“Obesity is an epidemic in this country, and we should be working toward healthy lifestyle choices,” said Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor. “Our primary goal is to encourage healthy eating and physical activity to help prevent or reduce obesity and its related risk factors like heart disease.”
In California, where more than half the adult population is obese or overweight, a recent study showed that the epidemic is costing the state more than $41 billion per year in health care costs and lost productivity. Brentwood hopes to control those costs by drawing on the HEAL campaign’s free training and assistance in the adoption of policies to improve the community’s physical activity and retail food environments.
“The city wants to be a model for children and families who use our facilities,” said Craig Bronzan, director of the City’s Park and Recreation Department. “Sugar-sweetened beverages, along with high-calorie snacks, are a problem when it comes to childhood obesity.”
While citizens play a pivotal role in the diet and exercise choices they make, Brentwood policymakers recognize that local government plays a part in making it easier for their citizens to move to healthier behaviors.
“Brentwood is a pioneer in providing residents healthy lifestyle choices,” said Charlotte Dickson of the HEAL campaign. “It takes an innovative city government to explore new policy approaches that answer both the challenges associated with reduced funding and skyrocketing obesity-related costs. Brentwood residents can be rightfully proud that their local government is on the cutting edge of this issue.”
For more information, visit www.healcitiescampaign.org.