top-rated free essay

Vermont Fights Obesity

By molliejkerns Apr 19, 2013 1783 Words
Mollie Kerns
April 11, 2013
COR 120-125
Research Paper
Vermont Fights Obesity
In the last 20 years, there has been a substantial increase in obesity in the United States and the rates continue to remain significantly high. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and approximately 17% of children are considered obese (Overweight). According to WebMD a person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. The most common consequences of obesity are the health risks associated with it such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but there are also social and psychological problems that result from it as well. These social and psychological problems caused by obesity might be even more detrimental to a person than the physical effects associated with it. The levels of stigma rise along with weight, and affect both people's working and social lives. Fifty-two percent of people who fell into the obese or morbidly obese categories believe they have been discriminated against when applying for a job or promotion and about two-fifths of them said they have been socially shunned. In addition, 36 percent said they felt they had been discriminated against when being seated in theaters or restaurants (Gardner). “The reaction of Americans to a fat person, particularly one who is more than 25 percent to 35 percent above the so-called ideal weight, is so intense and so overwhelmingly negative that some scientists are exploring it as a window on the raw material of human nature” (Angier). As the obesity rates in the United States continue to grow, so does the discrimination against this community. More states are becoming aware of this issue and realizing the affect it has on their communities. Vermont in particular is very aware of the negative effects of obesity. Vermont officials have put into place numerous programs to promote good health and exercise to try and eliminate the rise of childhood and adult obesity. Rather than discriminating against this community, Vermont is encouraging them and helping them to get healthy. Vermont’s approach to this issue is not only ethical but sustainable. Obese children are at a higher risk of becoming obese adults and are more likely to suffer from the health conditions associated with obesity, which is why it is important to promote healthy eating habits for children. Vermont school systems are aware of how it important it is for children to eat healthy and have recently put into place a program that signifies this. Senator Patrick Leahy recently authorized a farm to school program that is investing $100,000 in efforts to connect Vermont's school cafeterias with local agricultural producers. Farm to school programs are a developing movement that Vermont has been a leader in with about 200 of the state’s 420 schools participating. The grants will help schools respond to the growing demand for locally sourced foods, as well as increase market opportunities for producers and food businesses. They will also be used to support agriculture and nutrition education efforts such as school gardens, field trips to local farms and cooking classes (Vermont). Leahy said, “Linking Vermont’s farms to our cafeterias is a winning strategy, and it’s a natural fit for Vermont on several levels. These new revenue streams strengthen our farms and local economies, creating jobs. These links improve nutrition and healthy eating choices and help kids understand where their food comes from" (Vermont). Welch said, "This is great news for Vermont. In addition to providing nutritious meals to Vermont’s schoolchildren, this important program will also invest in our local communities and support our family farmers” (Vermont). These types of programs that Vermont is putting into place are not only promoting healthy eating habits for children and preventing childhood obesity, but also promoting local farmers and creating jobs. This is a good example of how Vermont’s effort to stop obesity is sustainable.

Not only is the state as a whole working towards eliminating obesity but individual towns in Vermont are as well. In Springfield, Vermont a regional group including health care providers, schools, and the Southeast Vermont Area Health Education Center want residents to lose weight and are working towards getting a federal grant to help them achieve their goal. The grant would be a three-year grant through Rural Health Care Services Outreach for up to $600,000 to help spread the word about healthy eating and the benefits of exercise. Laura Cote was the spokeswoman of the group and made a pitch to councilmen noting the national problem with obesity and the difficulty small communities have finding money to do more about it. She added that Springfield is particularly in need of the funding. If the grant is awarded their focus will be on families and youth seeking to develop healthy habits early in life with a heavy emphasis on prevention. They would also like to increase access for families and youth for activities because few exist outside the school sports programs and the recreation department. Another goal of theirs is to increase access to opportunities for healthy eating, primarily through cooking classes and a deal with Black River Produce to sell their produce for less to lower income families. Lastly, they want to use the funding to reduce the environmental factors leading to obesity (Bustard). This is a good example of how even individual communities in Vermont are working towards the same goal. They realize the negative impacts obesity has on its community members and want to help those who already are obese as well as try and prevent the others in the community from becoming obese. This method would also be sustainable because they are partnering with Black River Produce to promote their products which would be beneficial to both the company and to the families purchasing the healthy foods.

Fit and Healthy Vermonters is a statewide plan to prevent obesity in Vermont engaging individuals, organizations, communities, Government, and industries. The vision of the plan is that all Vermonters will live in communities that enable them to make healthy food choices and lead physically active lives. The mission is that statewide partners work together to encourage lifelong healthy eating and physical activity. By developing community partnerships, implementing policy and environmental changes, and evaluating targeted interventions, Vermont feels it can accomplish its mission. The objective of this plan is to decrease prevalence of obesity, increase physical activity, and improve dietary behaviors related to the burden of obesity and chronic disease. The plan seeks to increase the number, reach, and quality of policies and standards set in place to support healthful eating and physical activity in various settings. This plan ensures that agencies and organizations have collaborative agreements in place to meet the Fit and Healthy Vermonters objectives. It also forces primary care providers, obstetrics, and gynecology providers to routinely check and record BMO and provide counseling and/or referral for patients as well as include assessments and interventions to reduce the proportion of people who are obese. The plan states that obesity prevention requires strategies that reflect influences on individual and family behaviors and that the strategies must promote and support informed decision making and individual-based action. To effectively manage their health, individuals and families must be fully informed and have the skills to undertake lifestyle changes to prevent disease so the plan puts into place new marketing efforts that encourage individuals and families to increase healthy eating and physical activity, utilizing common messages developed by consumers (Fit). This shows at a statewide effort how important a healthy community is to Vermont. This plan is involving all of the businesses in Vermont and creating partnerships which is another sustainable method.

Another program that Vermont has is Get Moving Vermont. Get Moving Vermont is a statewide initiative to improve the overall health of Vermonters by encouraging people of all ages to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Statistics show that getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week can really improve your health and that is why this plan was set into motion. Research was done before the start of this program and the statistics showed that 60 percent of Vermont adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity and 25 percent are not active at all. It also showed that 73 percent of Vermont students do not exercise moderately five or more days per week and that 36 percent of them spend three or more hours per day watching TV, or playing video games (Move) Get Moving Vermont was put into place to change these statistics and get all Vermonters more active.

The Vermont Fresh Network is an organization that encourages farmers, food producers and chefs to work directly with each other to build partnerships. Their vision is to build a flourishing Vermont food and farm economy and their mission is to form relationships between farmers and chefs in order grow markets and encourage consumers to buy more locally grown food. The Vermont Fresh Network believes that building regional connections contribute to stronger local communities and their economies. The organization is dedicated to promoting and publicizing Vermont chefs and restaurants that use Vermont grown and produced foods. They believe that chefs that purchase the products of the local farmers are helping to maintain the agricultural heritage and contribute to the future of Vermont's farm economy. For that reason, this organization connects farmers with chefs, and promotes these partnerships. Their purpose is also the education of their consumers. They want to educate the dining public of the wholesomeness, nutritional value, freshness, and safety of Vermont grown foods, as well as the economic impact of supporting local businesses. Most of all they want to educate anyone who visits with them a philosophy of preserving the rural identity and lifestyle in Vermont. This program is promoting healthy eating habits by promoting locally grown food. In this case, since they are promoting healthy eating habits, they are also working towards eliminating obesity in Vermont (Vermont Fresh). This is another good example of a sustainable method because they are partnering local farmers with local restaurants which is benefiting Vermont’s economy by promoting small businesses and local farmers.

After researching Vermont’s organizations and programs that have to do with healthy lifestyles and staying active, I have come to the conclusion that Vermont is very active in working to eliminate obesity. These examples prove that the methods they are using are good because they are trying to help the obese community get healthy and they are sustainable because all of the methods and programs are benefiting the economy and the environment.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • obesity

    ...Background of the Study Obesity is a major global epidemic and a burden to society and health systems. It is well known risk factor for a number of chronic medical conditions with high morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to provide an estimate of the direct costs associated to outpatient and inpatient care of overweight and obesity relate...

    Read More
  • Obesity

    ...urbanization, affluence, and change in lifestyles and nutritional status of the population. Obesity among adult has became serious problem in health department as it increases rapidly. Hence, I will discuss on obesity as a contemporary issue in Malaysia. World health Organization (WHO) had defined that obesity is an abnormal or excessive fat ...

    Read More
  • Obesity

    ...causes, but do the majority know obesity ranks second among causes of death? Even though obesity is a serious concern in society, the majority of people don’t care or are too busy to care about the health effect it caused. “Obesity is a genuine problem in America, but our nation debate on the subject has become nothing short of hysterical,...

    Read More
  • Obesity

    ...Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.1, 2 The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the sa...

    Read More
  • Obesity

    ...Marigondon, Lapu-lapu City A Research Work on: Obesity: It’s Primary Causes Effects & Prevention As a partial Fulfillment for the Requirements of the Fourth Grading Period in English lll Presented by: Hazel A. Secop lll-B CPTLE Presented to: Mrs. Estefa Belencio Instructress Submitt...

    Read More
  • obesity

    ...In today’s society obesity is a relevant and very serious topic. The term obese is used to characterize the overall level of body fat. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey more than one-third of adults and almost 17% of youth are obese (Ogden, 2012, para 1). The prevalence of obesity does not differ between men ...

    Read More
  • OBESITY

    ...8: Addressing the Obesity Epidemic: An issue for Public Health Policy These notes contain some outline on obesity. You have to read the references from the CDC to further learn about obesity meaning that All the Online References are Mandatory. The video on titled “Childhood Obesity Epidemic” is mandatory and you watch it when you click ...

    Read More
  • Obesity

    ... OBESITY. . Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, publ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.