Obesity rates in the U.S. have increased dramatically over the last 30 years, and obesity is now epidemic in the United States. In Florida, only an estimated 35% of adults are at a healthy weight. Additionally, more than half of children born today will be obese by the time they graduate from high school. For this reason, Florida’s State Surgeon General, John Armstrong, MD, FACS, has declared healthy weight as a top priority.
Florida’s county and municipal governments play an important role in decreasing the prevalence of unhealthy weight in their jurisdictions. Local governments can implement a variety of policies that have been shown to increase physical activity levels, improve nutrition and promote community environments where the healthy choice is the easier choice.
Acknowledging that many jurisdictions have already made progress in these types of policy changes, Dr. Armstrong established the Healthy Weight Community Champion Recognition Program to highlight communities for their important efforts. As Healthy Weight Community Champions, local governments will be able to share their progress and lessons learned while implementing best practice policies.
Based on efforts by Get Active Orlando and a number of City Departments, the City of Orlando has been selected for the second year in a row as a Healthy Weight Community Champion.
Mayor Dyer will call upon Debbie Castagnola, Wellness Coordinator, to introduce Ms. Lesli Ahonkhai, Assistant Director, of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. Ms. Ahonkhai will say a few words about the 2015 State Surgeon General Healthy Weight Community Champion Recognition Program and the City's participation.
Ms. Castagnola will then invite Mayor Dyer and City Commissioners to come from the dais to receive the champion recognition certificate from Ms. Ahonkhai and have pictures taken.