FUN 'n FITchburg
A Bit of History
In 2009, Fitchburg youth had the 2nd highest body mass index (BMI) in MA. Only 38 out of every 100 people were at a healthy weight. If the obesity epidemic is not reversed, this generation of children could be the first to live less healthy and shorter lives than their parents’ generation. Obesity can be directly linked to the US top three causes of death: stroke, cancer and heart disease. Healthy eating and physical activity reduce the risk for obesity and chronic diseases.
The Community is Getting Healthier
Fitchburg MA is making some very positive changes for your health: where sidewalks connect to parks and schools, fresh fruits and vegetables are more available in neighborhoods, and recreational areas are safe and clean!
Who Is Leading the Effort?
Fun ‘n FITchburg is a partnership of over 75 individuals taking a different approach to obesity. We’re youth and residents, the Mayor, the Board of Health, the Parks and Recreation Department, City Police, the Community Health Center, Fitchburg Public Schools, the Montachusett Opportunity Council, businesses, environmental groups, and many others. Our focus is on local policies, systems and environmental changes that will make it easy for Fitchburg residents to eat healthy and be physically active.
What Changes Have Already Been Made?
·Built over 40 community gardens at Green Acres & Meadowbrook Village
·Worked for all farmers markets to accept SNAP & Farmers Market Coupons
·Created an adopt-a-park program with 16 parks adopted by residents/groups
·Adopted healthy food guidelines for vendors at city parks and concessions
·Partnered with the police and Parks Department to make parks Safe Zones
According to the MA Dept. of Public Health, Fitchburg’s youth are no longer ranked 2nd for BMI. In fact, Fitchburg schools’ BMI has improved by over 10% since 2009!
Join Us in Our Next Steps
· Increasing healthy food and drink options where youth and families play
· Advocating for a transportation system that supports all users
· Transforming vacant lots into healthy eating/physical activity spaces
· Incorporating healthy retail food practices in local supermarkets
· Helping the Community Health Center establish a Healthy Weight Clinic
· Encouraging local daycares to adopt MA Children at Play standards routes to school, and safe routes to parks programs.
Fun ‘n Fitchburg a program of the Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc is funded by a Mass in Motion initiative sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities