Last edition, we featured an extensive article on how our region is working towards tackling the issue of obesity in our neighborhoods. On the surface, it might have seemed like we were celebrating the long upheld New Year’s Resolution to shed a few pounds, but there’s really much more to it than that.
You see, the numbers don’t lie: 65 percent of the adults in Florida are at an unhealthy weight (yours truly included). Plus, one out of three kids are currently considered obese. At this rate, experts estimate that by the year 2030, at least 60 percent of Floridians will be classified as obese . . . unless, of course, we do something to change these current trends. In response to these very disconcerting numbers, a public-private partnership was forged between state agencies, not for profit organizations, businesses and entire communities to create the Healthiest Weight Florida initiative. This is such a serious issue that our State’s Surgeon General, Dr. John H. Armstrong, came to visit Polk County on January 24 to help increase awareness of this new movement. Closer to home, Polk Vision— of which I am honored to be a board member— has created an initiative called Building a Healthier Polk, and has accomplished some great work towards promoting lifestyle changes rather than diets. You will continue to see all the great things from local and state initiatives like these woven into the fabric of this magazine throughout the year.
That being said, there’s a method behind the editorial content of Central Florida Health News magazine, and that’s to bring you relevant medical news on how you can live a healthier lifestyle. In this edition, our method is the same, but the content is just as relevant. I encourage you to read the story about how your community is working to prevent and lower your risk for heart disease. I also recommend reading the story about Alice Manley, a public health nurse for 57 years, and the first African-American nurse to work for the Florida Department of Health in Polk County. It’s a pleasure and an honor to share her story with you, and I know you’ll enjoy reading this edition of Central Florida Health News magazine!
Nelson Kirkland, Publisher