Smoking, obesity top north Okaloosa County health concerns

Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 at 02:43 PM.

Obesity is increasing, according to data compiled by Katie Cholcher, the health department’s Community Health Improvement coordinator.

In 2007, 22.4 percent of the adult population was obese. That figure had risen to 38.7 percent by 2010.

A community health plan

To combat the problems, the health department is undertaking several initiatives under the Community Health Improvement Plan, Cholcher said.

Three CHIP work groups address tobacco use, prevention and cessation, and promote physical activity and nutrition to battle obesity. Additionally, a group is studying methods of increasing health care access.

The Mobilizing for Healthier Okaloosa initiative comprises government, health care, education, business, nonprofit and citizen representatives who collaborated on the health improvement objectives.

“Building a healthier Okaloosa County began as a community-wide initiative with the goal of establishing an ongoing process for identifying and addressing health needs,” the county's 2013-15 health improvement plan states.

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