Fit-NOLA-moves-forward-with-plans-for-a-healthy-city

Fit NOLA moves forward with plans for a healthy city

by Naomi Englar
March 2013

New Orleans’ Fit NOLA initiative is making progress on its plans to become a healthier city, meeting in March to review the partnership’s work to develop a workplace wellness toolkit and other efforts to promote healthy eating and physical activity.
“There is a social movement in this community, that we’re going to not just be a better city but that we’re going to be a healthier city,” said New Orleans Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo at the March meeting.
The partnership, which is composed of 130 community organizations, businesses, public health practitioners, schools and government agencies, reviewed the strategies outlined in the Fit NOLA Action Agenda. Created in 2012, this document acts as a blueprint for anyone working to promote physical activity and healthy eating in New Orleans and has the ultimate goal of seeing the city become one of the fittest in the nation by 2018.
Members have been working on the plan’s strategies through committees devoted to specific sectors of the city and its population, such as healthcare, community and businesses. Committee members highlighted steps taken so far in these sectors. For example, the committee for businesses has been developing a worksite wellness toolkit that will incorporate different standards for large and small businesses. Members of the healthcare group are developing a training for physicians and other resources that can be used to refer patients to health-focused organizations or programs in the community. The committee focused on school-age children are working on ways to enforce and expand existing policies in schools that promote healthy eating and physical activity.
The Fit NOLA meeting also included discussion of the latest parish-by-parish health rankings released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Over the past three years, Orleans Parish has improved its rank from 60th to 48th out of Louisiana’s 64 parishes. Similarly, the group also discussed a recent award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In February 2013, New Orleans was named one of six cities to receive the first Roadmaps to Health Prize, which recognizes local communities making needed and lasting changes that are enabling individuals to live long and healthy lives. Watch the foundation’s video for New Orleans here.

(Photo by Tulane PRC Staff: Kendra LeSar, a school wellness coordinator for School Health Connection, leads an Instant Recess activity break at the March Fit NOLA partnership meeting.)

Topics:   policy , obesity , community health , diet , nutrition , food environment , built environment , fpac , school food , physical activity ,

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