The viability of every community depends on the health of its residents. This means, residents have an important role in ensuring their community is healthy. fitVIC strives to make Victoria County a healthier county for everyone!
Obesity is an urgent U.S. health issue that requires collaboration between public health and the community to decrease the incidence. Being inactive can increase the likelihood of overweight and obesity. Sedentary behaviors at all ages have negative consequences on health and well-being. Most people know that physical activity is beneficial, but not everyone knows the exact benefits or how to take action or change behavior to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Building relationships and partnerships with community members, businesses, government agencies, and organizations is an approach that can help promote population health education and policy systems and environmental improvements. The Victoria County ALP provides strategies and appropriate measurements designed to increase physical activity, which supports improved overall health and potential to reduce obesity-related health risks.
Victoria County, a predominantly rural county in South Texas, has elevated rates of death from cancers and morbidity and compliations that arise from diabetes, compared to the state. The obesity rate is higher than the state benchmark. The rate of Victoria County adults who report no physical activity is higher than the state and national rate. Health consequences related to sendentary lifestyles pose serious health risks to the Victoria County population.
A group of key community stakeholders addressed this significant health threat by working collaboratively to develop an ALP. Engaging the community in improving its health and well-being is the approach used to create the plan. This method was adopted because it is consistent with the belief that the responsibility of being physically active falls as much on society and the environment as it does on the individual. City leaders from local government agencies, private sector institutions, community groups and individuals worked together to identify gaps in community needs and propose initiatives to increase active living. The group learned about local, state and national recommendations and identified evidence-based strategies that address environmental and policy-level change for increasing active lifestyles. The aim of the ALP is that Victoria County residents will implement healthy habits that improve health and wellness. The plan will be used to articulate a stategic vision and to educate the community about active living.