FRANKFORT, KY (Dec. 2, 2015) – Multiple counties across the state have been awarded grants from the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) to help fight obesity and inactivity in their communities, DPH announced today.

Funding for the grant awards comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health. Grant awards, which total $54,000, will be used to promote healthy behaviors and provide support for local communities’ efforts to improve access to farmers’ markets and walkability.

“To build a healthier state, Kentuckians must have access to healthy food and exercise,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Stephanie Mayfield. “A healthy lifestyle starts with fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables and regular physical activity. This is an important step to ending obesity and lessening the chronic disease burden.”

DPH recently requested proposals from local health departments and their community partners to work on up to three strategies with the intent of improving access to healthy foods and opportunities to be physically active. The strategies targeted in the grant proposals include:

  • Developing a ‘5-2-1-0 Healthy Numbers for Kentucky Families’ campaign. The campaign aims to increase the awareness of evidence-based health behaviors and promote best practices to help reach these healthy behaviors. The 5-2-1-0 Healthy Numbers for Kentucky Families campaign emphasizes:
    • Five: Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
    • Two: Limit screen time to no more than two hours a day.
    • One: Be physically active at least one hour a day.
    • Zero: Don’t drink sweetened beverages.

Communities can choose how they would like to promote 5-2-1-0 to their citizens. Campaigns can focus on all tenets of 5-2-1-0 or one message at a time, such as eating the appropriate amounts of fruits and vegetables each day. Six funding awards of $1,000 each will go to Floyd, Graves, Henderson, Marshall, McCreary and Rockcastle counties.

  • Improving access to farmers’ markets by increasing markets that are accessible to underserved areas. Also, increasing farmers’ markets that accept nutrition assistance benefit programs and provide incentives to help make healthy food more affordable. Eight funding awards of $3,000 each will be awarded to Clinton, Fayette, Floyd, Jackson, Kenton, Letcher, Owen and Warren counties to support these efforts.
  • Developing a community pedestrian plan that supports accessible and affordable active transportation options for all users. Three funding awards of $1,000 each will go to Clay, Harrison and Rockcastle counties, and seven implementation funding awards of $3,000 each will go to Clark, Clinton, Greenup, Rowan, Russell, Warren and Whitley counties.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a minimum of five fruits and vegetables serving per day. According to Kentucky’s 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (KyBRFS) and Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (YRBS), 46.2 percent of adult Kentuckians consumed less than one serving of fruit daily; 24.9 percent of Kentucky adults consumed vegetables fewer than once per day; and 32.9 percent of Kentucky high school students and 44 percent of adults drink at least one sugary drink a day in a week.

Meanwhile, according to the CDC, adults need 30 minutes of exercise and children need one hour of physical activity every day, but 2013 data shows that in Kentucky 83.4 percent of adults did not meet the CDC’s recommended guidelines for aerobic and muscle strengthening physical activity. In fact, 30.2 percent of adult Kentuckians reported that they had not participated in any physical activity in the past month; 19.9 percent of high school students did not meet the CDC’s recommendation for physical activity; and 34.5 percent of high school students used a computer for three or more hours per day.

“These grants will help communities reinforce the recommended healthy behaviors by improving walkability and access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Elaine Russell, coordinator for the DPH obesity prevention program. “Surrounding people with multiple opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity are the best ways to combat obesity and its associated chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.”

Media Contact: Gwenda Bond or Beth Fisher, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3100 and 3101

Obesity Grant Program to Increase Access to Physical Activity, Healthy Food