King County, WA Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living

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King County, WA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 10/24/05

Source File:



WHEREAS, obesity and overweight contribute to serious chronic conditions that reduce the quality of life and increase health care costs.

WHEREAS, the public is encouraged to eat a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grain products, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish and legumes and only small amounts of salt, sugar and saturated fat.

WHEREAS, good nutrition can help lower people’s risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes and osteoporosis.

WHEREAS, breastfeeding is associated with reduced rates of obesity and is promoted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as a strategy to reduce childhood obesity and related chronic diseases.

WHEREAS, only about one-fourth of adults eat the recommended five or more servings of vegetables and fruit per day and calorie intake has increased over the last 30 years.

WHEREAS, regular physical activity is associated with healthier and longer lives and can reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer.

WHEREAS, only about one-fourth of adults and teens get moderate exercise on a regular basis and a lack of physical activity has contributed to a sharp rise in childhood obesity in the last 20 years.

WHEREAS, an energy imbalance contributes to gaining weight and reducing caloric intake while increasing physical activity can create a balanced energy equation.

WHEREAS, more than one in every two King County residents (54%) was overweight or obese in 2004 and in 1987, 37% of the population was overweight or obese.

WHEREAS, between 1987 and 2004, obesity more than doubled, from 7% to 18%.

WHEREAS, obesity and overweight rates are highest in south King County and among certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives.

WHEREAS, the research into evidence-based practices for improving nutrition, increasing physical activity and creating healthy environments will inform interventions and policies in King County.

WHEREAS, the King County Board of Health is responsible for promoting health and well-being of King County residents.

WHEREAS, the King County Overweight Prevention Initiative has been working since June 2004 to promote health eating and active living, developing an action plan using the goals and objectives of the Washington State Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan.

WHEREAS, King County has the potential to implement changes that will improve the health of its residents, and is home to a broad group of talented and committed people interested in promoting better nutrition and greater physical activity levels.

WHEREAS, the goal of these changes is to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE KING COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH directs the King County Overweight Prevention Initiative to work on the following 10-point plan and report progress back to the King County Board of Health in one year:

1. Carry out a community-wide campaign to promote healthy eating and active living, including messages designed to motivate families to reduce individuals’ and children’s TV and screen time.

Nutrition and physical activity
2. Assist school districts’ development and implementation of nutrition and physical activity policies.

3. Enhance employers’ efforts to promote nutrition and physical activity through work site wellness programs, starting with school and King County employees as model worksites.

4. Encourage breastfeeding friendly policies at worksites and child care facilities.

5. Support the adoption of guidelines, best practices and policies that promote nutrition standards, appropriate portion sizes and healthy food choices.

Physical activity
6. Support the implementation of “Safe and active routes to schools and transit” programs.

7. Support greater use of private and public facilities for physical activity, starting with community and senior centers and schools.

Design for active living
8. Support the completion of missing pedestrian and bicycle links in King County.

9. Promote the development and use of checklists on standards of active community design.

10. Partner with academia and our communities to promote evidence-based practices and evaluate and disseminate results regularly and rapidly.