Communities that support healthier living — that’s state officials’ objective as the latest numbers still show about one-quarter of Minnesotans are obese. State Health Commissioner, Doctor Ed Ehlinger says for some it’s difficult to afford healthy food, and some don’t live in places where it’s safe to get out. “Oftentimes the situation in their communities… [doesn’t] really support them to be able to eat well and to exercise,” he says.
Ehlinger says the obesity rate is higher — about 33 percent — for Minnesotans who have to worry about money for food or housing. He says the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership works with communities to increase opportunities for healthier eating and physical activity. He says among the efforts: “Farm-to-school kinds of programs,… urban agriculture and farmers markets.” He says the question is, “How can we support the development of biking and hiking paths that people have access to…? How can we have active classrooms? How can we have safe routes to school?” Ehlinger says partnerships with communities make it easier for people to make the right choices about physical activity and nutrition.
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