We have exciting news to share.
In our first five years, LiveWell Colorado worked with partners across the state to make significant strides toward obesity prevention. Collectively, we increased awareness of the issue of obesity, mobilized champions and started a powerful movement with a strong emphasis on personal and family behavior change.
Now, LiveWell Colorado stands poised to embark on the next phase of our mission: To focus on efforts that result in both statewide and local-level changes to increasingly provide access to healthy eating and active living opportunities for all Coloradans.
An important part of this process has been the reevaluation of our overall organizational goals. After conducting a statewide survey of key stakeholders—to which we received over 250 responses—we held a convening of extraordinary thinkers from around the state, public and private sectors, to help us process the survey responses and determine the efforts in which we can have the greatest impact.
The result is a set of goals that give us clear direction for our future. They are:
- Colorado schools serve meals that meet high nutritional standards;
- Coloradans have access to healthy and affordable foods and beverages, which are effectively promoted;
- Colorado students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day in school;
- Colorado children have access to safe and affordable spaces for physical activity; and
- Walking and biking increase as modes of transportation throughout Colorado.
Each of these goals present the opportunity to significantly increase the health of the residents of our state. Right now, only 10.9 percent of Colorado children eat the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and Colorado ranks 37th in the nation for the number of supermarkets per person. Additionally, only 61.7 percent of Colorado middle school students are active for at least 60 minutes a day five or more days a week and 30 percent of all Colorado children live in neighborhoods without parks, community centers and/or safe sidewalks. Furthermore, only 4.3 percent of Colorado commuters walk or bike to work.
Our next step is to develop metrics around which we will measure our progression toward and success in these endeavors. Then, we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work, building on some of the great efforts that are already happening in communities across the state. These include the Montrose County School District, which transformed its school kitchen, shifting from serving 90 percent processed foods to 95 percent fresh-made foods; Bent County, which is working to provide affordable access to physical activity for the youth in its community; and Wheat Ridge, which has made great strides in increasing bicycle and pedestrian access on their Main Street.
We hope that you will join us in our renewed efforts to prevent and reduce obesity by making the healthy choice the easy choice for all Coloradans. Your efforts and voices are what have made this movement strong to this point and will be essential to our success in the future. If you have questions or want to find out about ways to increase access to healthy opportunities where you live, please email us at email@example.com.
Thank you for your continued support of LiveWell Colorado.