New DOH Initiative Encourages Healthy Behaviors in the Big Bend Area

Nov 20 • 324 Views • View Comments

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Contact: DOH Communications
Jessica Hammonds, (850) 245-4111

-Big Bend Better Living part of a multi-county collaboration to improve community health-

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health (DOH) today launched a new initiative to help residents of the Big Bend get healthy. Big Bend Better Living is a new website resource specifically for Floridians in Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jefferson, Leon, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla counties offering online support on how to eat healthy and be physically active.

“Projects like this are essential to inspiring meaningful change in the individual and, ultimately, in the community,” said Multi-County Collaborative Coordinator for Jefferson and Madison County Health Departments and Big Bend Better Living Project Coordinator Nicollette Castagna. “The tools designed were tailored to the needs of this community, and we want to energize individuals to lead a healthier life with this initiative.”

Big Bend Better Living will combine traditional healthy eating and physical activity tips with regionally-specific suggestions to offer a unique, customized tool for residents and visitors to the eight-county region. The website shares information and lists of specific farmers markets and gyms in the region, places to be active outdoors, and recipes that come from hunting your own food, just to name a few. Each tool is designed with the people of this area in mind.

According to DOH’s Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set (CHARTS), the eight-county regions had an average of 69 percent of adults who are overweight or obese in 2010 with more than 70 percent of adults who are overweight or obese in Gadsden, Taylor and Wakulla counties. This is nearly five percent higher than Florida’s statewide average of 65 percent. Data from 2007 CHARTS shows that, in the eight county region, only 26 percent of adults consumed at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

For more information on Big Bend Better Living visit the website:

The DOH mission is to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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