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Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina

Posted By Diquan Edmonds, North Carolina Recreation and Park Association, Monday, October 10, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Recently, I attended the Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina quarterly meeting in Raleigh. Eat Smart Move More North Carolina (ESMMNC) is a statewide movement that promotes increased opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity wherever people live, learn, earn, play, and pray. I learned a lot of valuable information at this meeting, and thought I would share some of it with you.


The meeting’s main topic of discussion was the North Carolina Plan to Address Obesity: Healthy Communities 2013-2020. According to the ESMMNC Obesity Prevention Plan In North Carolina, “more than two out of three adults, and 30% of children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese. The report goes on to state that overweight and obese individuals are at an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancers.”


It is the belief of ESMMNC that in order to combat against this issue, individuals from different disciplines should engage in the Community Coalition Action Theory. This theory requires a collaborative effort and commitment from agencies in different disciplines within a community. Participating agencies pool their resources and knowledge together in order to work towards a common goal.


ESMMNC has identified six core behaviors to address overweight and obesity in North Carolina:

  1. Increase Physical Activity.

  2. Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables.

  3. Decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

  4. Reduce consumption of energy dense foods.

  5. Decrease television viewing and screen time.

  6. Increase breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity..


It is important to note that ESMMNC does not consider these behaviors to be a “magic bullet” which fixes the problem overnight, but rather evidence based solutions to gradually reduce overweight and obesity.


In order to encourage the adoption of these six core behaviors, ESMMNC is looking for agencies and individuals to participate in a few key strategies. They have categorized these strategies by setting including: individual & family level, childcare level, college and university level, work site level, local government level, and more. You can find all of these strategies in their entirety in the  ESMMNC Obesity Prevention Plan, but I thought that I would share some with you now:


  • Individual Level: Reduce Screen Time

  • Family Level: Support the efforts of family members striving to be healthy.

  • Childcare Level: Implement policies that ensure the amount of time toddlers and preschoolers spend sitting or standing still is minimized.

  • College Level: Provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to volunteer with community coalitions that address obesity.

  • Work Site Level: Use point-of-decision prompts to encourage the use of stairs, drinking water, and eating healthy.

  • Local Government Level: Promote joint use/community use of facilities


Hopefully, your department can continue to adopt these tactics in order to help combat against this issue. If you are interested in learning more about ESMMNC, please visit their website. There are a lot of great resources that would be very useful to parks and recreation professionals like yourself.


ESMMNC is also looking for more team members. If you are interested in joining this free organization, please visit this link. I think that it would be great to have our departments on board!

Until next time,

Diquan

Tags:  ncrpa  NCRPA Wellness  wellness  Wellness bulletin 

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