Oakland County Health Division helps launch statewide obesity prevention efforts

Oakland County Health Division was recognized by the Michigan Department of Community Health as one of six “4×4 Health & Wellness” grant recipients to implement community-based obesity prevention strategies.The Health Division is partnering with the “Healthy Pontiac, We Can! Coalition” to support the launch of the state’s “MI Healthier Tomorrow” public awareness campaign in Oakland County. The campaign complements the initiatives of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson to improve the quality of life for residents through active and healthy lifestyles.

“The goal is for every Michigan resident to use tools and resources available to them for maintaining and/or attaining good health,” said Kathy Forzley Health Division manager/health officer. “We share the vision for a healthier Michigan and Oakland County.”

The new MI Healthier Tomorrow campaign focuses on helping people make changes to improve their health, which includes taking a pledge to lose 10 percent of their body weight. It encourages individuals to achieve what the state outlined in its Michigan Health and Wellness 4×4 plan. For instance, residents should know their four basic health measures: BMI (Body Mass Index), blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose; and keep those four health measures under control by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting annual physical exams, and avoiding tobacco use. Residents can use the MI Healthier Tomorrow tools to attain this goal.

“I fully believe that these lifestyle changes can significantly improve quality of life and drastically reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. I am pledging to lose 10 percent of my body weight on the MI Healthier Tomorrow website and I encourage others to join me,” Forzley said.

Follow Forzley’s progress on the Health Division’s Facebook page at facebook.com/publichealthOC.

About Healthy Pontiac, We Can! Coalition
The Health Division is partnering with the Healthy Pontiac, We Can! Coalition to support the campaign by developing new initiatives that assist Pontiac residents in making healthier choices by:

  • Increasing physical activity in children enrolled in after school programs
  • Making improvements in local parks that encourage physical activity
  • Expanding and create new walking clubs
  • Launching a new weekly produce market that accepts EBT
  • Providing nutrition education and cooking demonstrations at existing produce markets
  • Supporting the statewide campaigns that encourage Pontiac residents to use the 4×4 tool and MI Healthier Tomorrow resources

Health Division organized the Healthy Pontiac, We Can! Coalition in 2011 to bring community-based health projects such as healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco-free living to improve the health and quality of life for Pontiac residents. It is a diverse coalition which includes leaders in primary and preventive health care, mental health, human service agencies, education, the religious community, and governmental agencies in addition to local residents.

The Michigan Health and Wellness 4×4 Plan and MI Healthier Tomorrow tools can be accessed from the Health Division website at www.oakgov.com/health.