Obesity Higher In County

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From Your Health Journal…..”Here is a great local story expressing how obesity is on the rise in a small community in Iowa. The local government is worried about lack of physical activity in children, as well as the rise in childhood obesity. Articles like this are important, as it hits home. So many people read articles on the national level expressing how obesity is on the rise across the United States. Sometimes, these articles do not ‘hit home’ as it is not seen as an immediate threat. So, when people read this article, it does seem like an immediate threat because it is local. The truth is, we need to educate families on healthy lifestyle so article like this are not needed. Maybe one day in the future.”

From the article…..

One third of Cedar County residents are obese and one third are inactive. And those numbers are just going up, according to Live Healthy Iowa statistics shared Dec. 6.

But that’s not just bad, according to the Cedar County Public Health Department, it’s worse than the rest of the state.

Of the 99 counties in Iowa, Cedar County is 67th in healthy behaviors, and has 4 percent more obese adults than the state average.

Further, about 50 percent of adults participate in 30 or more minutes of moderate physical activity five or more days per week, or vigorous physical activity for 20 or more minutes three or more days a week.

John Stevens, Live Healthy Iowa outreach coordinator, said that Iowa could save $5.7 billion by 2030 on health care costs just by lowering the residents’ body mass index by 5 percent.

Representatives from the cities of Tipton and West Branch and West Branch Community Schools met last week for the second time with Public Health’s Kasey Diebold to hear about how to start a countywide coalition to promote better health.

Stevens gave an overview of the program and brought along statistics that also show that less than 1 percent of Cedar County residents are actively promoting a “wellness culture,” making Cedar County 72nd of 99 counties in that regard.

He wants to see it rise to 10 percent, or 1,700 of the county’s 17,000 residents above the age of 5. About 2,700 of those are children in kindergarten through 12th grade.

“If we get 10 percent talking about (wellness) that’s the tipping point,” he said.

Stevens said that the hardest work is getting to that point, but after that, the “wellness culture” begins to spread.

Diebold called together the health coalition interest meeting several weeks ago in Tipton. The next time they meet will likely be in another town, and Stevens encouraged the group to keep moving among the county’s dozen cities to show those cities that the group wants everyone involved.

“It’s nice to move it around,” Tipton City Council member Pam Spear said. “And I think we have a consensus that we want to move forward.”

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