Two articles in the current issue of WMJ explore comprehensive approaches to addressing obesity by dealing with the root causes and trying to create or prescribe effective approaches toward healthy solutions. In one, a social approach to diminish the incidence of overweight and obesity in Hispanic families in Waukesha County is outlined. The other moves the conversation to state-level food policy and efforts to change the economics of food.
The article “A Community-Based Family Intervention Program to Improve Obesity in Hispanic Families” presents a collaborative effort of the Waukesha County Public Health Division and the Hispanic Community Health Resource Center. The eight-week program was based on the We Can! curriculum, which is endorsed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and promotes awareness of healthy food choices and physical activity.
“The We Can! program served not only to improve the knowledge and individual behaviors of the participants, but it also facilitated a variety of systems changes in the community due to its collaborative nature,” the authors wrote. “For example, the local YMCA provided gym memberships at a discounted rate, which were awarded upon successful program completion.” The program served 57 adults and 54 children from 47 families.
In “Promoting Healthy Food Consumption: A Review of State-Level Policies to Improve Access to Fruits and Vegetables,” the authors suggest that a state-level food policy council be established with the goal to guide policy that benefits farmers and consumers.
“A food policy council would create a more sustainable policy analysis process to better ensure future policy adoption is truly comprehensive, encompassing the production, distribution and purchase of locally grown fruits and vegetables,” the authors wrote.
Published by the Wisconsin Medical Society, WMJ is devoted to the interests of the medical profession and health care in the Midwest. This peer-reviewed publication, which is available in print and electronic format, is one of the few state medical society-sponsored medical journals that publish a large amount of original research and academic content.
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