Healthy Eating

Obesity Prevention

| February 15, 2017


Obesity: Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher

Body Mass Index (BMI): A measure of an adult’s weight in relation to his or her height

Obesity in Lane County

Obesity is a risk factor for chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. In Lane County 79.7% of adults have one or more risk factors for chronic disease. In Lane County, more than 1 in 4 people over the age of 18 have obesity (26.7%).  Nearly 28% of Lane County 8th graders and 30% of 11th graders are overweight or obese, putting them at greater risk for chronic disease later in life.

Sources: Oregon BRFSS County Combined Dataset 2010-2013, 2015 Oregon Healthy Teens Survey


Obesity Prevention Strategies

 We know that changing individual behavior, while important, is not enough. The scope of the problem and our limited resources mean we will have greater impact by changing the environments and conditions to make healthy choices easier for everyone. The CDC focuses on six target behaviors for the prevention of obesity and other chronic conditions:

  • Increase physical activity
  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Increase breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity
  • Decrease consumption of sugar sweetened beverages
  • Decrease consumption of high energy dense, nutrient poor, foods
  • Decrease television viewing

In addition, the CDC recommends community strategies and corresponding measurements, or indicators, that local governments can use to plan, implement, and monitor policy and environmental initiatives to prevent obesity.

  • Promote the Availability of Affordable Healthy Food & Beverages
  • Support Healthy Food and Beverage Choices
  • Encourage Breastfeeding
  • Encourage Physical Activity and Limit Sedentary Activity Among Children and Youth
  • Create Safe Communities That Support Physical Activity
  • Encourage Communities to Organize for Change

For specific strategies see:

Local Policy Examples to Promote Healthy Food

Healthy Corner Stores: “Healthy corner store” projects have been identified as a strategy to combat obesity by increasing access to fresh produce and other healthy foods at corner stores in neighborhoods lacking full service grocery stores. In 2013, Lane Coalition for Healthy Active Youth lead an initiative to improve healthy food availability in Lane County communities that lacked access. You can download their report here: Download.

Healthy Vending Policy: Our workplaces, recreation centers, public spaces and other places where we spend time outside of the home make up a significant portion of our daily food environment. Typically, this environment includes vending machines stocked with calorie-dense, high in sugar, fat, and salt “junk foods” with few items that might be considered “healthy.” In 2014, Lane Coalition for Healthy Active Youth did conducted an assessment of vending at recreational facilities and developed a toolkit for creating healthy vending policies. Download

Weight Bias & Stigma Reduction

There are social consequences of obesity related to bias and discrimination by employers, educators and health care professionals that children and adults with obesity face every day. These factors reduce the quality of life for people with overweight and obesity, jeopardizing their long-term physical, psychological and emotional well-being.

For more information and resources, please visit:

Additional Resources:

Category: Community Groups/Coalitions, Health Providers, Obesity

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