Help members of the community develop healthier dietary habits by providing nutrition education and collaborating with community partners to improve access to healthy foods.
What's Our WHY?
- In 2017-2018, 42.4% of Americans were classified as obese (CDC, 2021).
- 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese (WHO, 2020).
- In 2008, the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion (CDC, 2021).
- In 2019, 32.2% of Marylanders had a BMI of 30 or higher (America’s Health Rankings, 2020).
- 31% of adults in Anne Arundel County are classified as obese, and 37.2% are overweight (Anne Arundel County, 2020).
- Anne Arundel County has higher cancer incidence rates than Maryland and the U.S. (Anne Arundel County Department of Health, 2019).
Individual behaviors that contribute to obesity and overweight include eating away from home, large portion sizes, and diets low in fruits and vegetables (Affenito et al., 2012). However, it’s also important to note that rural communities have higher rates of obesity than urban communities (CDC, 2018) largely due to limited access to healthy and affordable food, lack of physical activity opportunities (parks, sidewalks, bike trails, etc.), and lack of nutrition education (Rural Health Information Hub, 2020). Programs that focus on multiple levels of the socio-ecological model are more effective than solely targeting the individual behavior (McKenzie et al., 2017).
Affenito, S. G., Franko, D. L., Striegel-Moore, R. H., & Thompson, D. (2012). Behavioral determinants of obesity: Research findings and policy implications. Journal of Obesity. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/150732
America’s Health Rankings. (2020). 2020 Annual Report. Retrieved from https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/Obesity/state/MD
Anne Arundel County. (2020). Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA): 2019. Retrieved from https://www.aacounty.org/boards-and-commissions/partnership-for-children-youth-families/forms-and-publications/partnership-chna-master.pdf
Anne Arundel County Department of Health. (2019). Report of Community Health Indicators, May 2019. Retrieved from https://aahealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/anne-arundel-county-report-card-2019.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). More obesity in U.S. rural counties than in urban counties. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/s0614-obesity-rates.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Adult Obesity Facts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
McKenzie, J, Neiger, B., & Thackeray, R. (2017). Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating Health Promotion Programs: A Primer. (7th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc.
Rural Health Information Hub. (2020). Rural obesity and weight control. Retrieved from https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/obesity-and-weight-control
World Health Organization. (2020). Obesity. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/facts-in-pictures/detail/6-facts-on-obesity