Life in Louisiana is hard to beat. But, our lifestyle has a big impact on obesity in our communities. Obesity is common, serious and expensive—affecting overall health, healthcare costs and workforce productivity. Obesity can lead to health conditions that last a lifetime, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. By coming together in a multifaceted approach, we can enact change and make a real difference.
Healthy living can be challenging. Not only because of tempting choices, but also because many of our residents are faced with health disparities. Most residents know how to be healthy, but that’s not enough. Our residents should be surrounded by practical, readily available healthy options. This means making active lifestyles and good nutrition a part of our culture by creating environments that support healthy choices.
That’s why Well-Ahead’s obesity efforts focus on policy, system and environmental strategies to make healthy living easily accessible for everyone. We focus on empowering leaders in child care, healthcare, school, worksite and community settings to make healthy changes in their environments to maintain a healthy weight. These changes include implementing evidence-based strategies like promoting the availability of healthy food options, creating opportunities for physically activity and increasing breastfeeding support.