Key efforts under the initiative include teaching fundamental skills such as cooking, reading food labels, shopping on a budget, growing fruits and vegetables, and introducing low-cost and fun ways to be physically active. In addition, champions in communities throughout the County will be identified to help improve access to healthier foods and increase opportunities to be physical active in a variety of settings, including early childcare centers, schools, faith-based organizations, corner stores, parks, worksites, and cities.
“Day One is pleased to be a part of this County-wide initiative, as we are uniquely positioned to reach the children and families in the San Gabriel Valley,” explained Christy Zamani, Executive Director at Day One. “We are working toward making notable changes in the cities of Pasadena, El Monte, Pomona, and working with the students of Pasadena Unified School District, El Monte Union School District, and Pomona Unified School District to make healthier foods more affordable and available, as well as identify ways to integrate physical activity into the day to improve the overall health for families in the San Gabriel Valley.”
According to the LA County: A Cities and Communities Health Report, obesity-related chronic illnesses continue to rank among the top ten leading causes of premature death, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. While the obesity epidemic continues to impact virtually all population groups, about 21% of children and 24% of adults in the San Gabriel Valley are obese.
“Reducing obesity is a priority of Public Health and a key objective of the Champions for Change - Healthy Communities Initiative,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Interim Health Officer of Los Angeles County. “By investing in our communities and the people that we serve, we are hopeful that we can make impactful, long-lasting changes for better health outcomes.” [Day One is a community-based nonprofit organization with a 30 year history of providing effective, high quality and culturally-sensitive public health education, intervention, and policy development.]