Healthiest Weight Initiative
Florida Department of Health Goulf County
- (850) 227-1276
2475 Garrison Ave
Port Saint Joe, Florida 32456
What is Healthiest Weight Florida?
The number one public health threat to Florida's future is unhealthy weight.
Currently, only 36 percent of Floridians are at healthy weight. On our current trend, by 2030, almost 60 percent will be obese. Additionally, six out of ten children born today will be obese by the time they graduate high school.
Over the next 20 years in Florida, obesity is expected to contribute to millions of cases of preventable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, costing an estimated $34 billion. To address this important public health issue, the Department of Health launched the Healthiest Weight Florida initiative in January 2013.
Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not for profit organizations, businesses, and entire communities to help Florida's children and adults make choices about healthy eating and active living. For more information about Healthiest Weight Florida, go to http://www.healthiestweightflorida.com/index.html
Gulf County and City of Port St. Joe Recognized as 2016 Healthy Weight Community Champions!
Florida’s county and municipal governments play an important role in decreasing the prevalence of unhealthy weight in their jurisdictions. Local governments can implement a variety of policies that have been shown to increase physical activity and improve nutrition. These “best practice” policies are reflected in the Healthy Weight Community Champion submission criteria. By implementing best practices within their jurisdictions, local governments can create environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice.
Many jurisdictions are making great progress in policy and environmental change. To celebrate these efforts, all local governments in Florida were invited to submit descriptions of their policies and programs.
DOH-Gulf would like to congratulate Gulf County and the City of Port St. Joe as 2016 Healthy Weight Comunity Champions. Thank you for your commitment to a healthier environment for our citizens!
For more information, go to http://www.healthiestweightflorida.com/recognition.html
Health Tips for You and Your Family
Health problems like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure are becoming more and more common in both children and adults. These health problems cause poor quality of life, lower life expectancy, and increased healthcare costs. Many factors affect your health. Although you can’t control all of them, there are lifestyle changes you can make. Taking steps toward better health gives you the foundation for a longer, happier life. Healthy eating and active living are two of the most valuable ways to improve your health.
Many kids are spending less time exercising and more time in front of the TV, computer, or video-game console. And today's busy families have fewer free moments to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals. From fast food to electronics, quick and easy is the reality for many people.
Preventing kids from becoming overweight means adapting the way your family eats and exercises, and how you spend time together. Helping kids lead healthy lifestyles begins with parents who lead by example.
What is Gulf County doing to Prevent Obesity?
Everyone has a role to play in reducing childhood obesity: schools, faith-based and community-based organizations, parents, and officials from all levels of government.
For starters, 'Weight' was selected as a top health priority among community partners during the 2015 Gulf County Community Health Assessment cycle. There are many health department and community-based initiaitves in process to reduce overweight and obesity percentages among youth and adults.
1. Working with local Early Childcare Education Centers (ECEs) to enhance healthy eating and physical activity standards
Most young children spend time during the day in child care and early education programs, family child care settings or in preschool. Providers have a great opportunity to help children by incorporating 5 healthy goals in their programs. These include nurturing healthy eaters, providing healthy beverages, increasing physical activity, limiting screen time and supporting breastfeeding. In order to meet these goals, a local partnership is currently working with all Early Childcare Education Centers in the county to register for the Let's Move Child Care (LMCC) campaign. Providers who fully meet these best practices are rewarded with a certificate of completion and featured on a map of recognized providers.
Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC) is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to prevent childhood obesity. LMCC encourages and supports child care and early education providers to make positive changes in their programs in order to work toward a healthier future for children. LMCC offers childhood obesity prevention resources and tools to assist child care and preschool providers. For more information about the Let's Move Child Care (LMCC), go to https://healthykidshealthyfuture.org/.
2. Facilitating evidence-based healthy cooking curriculum in minority faith-based organizations
Faith-based institutions play a critical role in reaching out to community citizens and providing information that will improve the lives of their congregants and communities. As many faith-based leaders connect physical health to spiritual health, they are in a unique position to incorporate health messages into church activities. The historic ties between the faith-based community and the civil rights movement have also motivated clergy and congregants to advocate for health equity in their communities.
The Gulf/Franklin Closing the Gap program, which focuses on improving minority health outcomes, is working with local faith-based organizations to facilitate Body & Soul evidence-based curriculum. The program encourages faith-based organizations to eat 5-7 fruits and vegetables every day for better health. For more information, please visit the Closing the Gap page.
3. Promoting the 5-2-1-0 Campaign in Schools
The Gulf County School Health Team is working with students, parents and faculty to implement “5-2-1-0, Let’s Go!” in schools. Beginning with the 5 (which stands for 5 fruits and vegetables), School Health staff share “Healthy Food of the Month” messages. This campaign highlights a healthy fruit or vegetable, its characteristics and nutritional value, how it is grown and when this food is harvested in Florida. Focusing on specific fruits and vegetables raises awareness among peers in the classroom. School Health staff and students are working together to provide messaging about the “Healthy Food of the Month” and 5-2-1-0 through a variety of ways. These include morning announcements, student-produced educational media clips, parent newsletters and fruit/vegetable display boards. For more information, please visit http://www.letsgo.org/.
 2010-2014. The Institute of Family Health. Faith-Based Initiatives. Retrieved from http://www.bronxhealthreach.org.