PURCHASE AREA HEALTH CONNECTIONS AWARDED $100,000 GRANT TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Purchase Area Health Connections (PAHC) is a coalition comprised of partners from multiple entities to improve the health and well-being of individuals in the Purchase Area. Kentucky is the 8th worst state in the nation regarding adult obesity and 3rd worst for obesity rates for children between 10-17. Students who are obese are more likely than non-obese children to have lower academic scores, poorer rates of school attendance, lower self-esteem, and more hospital stays. Obesity increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. Each of these diseases are in the top 10 rankings of causes of death in Kentucky. This is the first generation of children that may not outlive their parents due to obesity and obesity related issues.
PAHC board members saw the opportunity to reduce the burden of obesity in our area by applying for a planning grant to address childhood obesity. Once awarded, PAHC developed a Childhood Obesity Prevention Action Team (COPAT) recruiting new members from schools, parks and recreation, and non-profit organizations to develop a Childhood Obesity Community Action Plan.
As part of this plan, COPAT is partnering with targeted schools in the Purchase Area to gather anonymous BMI data and conduct surveys to collect information about each community. It is important to have high participation in BMI collection to identify demographic or geographic subgroups at the greatest risk of obesity to help practitioners and school staff target prevention efforts and monitor the effects of community and school based physical activity and nutrition programs. The surveys will be distributed to parents, teachers, and staff at each of the participating schools. There are many resources available in our area that help to fight obesity, but many are not known by their community. The surveys are also being conducted to gather information on these resources so that they can be used in a culturally appropriate toolkit that will be developed and provided to organizations and schools that is specific to the Purchase Area.
If you would like more information about this project or have any questions, please contact Larrissa Roach at LarrissaD.Roach@ky.gov