Community Spotlight – Eat Smart, Move More Orange County

Monday April 8, 2013

“Eat more fruits and vegetables” –we hear tips like this everywhere. If you’ve heard this, or “right-size your portions,” it might be because of a local health publicity campaign. The Healthy Carolinians of Orange County launched “Eat Smart, Move More Orange County” (ESMM) to address the growing problem of family obesity.   A “Consistent Messaging Campaign” was launched this past fall to promote healthy food and activity choices wherever people live, learn, earn, play, and pray.  Campaign participants encourage individuals and families to think differently about what they eat and how much they move; and help people make choices that help them feel good and live healthier.

None of these messages are new or radical. They are simple, common-sense  strategies for lowering obesity risk factors:

1.  Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables

2.  Right-Size Your Portions

3.  Tame the Tube and Get Moving

4.  Choose to Move More Every Day

5.  Re-Think Your Drink

6.  Prepare More Meals at Home

One of the things I enjoy most about my job here as a health educator is that I get to help put into action the “best practices” learned in the UNC School of Public Health.  An example of this is our participation in the Orange County Healthy Carolinians, a local task force set up to address health problems in our community. Jamy McGee and I represent the Wellness Center on the Health Promotion Committee of Healthy Carolinians of Orange County. We’re also putting into action another principle of Public Health practice: collaboration.

2012 – 2013 Consistent Messaging Campaign Partners:

Carrboro Parks and Recreation
Celebration Assembly of God Church
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA
Childcare Health Consultant – Childcare Centers
Childcare Services Association
Fairview Community Watch Association
Hillsborough Presbyterian Church
Healthy Carolinians of Orange County
Orange County Cooperative Extension Services – EFNEP
Orange County Department on Aging
Orange County Government
Orange County Health Department – Nutrition Services
Orange County Library
Orange County Partnership for Young Children
Orange County Schools
Public Health Reserve Corps
Smith Middle School
UNC Health Care / UNC Wellness Center
Vietri Inc.

For more information, http://www.co.orange.nc.us/health/esmmoc.asp; And stay tuned for more ways to “eat more fruits and veggies” or “tame the tube”!

Here’s to your (our) health,
Susan Chesser, RN, MPH
Health Educator