- Community Health Improvement Plan Progress 44%
Where do we start?
According to the CDC, chronic diseases are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths each year, and treating people with chronic diseases account for 86% of our nation's health care costs. Cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes are some of the major chronic diseases that account for these data points. In far too many cases, modifiable risk factors are a major component of these diseases. Tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, and poor nutrition are three modifiable risk factors that have a significant impact on chronic disease. As health care costs continue to rise, treatment of chronic disease is not the long term answer. Preventive care and education of the population to the benefits of prevention will have a far greater impact, at a much lower cost. The following link to the CDC will provide great detail on this topic.
Please remember one life changed equals one life saved.
community walking clubs, more nutritious menu options, sedentary lifestyle due to desk jobs (increase exercise breaks in the workplace), affordable healthy food options at sport events, education programs for children, youth and families, promotion of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness
How are we doing? Check out the Leading health indicators from Healthy People 2020
Let's turn our attention to the data! We know obesity continues to be a problem with our youth. Our county obesity rates are increasing. This is consistent with National trends. When we begin thinking about how to slow this trend down, it's vital to look at our poverty rates. Let's face it, eating healthy costs more! Our poverty rates are quite high compared to other counties in MD. There are organizations that pack lunches for kids over the weekend and during the summer because some kids don't have enough food. How many kids are going hungry in Garrett County? How do we begin tracking that information?
Shelley, I have seen what goes into these packed lunches for the kids over the weekend, and most of the food that is in the bag is junk food. I think it is okay to pack this kind of bag lunch, but I also think that there should be some healthy food in there, especially for the children who aren't getting the right nutrition in the first place. I would also like to say that the they lunch service that the board of education provides over the summer for most towns in Garrett County is an AWESOME program. I think I got a little off track with your question, and do you know if these organizations track how many bag lunches they give out to children over the weekend in the county?
Heather, thank you for sharing your concerns about nutritious food. Your concerns are shared by many! Scott Germain is the person to speak with about this particular issue. He runs the Food & Nutrition Service for Garrett County Public Schools. The USDA and MD legislature does mandate what's on the plate! However, there is no guideline for grams of sugar. This may be an area we want to look at as a community. I did hear that they are going to try and offer food on Snow Days at certain locations in addition to the summer program. I think that the backpack program is from local churches and other partners...but I'm not positive. Does anyone know? Let's start a discussion...
For seniors managing a chronic condition in our community there are exercise programs, fitness classes, nutrition education, and healthy meals available at local senior centers and nutrition sites throughout the county. There are chronic disease self management groups meeting in the county. Those are just a few of the programs offered through Community Action Aging and Nutrition targeting seniors. There are many resources and agencies that would love to partner with those struggling with chronic conditions. Perhaps some of those other agencies and resources can chime in with resource they have to live the healthiest life possible with a chronic condition.
I am working with a business and their wellness committee that is wanting to participate in a walk/run when spring comes. Can anyone get me people to contact or tell me ones that is scheduled. Be nice if there was some local. That way more of their employees will participate. They have said they will help pay if there is a charge for their employees to register
A new CDC study demonstrates that Americans living in rural areas are more likely to die from five leading causes than their urban counterparts.
In 2014, many deaths among rural Americans were potentially preventable, including 25,000 from heart disease, 19,000 from cancer, 12,000 from unintentional injuries, 11,000 from chronic lower respiratory disease and 4,000 from stroke. The percentages of deaths that were potentially preventable were higher in rural areas than in urban areas.
Some 46 million Americans — 15 percent of the U.S. population — currently live in rural areas. Several demographic, environmental, economic and social factors might put rural residents at higher risk of death from these public health conditions. Residents of rural areas in the United States tend to be older and sicker than their urban counterparts. They have higher rates of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity. Rural residents report less leisure-time physical activity and lower seatbelt use than their urban counterparts. They also have higher rates of poverty, less access to healthcare, and are less likely to have health insurance.
For more information, see the link below.
The contributors to overweight and obesity are varied and numerous. It is truly a complex problem with no one magic solution. Contributing factors include, but are not limited to: food production practices, government regulation (or non-regulation) of food/agricultural issues, routine addition of sugar into food products, sedentary lifestyle of western cultures, fast food products, hectic on-the-go society, and lack of 'free time' to engage in physical activity. Those factors have not just contributed to overweight and obesity, but also to the dramatic increase in type II diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and other metabolic disorders.
I have struggled with weight management all of my life. It takes time, money, and a great deal of effort to manage these issues on a day to day basis. I am blessed to have a foundation of health literacy, a strong desire for health, support from my family, the ability to purchase healthy food, and scheduled time to prepare healthy meals on a pretty regular basis. Many people do not.
Working together as a community on this issue is the only means by which we can address it. It's not just looking at one individual and the choices that they make. It really does take a village to address all of the many layers of this problem!