The term “obesity” describes weight ranges greater than what is generally considered to be healthy for a given height. (Center for Disease Control) Rural areas tend to have higher rates of obesity. This phenomenon is reflected in the District’s tri-annual needs assessment that found obesity in adults in Fresno County to be 36%, which is 10% higher than the State of California at 25%. Contributing factors in the District include poverty, access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, access to safe communities that support physical activity, etc. The Sierra Kings Health Care District aims to invest in strategies to impact obesity rates throughout the District.
Priority I: Obesity
Expand access to preventative obesity and diabetes health services and supports.
- Increase the availability of Obesity and Diabetes education and awareness.
- Increase the availability of Obesity and Diabetes preventative services and supports.
- Increase access to adequate nutrition and fitness to mitigate the onset of obesity/diabetes.
Why This Matters
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are both highly preventable diseases that disproportionately impact rural and lower income communities. The Fresno County obesity rate among adults is 36% in comparison to only 25% for the State of California. (California Department of Public Health). Equally as concerning is the diabetes rate which hovers around 31% in comparison to 25% for the State of California.
Health promotion strategies such as community outreach and education create awareness of the importance of healthy habits like eating nutritious foods, consuming more water, and engaging in more physical activity. Likewise, health prevention strategies through regular screenings for obesity and diabetes demonstrate success in reducing and managing occurrences.
When left untreated both obesity and diabetes can increase the onset of other chronic diseases like heart disease, hypertension, and certain types of cancers. Absent prevention and early intervention, these conditions are more expensive to treat and can result in death.
The Sierra Kings Health Care District will prioritize the following best practices for funding:
- Communitywide obesity and diabetes screening fairs
- Increased local dietician/nutritionist in person or via telemedicine
- Structured fitness programming
- Parent/child/senior education classes on nutrition and fitness
- Farmer’s markets
- Smart shopping and food demonstration classes.
- Park safety and usability
- Walkable streets/communities
- Community and/or school garden