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The original item was published from 10/25/2012 9:01:20 AM to 11/9/2012 12:05:03 AM.

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City of Stevens Point News

Posted on: October 25, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Obesity is Community Priority - Attend Planning Session

Community members are encouraged to join the Portage Co. CAN coalition in determining how to best serve our community's health needs by participating in a planning session in the Pinery Room of the Po. Co. Library on Thursday, November 8, from 3:30-5:30.

In last month’s Local Indicators for Excellence (LIFE) Report Forum, obesity was identified as a critical issue area requiring future community action. To respond to this call to action, community members are encouraged to join the Portage County CAN coalition as it determines how best to serve the health needs of our community. Past, present, and future coalition members and community members are invited to participate in a planning session in the Pinery Room of the Portage County Library on Thursday, November 8, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. This meeting will help
the coalition, and the community, identify a vision and next steps for a healthier community.

The Portage County LIFE Report was a joint effort of Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital, Portage County Government, Portage County Health and Human Services, and United Way of Portage County. The purpose of the document is tri-fold: to identify community strengths, challenges, and priorities; to be an awareness-raising tool; and to serve as a Where Government Serves the Community resource. Community input was gathered through household and key stakeholder
surveys. A steering community and volunteers developed community indicators of Portage County data, statistics, and community perspectives.

As stated in the LIFE reports, obesity was identified by 67.1% of survey respondents as a concern in our community. As a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, obesity affects the economy both through direct medical care costs and a loss of productivity and wages. Key stakeholder surveys rank obesity as one of the top three community issues the community can make progress on in the next three years.

“Like all of the LIFE Report Calls to Action, obesity is a complex issue,” Gary Garske of Portage County CAN said. “From safer sidewalks to healthier lunch trays, we’ve made progress, but we need more community support for these activities to continue.” This facilitated meeting will help those interested in a healthier Portage County identify important next steps in continuing positive change in our community.

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