There’s an effort to reduce chronic disease in Wisconsin by making it easier for children to make healthy choices.
Beth Neary, MD, is a pediatrician with Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative of Dane County. She says if everyone works together, the future doesn’t have to look so bleak. “Childhood obesity has doubled in children and tripled in adolescence over the past 30 years. What that means in real terms is that more of our children will become obese adults, and they will be living with chronic debilitating diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer.”
Neary says childhood obesity cannot be solved “with a pill, a prescription, or a procedure,” and she says parents “can only do so much.” She says individuals, community, and policymakers need to come together to solve what she calls a “public health issue.”
A new statewide public opinion poll indicates a lot of public support for addressing childhood obesity and tobacco use.
AUDIO :51 Patrick Lanne, a partner with Public Opinion Strategies, cites five steps to reduce obesity and chronic disease, all of which are getting huge support among those surveyed.
Maureen Cassidy, vice president of advocacy with the American Heart Association says obesity doesn’t discriminate against gender, political party affiliation, or residential location. She says, “Lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and tobacco use threaten the future of our state.
Neary says much like so-called food deserts, there are also recreational deserts in need of attention. The American Heart Association, the American Lung Association in Wisconsin, and Health First Wisconsin are partners to the Transform Wisconsin movement to reduce chronic disease in Wisconsin by making it easier for residents to make healthy choices.
A five-year, $25 million grant aims to help reduce childhood obesity and tobacco use.