Chaffee County is situated at the base of the Collegiate Peaks in south central Colorado, encompassing Buena Vista, Poncha Springs and Salida. This rural community’s population is 17,809 over 1,015 square miles, for a population density of 17 people per square mile. Chaffee County is invested in promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity to address the increasing prevalence of the obesity and obesity risk factors:
- 17% of children in Chaffee County live in poverty which is 6% higher than the national average and 4% higher than the state average (County Health Rankings 2010). Poverty can result in negative health consequences, such as increased risk of mortality, increased prevalence of medical conditions and disease incidence, and poor health behaviors.
- Over 20% of low income residents in Chaffee County do not participate in any physical activity outside of work (CDPHE 2007-2008).
- In the region, 30.3% of children age 5-14 engaged in less than 5 hours of physical activity per week (Colorado Child Health Survey 2007).
- Only 33% of Chaffee County residents are able to easily access healthy foods (County Health Rankings 2010). Studies have linked access to healthy foods to increased consumption of those foods and improved overall health outcomes.
- Almost 66% of Chaffee County residents do not consume five servings of fruits and vegetables each day (CDPHE 2007).
- Salida School District BMI measurements gathered in 2010 revealed that 36% of Salida 3rd and 4th grade students were overweight. Of the 9th grade students that were measured, 22% were overweight and 4% were obese.
- 29.5% of Chaffee County residents are overweight and 26% are obese (CDPHE 2010). That is almost 6% more obese residents than the state average.
While policies, programs and initiatives have been initiated throughout the community, Chaffee County has work to do in preventing obesity and is committed to a pro-active approach.
Chaffee County Public Health
Lisa Malde, Director
Contact us here!