Monday May 30, 2005
Mayor Jerry Abramson today joined close to 1,000 Louisville residents in cycling a scenic route through downtown and West Louisville. The event was the kickoff of the second phase of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement that will include a focus on eating healthier foods and encouraging weight management for those who need it.
“Lose It, Louisville!” is the theme of the campaign’s second phase and is designed to complement phase one, “Move It, Louisville,” which focuses on exercise and fitness issues and encourages participation in physical activity. The Hike & Bike is an example of the movement’s commitment to develop health and fitness-oriented events.
“In addition to today’s event, Metro Government is focusing on improvements to bicycling trails, walking trails and activity at our pools, ballfields and parks,” Abramson said. “We are creating a new culture in Louisville where physical activity and good nutrition are the norm and our citizens are routinely motivated to increase their level of activity and adopt healthier eating habits.”
Abramson launched the Healthy Hometown Movement last fall as a long-term effort to provide information, encouragement and highlight resources toward affecting healthy behavioral change throughout the community.
Lose It, Louisville initially targets Metro Government employees, private sector employers and public/private partnerships, toward the goal of encouraging individuals to eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day as well as work toward losing as much as a pound per week for ten weeks based on an individual’s goals. This weight-management model also serves as a sample program for neighborhood organizations, schools, churches and individuals.
“It’s not just about losing pounds and inches, but bad eating habits as well. If we all lose some unhealthy behaviors, the entire community wins in terms of reduced health-care costs, absenteeism from work and school, and an enhanced quality of life.”
Currently in Louisville, less than 65 percent of people engage in physical activity, 59 percent are overweight or obese, and only 22 percent eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, the nationally recommended daily requirement.
Abramson’s goal is to affect as much as a 15 percent positive change in each of these indicators. The Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement is administered through the Louisville Metro Health Department under the direction of Dr. Adewale Troutman. A 45-member Advisory Committee of the area’s leading health and fitness professionals provides oversight. The Health Department tracks the community’s health progress through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Study (BRFSS) performed every two years.
To encourage individual participation in Lose It, Louisville, the Health Department has created a package of support materials, including menus, recipes, calorie counters, BMI assessments and schedules of support group meetings.
Information about the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement and listings of health and fitness-oriented events are available at www.loukymetro.org, or by calling MetroCall at 311 or 574-5000. Grant extends neighborhood group’s healthy initiative.
Abramson also announced that ACTIVE Louisville, a partnership that is focusing on healthy design and environmental issues in the redeveloping Clarksdale area, has received a second grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to encourage healthy eating in children ages 3-12.
The $50,000 grant will allow ACTIVE Louisville to help area children learn about preparing and selecting healthy foods, promote the Smoketown Farmer’s Market, support an outdoor classroom at Meyzeek Elementary and create a community garden at St. Peter Claver Community Center on Lampton Street.