Healthy Weld 2020

Who is Healthy Weld 2020

Happy-Average-Muscle-Man

Weld’s leading obesity prevention program

Healthy Weld 2020 is a privately funded grant program at the Weld County Department of Public Health & Environment that takes a leading role in obesity prevention initiatives in the county by creating healthy environments where residents work, learn, live and play.

Why We Are Here – Food deserts are linked to increases in obesity

· During 2010, Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE) participated in a Northern Colorado Regional Food System Assessment with Larimer County, Colorado State University Department of Agriculture Resources, and Colorado State University Extension in Boulder County to better understand the components of our food system and how that relates to the economic, social and physical health of the region.  Study results can be found at this link: www.larimer.org/foodassessment.

· The purpose of the assessment was to identify current food system inputs, gaps, and opportunities for growth.  During the first phase of the project, at least 11 Weld County “food desert” areas housing 36,000, or 20%, of residents were identified.

· Food deserts lack sufficient access to a wide variety of healthy, fresh, and affordable foods that are essential for good health such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meats/beans, dairy and whole grain products.

· Because of that, individuals in these areas may be more reliant on convenience food retailers or fast food restaurants that only offer more limited varieties of calorically-dense foods.

· Limited access to healthier food choices may be linked to poor diets and, ultimately, to obesity and other diet-related diseases.  If healthier foods are as available and as inexpensive as calorically-dense foods, it is believed that consumers will substitute away from calorically-dense foods to healthier foods and reduce the risk of obesity.

· By increasing access to healthy foods and educating residents on how to purchase and cook fresh ingredients, Healthy Weld 2020 is making the healthiest choice the easiest choice in Weld County.

Contact Information

Leslie Beckstrom, MS, RD
Healthy Eating Active Living Coordinator
Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment
1555 N. 17th Ave. Greeley, CO 80631
email:lbeckstrom@weldgov.com
phone:(970) 304-6470 x2387