Clemson CDC High Obesity Program Grant

Clemson CDC High Obesity Program Grant


We are focused on the three counties in our
state that have obesity rates greater than 40%. So, our goal is to really, kind of, direct
all of our resources into those three counties and see what we can do to try to decrease
the obesity rate and improve health in those counties. Obesity is related to some of our most prevalent
health conditions and the health conditions that we’re seeing some of our worst outcomes,
health outcomes from, as well. It is a complex issue that requires complex
and consistent programs and programs that work ecologically, and by that I mean programming
that address both individual levels all the way to the family levels to organizations
to community public policy change. That takes really committing communities,
getting embedded in these communities and staying with them for the long haul. And that’s why we’re so excited about this
project. This is a multi-year project. It is 5 years. It is a funding commitment from the CDC. We will be increasing access to health foods,
we’ll also increase access to physical activity environments, and then the second component
is promoting the use of that. So, we’re very excited to be one of the 15
states that have been funded to do this work. This is a complex issue with complex solutions,
so we will be offering one other way to address this issue. These three counties are very rural. One of the biggest limitations in counties
that are rural is transportation. So, we are going to try to do our best to
bring those resources to them. One of the things that we’ll be doing is working
with the counties and with the local coalitions in those three counties and we will be looking
at ways to create a walkable community. Of course, we’ll be looking at the rates of
obesity in the communities over time, but we’re also going to be looking for policy
changes in the communities, environmental changes, societal changes and behavioral changes. This is a new thing for Extension. Working on obesity through Extension and through
Health Extension is a great marriage. This will definitely be locally driven. We want to make sure that the people that
we hire to work as Extension agents in these counties come from the counties or have a
strong connection to the counties. It’s all about a matter of trust and, luckily,
we have a good trust factor with Extension and with Clemson across South Carolina. One of the things that I’m most excited about
with this project is that it also provides me an opportunity to do work in my home. So, I feel like this is an opportunity for
me to take work back home and to help improve the area of the state where I grew up and
in some ways to provide opportunities to hopefully give back to PeeDee region of South Carolina. And that’s one of the reasons that I love
working at Clemson and love being a part of a land grant university and this project truly
utilizes the land grant elements of research, teaching and service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *