Physical inactivity and unhealthy eating are now the second leading cause of death and disease in the US, contributing to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes. With two-thirds of Minnesotans now overweight or obese, the highest in our history, and obesity-related health conditions projected to cost Minnesota an extra $3.7 billion by 2020 if trends continue, it is time to make a change.
While individual choice plays a role, national research shows that comprehensive changes in a food environment can increase healthy eating for a whole community.
The Morris Healthy Eating Initiative team asks, “What if…?”:
- …a colorful, delicious array of fresh fruits and vegetables were easily accessible each school day?
- …nutrient dense whole foods were as affordable as high calorie, highly processed foods?
- …the rate of obesity and nutrition-related diseases was dropping instead of escalating?
- …the healthy choice was the easy choice?
The goal of the Morris Healthy Eating initiative is to turn these “what ifs…” into reality in our community—on campus, in Morris and in Stevens County.