St Johns County designated a “Healthy Weight Community”

300-HEALTH-DAWN-ALLICOTTHistoric City News was on hand this morning when the Florida Department of Health recognized St Johns County as a “Healthy Weight Community Champion”. The recognition was presented by Dr. Dawn Allicock to members of the county commission.

Between November 2013 and February 2014, local governments were invited to submit best practice policies they have implemented to promote physical activity and improve nutrition in their jurisdictions. These “best practices” are exemplified by the Healthy Weight Community Champions.

“Efforts to improve health are often most effective at the local level and the Department wants to recognize the outstanding progress made by these communities to promote healthy weight,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong.

“We are very proud of the work our local leaders have accomplished to make our community a healthier place to live, work, and play,” said Brenda Fenech-Soler; Public Information Officer and Executive Assistant for the Florida Department of Health in St Johns County.

Some of the best practices enacted locally include:

• Sponsorship of low or no cost fitness related events
• Pursuing healthy community design and complete streets policies
• Supporting the development of community gardens
• Including healthier alternatives in vending machines at parks and recreation facilities

The Community Champions program is part of the Department’s Healthiest Weight Florida initiative. Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, schools, faith-based organizations and entire communities to help Florida’s children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living.

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