Healthy weight is defined as a weight that lowers your risk for health problems. Achievement or maintenance of a healthy weight includes healthy food choices and physical activity. Our community environment and norms include several factors that impact a person’s ability to incorporate healthy food choices and physical activity into their lifestyle. Factors identified by local leaders include: the increased use of technology, busy schedules, the convenience and availability of fast food, and individuals differing values and interpretations regarding what “healthy food” is. To further the work of this health priority, it is crucial to identify what our residents deem the most valuable in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Healthy weight is a community issue that directly impacts the local economy. Physical activity and recreational opportunities, as well as a local food system are two positive aspects that appeal to millennials, who are needed to fill Marathon County’s work force and entrepreneurial needs. An unhealthy weight, and the accompanying health conditions, leads to absenteeism, increased health insurance costs, and decreased productivity. There is benefit in strengthening the involvement of the economic development sector in order to implement strategies that would provide both an economic and health benefit.
Marathon County is fortunate to have several community assets already established. Local food producers are expanding the availability and diversity of food options. Nearly every municipality offers a farmers market, community gardens continue to expand, and several school districts are integrating Farm to School. Increasing the promotion and integration of offerings available, in attempts to expand access and decrease duplication, would be beneficial to our community partners that offer these services and programs. Marathon County is known for an abundance of year-round outdoor recreational opportunities. In addition indoor physical activity sites, like community and school fitness centers in most communities, are present. Shifting resident’s cultural norm around physical activity to more fully take advantage of Marathon County’s active recreation opportunities is essential.
A weight that lowers your risk for health problems. Achievement of a healthy weight includes healthy food choices and physical activity.
- Continue the collective efforts of the HEAL Coalition, striving to move to the “collaboration” status.
- Identify aspects of healthy weight that are important to Marathon County residents.
- Strengthen the link between healthy weight and economic prosperity.
- The percentage of the adult population that during the past month did not participate in any leisure-time physical activity or exercise such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise. Baseline: 25%; Source: County Health Rankings.
- The percentage of the population who live reasonably close to locations for physical activity, including parks or recreational facilities. Baseline: 74%; Source: County Health Rankings.
- Percentage of students that ate fruit (do not count fruit juice) 2 times per day or more. Baseline: 11.4% Source: 2015 Marathon County YRBS (.pdf).
- Percentage of students that ate vegetables such as green salad, carrots, green beans, or other vegetables (do not count potatoes) 2 times per day or more. Baseline: 9.3% Source: 2015 Marathon County YRBS (.pdf).
- Within the (number of) school districts implementing Farm to School in Marathon County, the percentage implementing: procurement strategies, curriculum-related strategies, environmental strategies, school garden strategies, and field-work strategies (USDA Farm to School Census).