Healthy People 2020 lists Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
as a Leading Health Indicator. Good nutrition, physical activity, and a
healthy body weight are all essential parts of a person's overall
health and well-being. Together, these can help decrease a person's risk of developing a chronic condition such as diabetes, cancer, stroke. etc. A healthful diet, regular physical activity, and both achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are tantamount to managing health conditions.
A number of risk factors are associated with nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. They include:
- The built environment
- Social & individual factors (Gender, age, race, ethnicity, education level, SES, disability status)
Healthy NC 2020 lists Physical Activity and Nutrition as a leading focus area for our state. Additionally, Cross-Cutting is a leading focus area for our state-- cross-cutting strategies are those that cut across various areas (health status, access to health insurance, obesity). Through evidence based strategies, our state hopes to achieve the following outcomes:
Physical Activity & Nutrition
Healthy Eating and Physical Activity has been a priority issue in Jackson County for many years, going by a variety of names. In the 2011 CHA, two priorities and action teams emerged (Healthy Eating and Physical Activity) to address this health priority. Action teams worked diligently to increase the percentage of Jackson County residents consuming five or more one-cup servings of fruits and vegetables daily and increasing the percentage of Jackson County residents exercising 150 minutes or more weekly. The Health Department partnered with a variety of other agencies and organizations to tackle these health issues-- Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department, Jackson County Department on Aging, Harris Regional Hospital, Jackson County Public Schools, Jackson County Department of Social Services, and more. With a collective effort, we were able to "move the needle," increasing the physical activity of Jackson County residents while keeping the consumption of fruits and vegetables among residents the same.
In 2015, both primary and secondary data showed that physical activity and nutrition were still health issues in Jackson County. Community members used the following criteria to determine if physical activity and nutrition was a leading health priority:
- How important or relevant is this issue?
- What will we get out of addressing this issue or how impactful is it?
- Can we adequately address this issue or how feasible is it?
Ranking high on each criteria, community members determined that Heatlhy Eating and Physical Activity is a health priority for Jackson County.
Cullowhee Valley Kindergarten students participate in the 2013 Healthy Snack Master Competition