Profile of High Obesity Areas in: Indiana
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      Obesity is a major health problem on a national level, but certain areas in the United States experience a much higher burden of the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) piloted the High Obesity Program in 2014 to address the high burden of obesity in select areas using environmental approaches and to help reduce adverse health outcomes such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and some cancers. The High Obesity Program funds land grant universities in states with some of the highest obesity areas of the country, specifically, those with counties where more than 40% of the adult population has obesity. Grantees collaborate with existing cooperative extension and outreach services at the county level in their states to develop obesity solutions. Grantees put into action a set of evidence-based strategies in the community setting. Purdue University is working with extension staff in Jackson and Lawrence Counties. Both counties are located in the southern part of the state. Activities include working on wellness policies in schools and healthy concession stands in Jackson County. In Lawrence County, community gardens are being developed as sources for both fresh fruits and vegetables and for educational purposes. There are plans to increase opportunities for physical activity by using existing spaces, such as fairgrounds, the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Jackson County, and private property in both counties as areas for recreation and exercise by connecting them to existing trails.
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