HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Appalachia was established in 2008 as a collaborative effort between Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) and East Tennessee State University (ETSU) to build momentum in the fight against childhood obesity in Southern Appalachia. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), obesity has doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the past 30 years. Why is this significant? Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and social and emotional issues related to poor self-esteem.
Healthy lifestyle habits can lower the risk of obesity in children, and stem the risk factors associated with it. We recognize that children’s behaviors are influenced by everything that is around them, which is why HEAL Appalachia focuses on four key areas of a person’s life to facilitate change:
- Where a person learns
- Where a person works
- Where a person heals
- Where a person worships
This is why childhood obesity is an issue that cannot be solved by one initiative, organization or even one community. However, as a community we can work collaboratively to develop, implement and promote solutions that work within that community’s unique culture.
Please join HEAL Appalachia as we work to make a difference in the lifestyle habits of the children in our region