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Planting seeds obesity prevention partnerships Fit City Madison Kathy Andrusz 294-5323 Heard of the obesity epidemic? “Epidemic of physical inactivity and poor nutrition” Effects on health care costs Journal of WI Medical Society

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Planting seedsobesity prevention partnerships

Fit City Madison

Kathy Andrusz


Heard of the obesity epidemic?

“Epidemic of physical inactivity and poor nutrition”

Effects on health care costs

Journal of WI Medical Society

Large company (20,000+) self insured

Two-year medical costs by BMI level

(Healthy weight) < 25$5400



(Morbidly obese) >35$10, 600(+$5200)

BMI Disclaimer

  • Tells us about population, not individual

  • Highly developed muscle = high BMI

  • An no epidemic of superhero-body syndrome!?

BMI Tool

BMI Calculator

Why the dramatic increase in obesity?

Wave of laziness/lack of self-control?

Lack of knowledge?

Genetic component?

Food Environment,Built Environment

Food availability



Environment--Community/transportation design

Available daily calories, per capita 1982-2000

Food availability by recommendations

Per capita daily consumption of ADDED fats

“Bad Popcorn in Big Buckets”

U Illinois- Champaign-Urbana

Subjects ate more popcorn when served in “jumbo” bucket than in “medium” bucket

45% more fresh popcorn

34% more stale

(2 weeks old!)

Factors affecting food intake

Proximity, visibility, abundance

(bowl of candies, stockpiling)

Perception of portion size

(self-refilling soup bowl)

One simple reason restaurant portions are so big?

Food is least costly part of transaction

(restaurant industry doesn’t care if you eat it … as long as you buy it)

Portion Size Tool

Portion Distortion Quiz


Nutrition information from manufacturers

Manufacturers influence on Food Guide

healthy messages

Directed at children

“Hidden” Marketing

Post Cereals (Kraft)


Nabisco products

Food Pyramid Tool

Built Environment

Fewer sidewalks, bike lanes = more car trips

Sprawling suburb vs. traditional neighborhood

(necessities within walking distance)

Streets less walkable (examples)

“Climate of fear”

Vehicle travel

Dane County

DOT: Vehicle Miles Traveled/year from 1990 to 2003 increased

60% (3 billion to 4.8)

Population growth = 22%

Multiple sources of problem

No simple solution

  • Personal choices

  • Education/modeling healthy behavior

  • cost of food vs. cost of obesity? (short term, long term)

  • Obesity Prevention Focus AreasCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Physical Activity

  • Fruits and Vegetables

  • Sweetened Beverages

  • Television Time

  • Breastfeeding

  • Portion Size

… where to start…?

Identify personal spheres of influence

what you serve; your birthday at the workplace; choosing a club fundraiser; requesting food choices or accessing nutrition info at establishments you patronize; walk neighborhood kids to school; park farther away

Chance to Change?Personal

Be aware of opportunities for activity

Calories per HourMap My Route

American Way vs. the Way that Works

Magic bullet vs. One bite, one step at a time

www.smallstep.govSuccess Stories

National Weight Control Registry

America on the Move

Lean Plate Club

Mindless Eating

Diet Simple

Choose to Change?Work

Offer healthy AND delicious snacks at meetings and gatherings

101 Ways to Workplace Wellness

Meeting Well (American Cancer Society)

Use stairs, walk halls on breaks, park farther (or bus stop), walk don’t email

Chance to Change?Home, work, school

Use food psychology to your advantage

(location, availability, serving bowl, portion size packs)

Buying in bulk– increasing your bulk

Consider your impact on food environment at home, work

(do they need more donuts, salty snacks?)

Choose to Change?Quick tips

  • Pack up half of entrée before meal

  • Fundraising foods– offer donation instead

  • Walk and talk vs. sit and consume

  • Consider alternative foods for celebration --- People DO enjoy healthy foods!

Chance to Change?Community

  • Become an advocate

    Planning meetings, PTO, when shopping/dining, conferences and public meetings


General Health Resource

Planting seeds for obesity prevention

Fit City Madison

Kathy Andrusz


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