Combatting Overweight and Obesity in Our Community
In Cobb and Douglas, 37.9% of the adult population is overweight and 23.4% are obese (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 2014). Obesity and being overweight have been associated with increased risk of certain chronic diseases and other health problems, such as: coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and cholesterol (National Institute of Health Managing Overweight and Obesity: Systematic Evidence Review in Adults, 2013).
Adequate consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is directly linked with healthier weights and decreased chronic diseases. Lower socio-economic status is linked with poorer nutrition choices due to the expense of many healthier options (USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans Report 2010).
To assist with the betterment of our communities’ health, Cobb and Douglas Public Health through the Cobb 2020 Partnership has collaborated with two local farmers’ market initiatives, Farm Fresh Market and Mableton Farmers Market to promote increased fresh fruit and vegetable access to those with limited availability to supermarkets and those with lower socio-economic status.
The Mableton Farmers Market has been operating for the past seven years. The market began out of a partnership from Cobb County Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs, Cobb and Douglas Public Health, Mableton Improvement Coalition, AARP of Georgia and Lifelong Mableton of the Mableton Improvement Coalition.
The Mableton Farmers Market is a small scale market which operates with four to eight local farmers on Thursday mornings from late May to late August. The market accepts SNAP/EBT dollars and in partnership with Wholesome Wave Georgia (WWG), is able to double customer’s SNAP dollar value up to $50. The market also accepts Senior and Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) farmers market vouchers. There is a CCT bus line stop directly in front of the Mable House Complex providing a way to the market for those with limited transportation.
The Farm Fresh Market is a mobile farmer’s market aimed to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables to designated Cobb County residents that lack access to a free-standing grocery store.
The Farm Fresh Market is an initiative of Cobb2020 which is a partnership of community organizations and individuals dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles and the delivery of essential health services in Cobb County. The efforts of the initiative aim to improve the health and wellbeing of the residents by providing healthier food selection options and increasing healthy eating habits.
Cobb & Douglas Public Health continues to seek additional funding sources to further support these farmers’ market initiatives and in efforts to expand fresh food access throughout Cobb and Douglas Counties.
The Cobb 2020 Walk Cobb program is a part of the Walk Georgia program sponsored by the University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension. Walk Georgia www.walkgeorgia.org is a free, online program that allows you to track your physical activity, while encouraging you to move more.
Walk Georgia is not just a walking program. There are currently 80 different activities to choose from. Participants’ track their weekly physical activities online through the Walk Georgia website and the recorded activities are translated into “walked” miles. As miles are accumulated, participants will be able to unlock fun facts and information about the counties as they navigate across the state’s virtual map and “walk” Georgia. The site also provides recipes, fitness tips, resources and events.
Participants can join at any time and can register as an individual or be part of a team or organization. At least once a year, a Walk Cobb challenge has been organized aimed at engaging community members to be more active.
For more information about obesity or any of the above initiatives, please call the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention office at 770-432-7937.