Seven Upper Peninsula counties will be benefiting from state grants to help fight obesity over the next three years.
The Michigan Department of Community Health has a program called Building Healthy Communities
, which recently awarded about $292,000 to seven health departments across the state to create three-year strategies to reduce obesity and chronic disease at the local level.
Here in the U.P., that includes three departments covering seven counties: the Chippewa County Health Department; Public Health, Delta and Menominee Counties; and the Luce, Mackinac, Alger, Schoolcraft District Health Department.
"By working with partners on the local level, we can better engage with our residents to encourage healthy diets and regular exercise," says Nick Lyon, director of the MDCH. "Local health departments are an essential health resource, and these funds will support their efforts to create long-term plans to promote health and wellness in their communities."
The effort comes now in order to address Michigan's high obesity rate, which includes 31 percent of adults and 17 percent of children. Obesity has a widespread impact on overall health, so programs are targeted toward several areas including healthy food access, physical activity, connecting with existing community assets, and looking at long-term strategies for change.
The other departments are the Central Michigan District Health Department, the Macomb County Health Department, and Public Health--Muskegon County.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Department of Community Health