Live Well Goodhue County’s work is helping to reduce childhood obesity rates in Minnesota because of its focus on healthy eating and opportunities to increase physical activity.
A report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released over the past month, found that while one in six young people nationwide is obese, rates in Minnesota are much lower. Minnesota ranks 43rd out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in childhood obesity rates. The findings of this report demonstrate that one of the main reasons for Minnesota’s low child obesity rates is the state’s ongoing work to provide opportunities for children and young people to eat healthy food and be more physically active. That’s exactly some of the work we do,” said Megan Roschen, Live Well Goodhue County Coordinator. Some of these local projects include safe routes to school, making it easier and safer for kids to walk and bike to school, active vacation and active classroom opportunities, and community gardens, and programs such as Power of Produce (PoP) that provide support to local farmers’ markets.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Megan and Live Well Goodhue County. Pine Island School District Mental Health/Mental Health Coordinator Tom Horner says that when we partner with the school and local resources, it gives us more opportunities to introduce children to exciting ways to move and have fun Health.” One example is the Active Vacation Grant we received at Pine Island, which includes fitness and agility equipment to encourage kids to have more options for staying active during their break. My passion is inspiring others to live happy and healthy lives, and every child deserves these positive experiences at an early age.”
“We are very grateful for our partnership with Live Well Goodhue County on the Power of Produce program,” said Sarah George, Market Director of Red Wing Farmers Market. “We are empowering children to make healthy food choices at an early age by saving them $2 every time they come to the market. But the best of all is that these kids want to come to the market, they beg their parents to go every week. She creates Snowball effect, where parents then meet local farmers and have conversations about healthy eating habits.This benefits farmers, children and individual families and thus affects the well-being of the community as well as local volunteers who love to see the faces of children attending the market bounce enthusiastically.This has been a win-win for all parties for our market.
The Robert Wood Johnson report also found that other contributing factors to the decline in child obesity rates in Minnesota include required physical education in schools, nutrition program standards and funding for healthy food.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who are obese are more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea. and joint problems, as well as other possible diseases and ailments.
“While rates of childhood obesity in Minnesota, when compared to much of the rest of the country, are positive, they are still very high, especially among certain population groups,” says Chris Igo, director of the Minnesota Department of Health’s statewide health improvement office. “We need to continue to do everything we can to work to reduce these rates and thus help improve the health of our young people.”
Findings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State of Childhood Obesity report came from the 2019-2020 National Survey of Child Health, along with analysis by the Office of Maternal and Child Health of the Department of Health Resources and Health Services. A full copy of the report, which includes the Minnesota results, can be found online at stateofchildhoodobesity.org/2021report.