September 2, 2014

State taking feedback on fighting obesity

The state Department of Health Services is taking public input for another week on a comprehensive effort to fight obesity in Wisconsin. DHS officials say they are eager to move forward with a plan that was first created seven years ago to encourage Wisconsinites to eat right and engage in physical activity.

The statewide obesity rate last year was estimated about 27 percent. Health officials are hoping to chip away at that by providing tips to the public that can help them cut calories, eat healthier foods, and become more active.

State public health administrator Karen McKeown says a number of local coalitions have been formed in recent years by health systems and private businesses that are working together to promote healthy lifestyles. McKeown says those efforts have helped to form a statewide network that will be crucial in fighting obesity.

The plan is based on a 124-page document that outlines the best types of physical activities for young people, along with ways for adults to make healthier choices for meals.

McKeown says the state’s plan will need support from both the public and private sectors in order to succeed.