With an obesity rate of 35.5% and a physical inactivity rate of 30.8%, Louisiana's residents suffer disproportionately from preventable obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. In order to combat this, the LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities initiative is using a systemic community-driven approach to improve the nutrition and physical activity environments in Louisiana.
Healthy communities are places where people have come together to make their community better for everyone through collaboration, inclusion, community ownership and a long-term, positive commitment to healthy lifestyles.
Using the Socio-Ecological Model, the initiative seeks partnerships with schools, elected officials, community members, faith-based organizations and community stakeholders to deliver evidence-based interventions to influence the complex determinants of health. By partnering with local communities, Healthy Communities aims to continuously improve both the physical and social environments that influence our health.
Step 1: Get to know your community by assessing its needs. What resources are already available? Which parts of the community are underserved?
Step 2: Host a community forum to help guide your efforts. Give your community a voice by gathering input from community members.
Step 3: Form a Healthy Communities coalition. If there is already an existing coalition, join the effort to improve the health of your community.
Step 4: Address your community's needs. Pool your coalition's resources to make changes according to the needs identified by the community.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture