The Michigan Department of Community Health has a new plan to reduce the number of obese people in Michigan. The Department announced a new 5-year statewide program called "4 x 4" on Monday at the Recreation Park in Ypsilanti.
The program wants to encourage Michigan residents to eat a healthy diet, exercise, get check-ups, and avoid tobacco. The program will involve local governments, businesses and trade associations across the state.
Olga Dazzo is the Director of MDCH. She says high rates of chronic disease and health care costs are associated with obesity. She also emphasized that community action and individual responsibility are important ways to fight the problem.
"The goal of this plan is for every Michigander to adopt health as a personal core value."
Jenna Bacolor is a Program Supervisor with Washtenaw County Public Health Department. She says that cities can help people be more active by creating parks and walking spaces that are safe.
"If they have a walking path close to their home, something that is safe and easy to enjoy, they're more likely to use it, and walking paths can also improve home value."
Michigan is one of the top ten heaviest states in the nation. There are currently 2.5 million obese residents in the state. African-Americans and Latinos in the state are more likely to be obese.
- Nishant Sekaran, Michigan Radio Newsroom