"Healthy People in
- The Fit & Healthy Vermonters Initiative
- Preventing Obesity in Vermont
- Be a Fit & Healthy Vermonter
- What's happening in your community?
- Indoors & Outside
Obesity is quickly becoming a leading public health challenge in Vermont. Over half of all Vermont adults are overweight or obese, and overweight among children is increasing at an alarming rate.
The Fit & Healthy Vermonters initiative focuses on prevention, with ways to increase physical activity and improve healthy eating for Vermonters of all ages. This initiative is aligned with, and builds upon the Blueprint for Health, Vermont’s initiative to address the burden of chronic diseases in our state.
Our Vision—All Vermonters will live in communities that enable them to make healthy food choices and lead physically active lives.
Our Mission—Statewide partners work together to encourage lifelong healthy eating and physical activity by:
- developing community partnerships
- planning, implementing, and evaluating targeted interventions
- creating policy and environmental changes
The Obesity Prevention Plan
Vermont's Obesity Prevention Plan provides a framework for increasing physical activity and improving nutrition across multiple areas. The Plan includes actions to be taken by government, social service and health agencies, communities, work sites, schools, early childcare programs, families and individuals.
Meeting the Goals
Several "Target Areas" have been identified for Fit & Healthy Vermonters that engage communities, build organizational collaborations, develop plans, and carry out the goals of the initiative:
- Early Childcare
- Government and Partner Organizations
- Health Care
- Individuals and Families
- More than half (59 percent) of Vermont adults are overweight or obese; that equals 280,000 Vermont adults who are above a healthy weight.
- 22 percent of adults are obese weighing more than 30 pounds above a healthy weight.
- The prevalence of obesity among Vermont adults has doubled between 1990 and 2007.
To view Vermont's progress toward meeting program goals, see: Fit & Healthy Vermonters Status Report, June 2008.
For more information on the burden of obesity see the 2006 Obesity and Health Status Report (pdf).
Effects of Obesity
- Being overweight increases the risk of many chronic diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, heart disease and certain cancers.
- Estimated health care costs attributable to obesity in Vermont are $141 million dollars.
- Costs of Obesity - Fact Sheet
The causes of weight gain are: inadequate physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of the two. Genetics and lifestyle also play a role.
Societal trends contributing to the problem include:
- a tendency to eat meals away from home.
- increased soda consumption, large portion sizes.
- eating fewer fruits and vegetables.
- driving more than walking or biking.
- increased time spent in front of the television.
- fewer opportunities for physical activity.
- Look for healthy recipes and snack ideas on the Eat for Health web pages.
- Find tips for increasing your physical activity and track your progress at Get Moving Vermont.
- Take the Fit & Healthy Kids fall or spring activity challenge.
- Learn about the recreation resources in your town.
- Take a hike or a walk at a Vermont state park.
- Quit smoking!
We want to know what is happening in your community. What activity programs are being offered, who is attending, and who is the sponsor?
- Let us know - Fill out the survey form.
Each year, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports recognizes Vermont employers which promote a work environment that encourages and enables employees to improve their overall health and well-being.
The Vermont Departments of Health, Forests Parks & Recreation, Environmental Conservation, and Fish & Wildlife want you to spend the season outside, and earn points for visiting beautiful places!
When you get to those places, earn more points for doing all kinds of fun activities - such as playing games, paddling on a lake, playing frisbee with your friends or attending nature programs. If you earn 250 points you will be awarded a Gold VIP Pass to Vermont State Parks. With it you can come back to Vermont State Parks for the rest of the this year and all of next year for free day entry!