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GAMC Awarded Grant to Address High Obesity Rates in Glendale

Community Needs, 2017 GLENDALE, CA – Glendale Adventist Medical Center was recently awarded a grant from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with funding from the California Department of Public Health and the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant will support the Champions for Change - Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity among low-income Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education-eligible populations by providing nutrition education, physical activity promotion, and working to create healthier environments for low-income individuals and families where they live, learn, work, play, pray and shop. 

Key efforts under the initiative include teaching fundamental skills such as cooking, reading food labels, shopping on a budget, growing fruits and vegetables and introducing low-cost and fun ways to be physically active. In addition, champions in communities throughout the County will be identified to help improve access to healthier foods and increase opportunities to be physical active in a variety of settings, including early childcare centers, schools, faith-based organizations, corner stores, parks, worksites and cities.    

“Glendale Adventist Medical Center is pleased to be a part of this County-wide initiative, as we are uniquely positioned to reach low income Glendale youth and their families," explained Martha Rivera, project director. “We are working toward making notable changes in parks and recreation and school settings to make healthier foods more affordable and available as well as identify ways to integrate physical activity into the day to improve the overall health for families in Glendale.”  

According to the LA County: A Cities and Communities Health Report, obesity-related chronic illnesses continue to rank among the top ten leading causes of premature death, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.  While the obesity epidemic continues to impact virtually all population groups, about 18.2% of children and 17.2% of adults in Glendale’s service area are obese. 

“Reducing obesity is a priority of Public Health and a key objective of the Champions for Change - Healthy Communities Initiative,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Interim Health Officer of Los Angeles County. “By investing in our communities and the people that we serve, we are hopeful that we can make impactful, long-lasting changes for better health outcomes.”