"Healthy People in
Preventing Obesity in Vermont
The Obesity Prevention Plan provides a framework for increasing physical activity and improving nutrition across multiple areas. It includes actions to be taken by government, social service and health agencies, communities, work sites, schools, early childcare programs, families and individuals.
Obesity Plan Target Areas
The Obesity Prevention Plan specifies actions and provides resources for each target area:
- Early Childcare
- Government and Partner Organizations
- Health Care
- Healthy Retailers
- Individuals and Families
Breastfeeding will be the norm for infant, and part of a baby's healthy diet for a year or longer.
- Breastfeeding practices and policies that support breastfeeding will be implemented by health care providers and insurers.
- Vermont hospitals will adopt maternity care practices to become "baby friendly" hospitals in support of breastfeeding.
- Employers will provide employee benefits and services that support breastfeeding families.
- Peer counseling programs to support breastfeeding mothers will be increased.
Vermonters will live in communities that support healthy eating and physical activity.
- Planning projects include comprehensive plans. Zoning and subdivision ordinances will include ways to increase accessibility and availability of opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.
- Cities and towns will have an organized physical activity program that is accessible to all community members.
- Community organizations including faith-based, non-profits and social clubs will support members in increasing healthy behaviors.
Poor nutrition and physical inactivity are associated with a number of chronic conditions, including obesity, the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity focuses on policy and environmental change. The Fit and Healthy Vermonters program identified the strategies most likely to have a significant impact in Vermont. The Vermont Department of Health will provide grants to help communities assess and implement changes related to the following policy and environmental strategies:
- Enhance Mixed Use Development
- Create Pedestrian and Bicycle Friendly Communities
- Increase Access to Parks, Recreation Facilities and Open Space
- Increase Access to Healthy Food
Fit and Healthy Vermonters offers tools to assist with assessment and policy and environmental changes to promote active living and healthy eating.
- Assessment Tools for Healthy Community Design
- Policy and Environmental Changes to Promote Active Living and Healthy Eating
In November 2011, a number of Healthy Community Design training sessions were held, facilitated by Heidi Klein, MSPH.
The sessions included the work underway to engage community and public health advocates in decision making, and efforts to increase physical activity and create access to healthy foods. The connections between public health and land use planning were described and four strategic areas to increase access to physical activity and healthy foods were identified:
- Concentrated Mixed Used Development
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure
- Access to Parks, Recreation Facilities and Open Space
- Access to Fresh and Healthy Foods.
Training Session Presentation Slides:
- Healthy Community Design Overview
- Parks Rec and and Open Space Presentation
- Vermont Land Use Overview
- Access to Healthy Food - Agriculture Planning
- Active Transportation - Local Government
- Vermont Land Use - Montpelier Presentation
Streets should safely accommodate all transportation system users, regardless of age, ability, or their preferred mode of transportation, including walking, biking, driving, or the use of transit.
Vermont is taking action to turn these principles into policy. The Complete Streets law, which became effective July 1, 2011, supports the Fit and Healthy Vermonters' goal of increasing the number of Vermonters who engage in regular physical activity, by creating communities where walking and bicycling are made safe and accessible.
Complete Streets: A Guide for Vermont Communities, and an accompanying PowerPoint presentation, were developed to assist towns with understanding the law and providing examples of how Complete Streets can be applied in Vermont communities.
- Complete Streets: A Guide for Vermont Communities
- Complete Streets Presentation Slides [ 11MB, 75pgs ]
- Searchable List of Local Physical Activity Resources
- Vermont Recreation and Parks Association
- Vermont Planning Information Center (VPIC)
- Coordinated Healthy Activity, Motivation & Prevention Programs (CHAMPPS)
Grants that fund comprehensive community health and wellness projects.
- Recreational Facilities Grant Program
The program is open to municipalities and non-profit organizations that provide services to youth or adults in either an individual community or recognized community service area. For more information contact the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services.
- Licensed early childcare providers will have a nutrition and physical activity policy.
- Licensed early childcare providers will implement programs or services based on their written policy.
- Licensed early childcare providers will have the skills necessary to provide a healthy nutrition and physical activity environment for children.
Agencies and organization will make formal agreements to collaborate and provide leadership, active involvement and commitment to meet the Fit & Healthy Vermonters objectives.
- Vermont Department of Education
- Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
- Vermont Agency of Transportation
Vermonters will be served by a health care system that invests in and recognizes quality.
- Quality improvement measures will include evidence-based assessments and interventions to reduce the proportion of people who are overweight or obese.
- Primary care providers (pediatrics, family practice and internal medicine) and related health care professionals will routinely measure and record Body Mass Index (BMI) and provide counseling and/or referral for patients.
- Promoting Healthy Weight in Adult Primary Care (pdf)
- Promoting Healthier Weight in Pediatrics (pdf) 5.5 MB, 68 pgs
Vermont has an exciting opportunity to improve the overall health of Vermonters!
The Healthy Retailers initiative focuses on three key areas: tobacco, alcohol, and healthy foods. Whether it’s reducing tobacco and alcohol advertising in stores or promoting healthier food options, community members are working with independent retailers to make small changes that have a big impact.
Community members are partnering with local retailers to create solutions that benefit everyone: the retailers, their customers and the larger community. See our report of community member surveys and store audits that shows strong support for the initiative.
The Vermont Department of Health offers a number of resources and tools to help community members and retailers to successfully make the small changes that will have a big impact:
Contact your local district health office.
Individuals and families will be fully informed and have the skills to manage their health to prevent obesity and related chronic diseases.
- Individuals and families will receive information and tools that increase knowledge and skills for heathy eating and physical activity.
- Individuals and families will have access to programs on physical activity, healthy eating, cooking or shopping.
- Programs will be available to individuals and families at low or no cost and free of barriers to participation such as childcare and transportation services.
All Vermont schools will:
- have a nutrition and physical activity policy in place.
- implement programs or services based on their written policy.
- collaborate with local partners to increase opportunities for nutrition education and physical activity.
- Vermont Nutrition and Fitness Policy Guidelines
- School Wellness Policy Implementation Guide
- Coordinated School Health
- Fit and Healthy Kids
- School Health and Wellness fact sheet
- Childhood Obesity fact sheet
- Youth Overweight and Nutrition - County Breakdown
- Competitive Foods in Schools
Employers will have policies in place to promote healthy behaviors.
Employers will offer physical activity and nutrition programs that support healthy behaviors among employees.
- Worksite Wellness Program and Resource Guide
- Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Project
- Quit@Work- help employees quit smoking
- Worksite Wellness fact sheet (pdf)