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Monday, April 9, 2012
Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Children and Adults ‐
Public Health Issue
In Chelsea, Massachusetts more than twice the number of families with children are foodinsecure as in the nation as a whole and most students in Chelsea schools are eligible for freeand reduced price lunches – both of these factors indicate increased risk for poor health.
Obesity rates of Chelsea schoolchildren exceed statewide and national averages - 47% of firstgrade, 50% of fourth grade, 56% of seventh grade, and 41% of tenth grade students areoverweight, obese, or at risk for overweight.Program
ACHIEVE (Action Communities for Health, Innovation and Environmental Change) fundsHealthy Chelsea, a citywide coalition, to take action on changing policies and environmentsin their community to promote healthy eating, physical activity and tobacco prevention, withsupport from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Healthy Chelsea Coalition leaders attended the ACHIEVE Action Institute and are nowpartnering with Chelsea Public Schools to incorporate physical activity in the classroom andto improve the nutrition quality of school meals; partnering with the Board of Health toimprove the nutrition quality of prepared foods and restaurant offerings; partnering with theDepartment of Planning and Development to improve the built environment; and analyzingresults from a Chelsea Food Stores Survey to understand the extent of local access to healthy,affordable foods.Impact
The Board of Health adopted a ban on trans fats for prepared foods served by food serviceestablishments. This policy stemmed directly from learning at the ACHIEVE Action Instituteabout the ways that a citywide ban on trans fats can reduce the risk of heart disease andstroke for community residents. Chelsea's 80 restaurants and bakeries, in addition to localschools, nursing homes, and other food service establishments, are subject to the ban.
Two schools adopted the practice of adding physical activity in the classroom throughout theschool day and two more are getting ready to launch this practice.
90% of students in the two original schools get 15 minutes more physical activity a day.
Planned changes to selected school cafeterias will be assessed to gauge the potential forwider implementation of improvements to all local school environments for promotion ofhealthy eating habits.
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