Navigation Links
Resource-savvy communities generate healthy, sustainable changes
Date:9/1/2010

COLUMBIA, Mo. As the nation becomes more aware of health issues related to nutrition and lifestyle choices, communities are struggling to find ways to make healthy living easier. The University of Missouri is helping communities turn healthy ideas into sustainable changes through the Healthy Lifestyle Initiative. The initiative, underway at 13 sites in 12 Missouri counties, is aimed at changing environments to increase the availability of affordable, locally produced foods and access to safe physical activities.

The Healthy Lifestyle Initiative (HLI) began by partnering MU Extension specialists with community leaders in four Missouri counties. The MU Extension specialists provided assistance in the areas of agriculture, nutrition and physical activity, and business, community and youth development. Each team recruited a variety of stakeholders, including families, students, agricultural producers and healthcare providers, to develop and implement community plans focused on policy and environmental changes to support healthy lifestyles.

"The goal of HLI is to turn goals and ideas into action by identifying the resources and expertise already in place within communities," said Ann Cohen, HLI co-director and associate state nutrition specialist in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. "Initiative leaders work alongside community members, bringing together local resources and university expertise to create sustainable change. The models being developed can be replicated by other communities to combat sedentary lifestyles and related diseases, and foster positive changes and lifelong health."

The four initial counties (Lafayette, Dent, Ralls and Boone), selected in 2008, have seen positive changes. In Lafayette County, schools and local farms are participating in Farm to Cafeteria, a national project that brings locally grown fruit and vegetables into school cafeterias. Chefs with the Bistro Kids program teach creative ways to cook fresh vegetables, and the Kids in the Kitchen curriculum in Ralls County encourages youth to eat healthily by teaching them to prepare simple, healthy foods.

Several counties have established farmers markets to increase access to locally grown foods. In Lafayette and Dent, young entrepreneurs received training in commercial gardening through the local farmers market.

"I am a big supporter of buying local and now that our community has weekly farmers markets, I'm able to support local farmers and prepare healthier meals for my family and friends," said Christy Fuenfhausen, a young professional and resident of Lexington. "The farmers market provides a wonderful opportunity to purchase a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. It has been a huge success already, providing a local networking system, different options for produce, new recipes and local programs."

Other counties have begun planting community gardens. In Dent and Boone County, schools are utilizing "grow labs" and "learning gardens" to teach kids about science, health and nutrition. Many students are experiencing farm-fresh produce for the first time.

"My fianc and I have four plots in the community garden," said Becki Godi, MU Extension associate in Dent County. "It has been a great experience for my stepson to watch the growing process from seed to harvest. We often ride our bikes to the garden to water and collect our veggies. It is very satisfying to grow and eat our own food. It is a great opportunity to introduce people of all ages to the benefits of natural food."

"Sustainable transformation is a product of changing policies and environments," Cohen said. "Making healthy choices isn't always easy, but having access to fresh foods and safe places for physical activity makes it easier."


'/>"/>

Contact: Emily Martin
MartinEm@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Study to examine rising sea levels impact on estuaries, coastal communities
2. Schools, communities share responsibility for child nutrition
3. New research shows why some communities embrace environmental conservation and others dont
4. Hawaiian submarine canyons are hotspots of biodiversity and biomass for seafloor animal communities
5. Nutrition services for older adults at home and in communities
6. Disproportionate effects of global warming and pollution on disadvantaged communities
7. Researchers establish common seasonal pattern among bacterial communities in Arctic rivers
8. USC study finds big air pollution impacts on local communities
9. Seeing the tree from the forest: Predicting the future of plant communities
10. Recovery act-funded research projects aid communities across the country
11. Noise pollution negatively affects woodland bird communities, says CU-Boulder study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Resource-savvy communities generate healthy, sustainable changes
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 The research team of ... three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae ... realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, ... cost. ... A research ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 ... by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) ... Analytics Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In ... top 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic ... recognized CHS for its high level of EMR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global ... of around 8.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... website for all six of their healthcare job boards. As the largest ... and occupational therapists, and biotechnicians, DocCafe.com and the MedJobCafe.com Health Network work ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... , ... Building on the success of the inaugural RAADfest last year, RAADfest ... developments in radical life extension. RAADfest combines cutting edge science presented for a lay ... development, making it the largest most comprehensive and inclusive super longevity event in the ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting’s ... and life sciences industries, continue to be in demand for their insights and ... be speaking on “The State of Information Governance in the Biopharmaceutical Industry” at ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... that the CTNext board of directors has formed a Higher Education Entrepreneurship Advisory ... group composed of institution presidents and other high-ranking representatives from 35 higher education ...
Breaking Biology Technology: