Friday, July 30, 2010

Rhode Island: Where the Numbers Make Sense

According to the Trust for America’s Health, Rhode Island currently ranks 4th in the U.S. for federal funding from the CDC for public health, so it comes as no surprise that on virtually every front, Rhode Islanders are healthier than the average American. Rhode Island ranks 45th in the nation for obesity, 38th for diabetes, and 43rd for cancer. These are impressive statistics. Interestingly, Rhode Island weighs in at number 2 for adult Asthma cases. Some food for thought: what might this suggest about local air quality…?

But besides above-average levels of funding, what helps separate Rhode Islanders from other Americans? The Initiative for a Healthy Weight (IHW) is a statewide program for the prevention and control of obesity. IHW changes social, political, and physical environments to make “The Healthy Choice” an easier choice for all residents. In 2009 alone, IHW increased residents' access to affordable fruits and vegetables in four new stores, launched the Fresh to You mobile produce market in sixteen worksites and three communities, and provided toolkits to 1,540 Rhode Island physicians to help them address nutrition and physical activity issues with their patients. This program has done a remarkable job of highlighting the importance of small steps effecting greater change.

Additionally, Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit partnered with IHW to ensure more Rhode Islanders were reaching their daily fitness goals by utilizing outdoor resources. From 11 AM to 3 PM every summer Sunday, events are offered for individuals or teams who wish to participate in fun physical activity. Events include kayaking, fishing, hiking and camping. The grand finale event is an overnight extravaganza beginning Saturday Aug 21st and ending Sunday August 22nd. Check out Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit here to find out more and get involved with the Rhode Island summer fitness fun!

Way to go, Rhode Island! Keep up the good work and maybe soon you’ll all breathe easy!

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