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Jefferson County Public Health along with numerous public health and other organizations across the country are working to encourage healthier eating and active living. Getting active and eating healthy is paramount to achieving a healthier weight and minimizing the negative health consequences of being overweight or obese. Spurred by sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets, it is now estimated that more than 1/3 of American adults are obese and 17% of all children and adolescents are obese in the United States.
Jefferson County's most challenging health problems - including obesity, chronic diseases, and widening health inequities - are driven by such things as the built environment; transportation options; access to food; and educational and economic opportunities. In order to address these complex problems and improve the public's health, it is necessary to ensure that all policies in all sectors promote health. (Health in all Policies)
Health in all Policies Makes Sense . . . Non-Traditional Partners Make Eating Healthier and Active Living Possible for Everyone
Land Use: Cities’ land use tools of planning, zoning, and infrastructure investment can have a positive effect on residents’ health. Access to everyday physical activity such as walking and biking, availability of open space for recreation, close proximity of healthy food choices to residential areas – all depend on good land use policies.
Healthy Foods: Communities have powerful planning, economic development and public relations tools for attracting and supporting healthy food retailers. Produce fairs, farmers markets, community gardens and school gardens are examples.
All of Jefferson County Public Health's programs work to promote active living and healthy eating. Here are just a few examples.
What is Active Living?
Active Living is a way of life that integrates physical activity into daily routines. The goal is to accumulate at least 30 minutes of activity each day. Individuals may achieve this by walking or bicycling for transportation, exercise or pleasure; playing in the park; working in the yard; taking the stairs; and using recreation facilities. (Jefferson County Public Health uses the definitions developed by Active Living by Design) The basic guiding principles for creating an active living community are:
What is Healthy Eating?
Healthy Eating is a way of life and is influenced by what we eat, how much we eat and how it is prepared.
Specific dietary recommendations should be tailored to individual needs, which may be influenced by factors such as gender, activity level, ideal weight, health status and more. The basic dietary principles for healthy eating are:
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