truly an epidemic.  Healthy Kids Challenge is meeting the obesity challenge head-on, including strategies in line with the Let’s Move campaign.

Did you know RWJF is launching an online forum about the best actions for reversing the childhood obesity epidemic?  It would be a good idea for all of us to register and join the conversation.  The president of RWJF says we have to make every community a healthy community and I wholeheartedly agree.

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