[Update from the LiveWell newsletter]
The good news: a growing number of Coloradans can correctly identify what obesity looks like and understand it is not someone else’s problem—it’s their own. Consequently, they want to improve their health, and are increasingly realistic about their lackluster levels of physical activity and the inadequate amount of healthy foods they eat.
Now the bad news: Coloradans are still gaining weight. In fact, according to The Colorado Health Foundation Report Card released earlier this year, the state’s adult obesity rate in 2010 was above 20 percent for the first time, with 58 percent of Colorado adults overweight or obese. And an Institute of Medicine Report recently released claimed that 42 percent of all Americans will be obese by 2030 if we don’t make changes soon.
It’s clear that we won’t reverse the obesity epidemic overnight, and it will take motivation and action on both an individual and community level. Colorado must be committed not only to creating a demand for change, but also to implementing systemic changes that make the healthy choice the easy choice in the places where we live, learn, work and play.
I urge you to start by making one small change in your daily routine, such as reducing your intake of sugary drinks, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or passing up the drive- thru for a meal cooked at home. Not only can a small change have a big impact, but it also creates momentum that leads to other changes.
Get involved in the decision-making process and begin to inspire healthy changes in your community. Lead a movement to host healthier parties at your child’s school, support – urban planning that makes biking and walking convenient and safe, and work with your employer to offer nutritious snacks and opportunities for exercise during the work day.
In Northwest Colorado everyone has a great opportunity to get paid to lose! Weigh and Win is a FREE program that incorporates healthy eating and active living into your daily routine. Your progress is tracked through quarterly photographed weigh-ins at kiosks conveniently located throughout the community. When you achieve weight improvement, you will earn cash! Enroll now at www.WeighandWin.com and find the schedule at our Facebook page:
Now that we are “awake” to the obesity issue in our state and in our own lives, we must all work together to move from awareness to action, ensuring that next year we have even more good news to share.
Maren Stewart, JD is president and CEO of LiveWell Colorado, a nonprofit focused on preventing and reducing obesity in Colorado by promoting healthy eating and active living.