There is growing evidence that what people eat and the likelihood of being overweight is influenced by the environment where they live. More than half of all Ventura County adults are overweight or obese. As we struggle to reverse this alarming trend, access to healthy foods and physical activity is more important than ever.
Changing the food environment will require numerous strategies. The Partnership for a Healthy Ventura County creates community-led change by working with local, state and national partners to build knowledge and a culture of active living and healthy eating. Our vision is healthy communities, where routine physical activity and healthy eating are accessible, easy and affordable to everyone. We are dedicated to assessing and disseminating information about effective community and school interventions that address nutrition and obesity.
Local Health Champions
Healthy eating and active living are starting to happen in families and communities everywhere, and local Health Champions are making the difference. Health Champions are people — just like you — who are using their power to help their families and communities prevent serious health problems. These health problems include obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Each year, The Partnership for a Healthy Ventura County recognizes six local Health Champions. See our Local Health Champions page for more details.
Health Snapshot of our Communities
Ventura County Public Health, working with the statewide Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (CX3) program took a ground-level look at low-income neighborhoods in Ventura County to understand the dynamics shaping health behaviors. The findings of local food deserts and high obesity rates are both provoking and instructional and can guide Ventura County in making community-wide changes to significantly improve the health of Ventura County. For more information, see the CX3 Health Snapshot of our Communities.
All across America, there is a movement afoot to build “complete streets” that allow people to get around safely on foot, bicycle, or public transportation. Conventional street design promotes traffic congestion, pollution, and collisions, and discourages physical activity. Complete streets are designed and built so that people of all ages and abilities can travel easily and safely, while also getting the regular physical activity that is so critical to preventing obesity. As of 2011, the California Complete Streets Act requires cities and counties making substantive revisions to the circulation element of their general plans to include modifications to plan for complete streets. Click here for a community guide to Complete Streets.
Individuals can help by becoming advocates for change: Volunteer to clean up a local park. Start a petition to add crosswalks along a popular walking route to school, or to turn parking spaces into cycle tracks along busy streets.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Action Strategies Toolkit: A Guide for Local and State Leaders Working to Create Healthy Communities and Prevent Childhood Obesity