2008 Revised State Plan Launch &
Regional Obesity Prevention Meetings

Regional Obesity Prevention Meetings

2008 Meetings

July 31 - Ellensburg
September 19 - Tri-Cities
September 26 - Tacoma
October 22 - Vancouver
November 18 - Mount Vernon
December 10 - Aberdeen

Obesity and the associated chronic diseases, like diabetes, are increasing in our state at alarming rates. To help address this major health issue, please join us for a regional obesity prevention meeting to learn more about the work that has begun in communities throughout Washington.

The Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Program (NPAO) at the Washington State Department of Health introduced community partners to new data about obesity in our state and the revised Washington State Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan. Attendees had an opportunity to meet and connect with county and community partners in their region to craft strategies to prevent obesity, relevant for their community.

Washington State Nutrition & Physical Activity Plan:
Policy & Environmental Approaches

2008 State Plan CoverAbout the Plan

The purpose of the Washington State Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan is to provide a framework for policy makers at the state, local, and institutional levels to work together to support and build environments that make it easier for Washington residents to choose healthy foods and to be physically active in order to:

  • Slow the increase in the proportion of adults and children who are obese
  • Reduce rates of chronic diseases that are associated with obesity
  • Improve quality of life

Focus for the State Plan

The plan is based on scientific evidence about obesity prevention. It emphasizes environmental and policy approaches to build a foundation for stemming the rapid increase in rates of overweight and obesity. All obesity prevention and treatment initiatives will be more successful when Washington residents live in environments that make it easier to eat healthy and be active.

In most cases, obesity can be prevented if people move more and eat less. This is easier said than done. Often environmental factors prevent access to healthy foods and ways to be physically active. The environment where we work, for example, might not have healthy choices in vending machines. The environment where we live might have busy streets and no sidewalks, making it difficult to walk. Our culture also affects food and physical activity choices.

The state plan stresses developing policies for schools, workplaces, communities, and health-care settings that support healthy changes that will last. An example of a policy change might be a school district no longer allowing students to purchase soda in school or a city code requiring that all neighborhoods have sidewalks.

Updating the State Plan - 2008

In 2007 Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington worked together to update Washington’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan. To be included in the Plan, recommendations and strategies are:

  • Related to obesity and chronic disease prevention
  • Population-based
  • Evidence-based, theoretically sound, or recommended by nationally recognized authorities or experts
  • Potential to affect a large portion of the population
  • Based on measurable objectives

The original plan was created in 2002. Since then more than 700 stakeholders identified themselves as “partners of the plan. Nearly 200 stories about their progress are published on the Washington Partners in Action Web site. In-depth interviews were conducted, along with online surveys and correspondence with members of the original advisory group and many others who use the plan. 

New to the Plan in 2008

  • The role of families and individuals
  • The role of primary prevention in health care
  • New examples chosen from hundreds of initiatives across that state to illustrate how policy and environmental changes can make a difference
  • Cultural competence, provide new data and suggest communication approaches
  • The importance of working through partners and coalitions