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New exercise equipment at Lake Frances

If you are driving or walking around Lake Frances, you may notice the shiny new exercise equipment that has been freshly installed.  The update of the equipment that was previously aged and past the beginnings of looking dingy and uninviting is part of a program that the Madison City Commission and Department of Health in Madison County (DOH-Madison) is partnered in to promote healthy weight in Madison County.

During the Feb. 9 City Commission meeting, Jennifer Johnson, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Madison County presented a 2016 State Surgeon General Health Weight Community Champion award to the City of Madison in recognition of their participation in the program, which is a Florida initiative that brings together state and local government to help create opportunities for healthy habits.

The number one public health threat to Florida’s future is unhealthy weight.

Currently, only 36 percent of Floridians are at a healthy weight and at the current trend, by 2030, almost 60 percent will be obese.  Additionally, six out of 10 children born today will be obese by the time they graduate from high school.

In Madison County, 67 percent of the adults and 34.80 percent of the middle and high school students are overweight or obese.   

There are a variety of factors that play a role in unhealthy weight making it a complex health issue to address.  Behavioral, environmental and genetic factors all influence weight.

At this time, behavioral and environmental factors are the most promising areas for prevention and treatment actions.  With this in mind, the Obesity Committee in Madison has sought strategies to increase the opportunity for healthy activity in Madison County.

By working closely to local partners in the community, such as the City of Madison, existing resources will be leveraged to maximize reach and impact.

Hand in hand, the city and DOH-Madison hope to make a bend in the weight curve and inspire the citizens of Madison County to live healthy lives.

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