Healthy food initiatives aim to combat the rising obesity epidemic

Lack of access to healthy food, worries about food insecurity and unhealthy diets are major concerns in Georgia, and several non-profit and government organizations are working diligently to address the issues.

Strategies such as community gardens, farm-to-school programs and food-sharing were among the solutions shared by panelists last month during the seventh annual State of the Public’s Health Conference at the University of Georgia.

Speakers from the Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Coalition, Everybody Eats Fresh Free Fridays Network and Healthier Together outlined local initiatives.

But they also noted the limited scope of the efforts and said there is more work to be done to expand the positive outcomes to more communities across the state and nationwide.

Denise Everson, program development coordinator for Healthier Together, encouraged attendees to turn troubling health statistics into opportunities to deploy new strategies.

“When you get the prize for being a community with a high rate of obesity…it creates a unique opportunity,” she said. “Not only [to address] issues related to the obesity rate, but also chronic disease-related issues.”

Click for the full story posted here by UGA College of Public Health. The author, Prajakta Dhapte, is graduate student in the health and medical journalism program.