The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) was awarded a five-year grant as part of the State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Program, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. SPAN will address health disparities related to nutrition security and healthy food access, physical inactivity, and obesity prevention.
In Georgia, more than one-third of adults have obesity as do more than one in six high school aged students. Physical activity and healthy eating patterns can cut the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
“SPAN builds on Georgia’s established, 25-year history of physical activity and nutrition initiatives, including the Georgia Shape effort to address chronic disease and obesity prevention,” says GHPC assistant project director Debbie Kibbe and lead for the SPAN grant. “Obesity and inactivity impact more young people and adults living in Georgia than any other health concerns. We are hopeful that SPAN will create more opportunities for all people in Georgia to experience the benefits of regular physical activity and healthy eating.”
Over the next five years, GHPC will work with communities and organizational partners to implement proven public health strategies that will:
- Make healthy food choices easier everywhere by promoting food service and nutrition guidelines and expanding fruit and vegetable voucher incentives and produce prescription programs.
- Provide safe and accessible physical activity by connecting pedestrian, bicycle, or transit transportation networks to everyday destinations.
- Expand continuity of care in breastfeeding support by collaborating with partners to implement breastfeeding-friendly policies and practices.
- Assist early care and education settings in improving nutrition and physical activity and increasing breastfeeding.
“CDC is excited to announce this new SPAN funding to 17 states,” said Terry O’Toole, Ph.D., program development and evaluation branch chief in CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. “With this funding, states will actively partner with communities to improve physical activity and healthy nutrition options in areas most in need.”
GHPC will work on the priority topics with the following coordinating partners:
- Nutrition: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life, Wholesome Wave Georgia
- Breastfeeding: Georgia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Physical activity: HealthMPowers
- Obesity Prevention and Farm to Early Care and Education: Quality Care for Children
A complete list of CDC’s SPAN recipients and additional information can be found on the SPAN website.