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Healthy Bay

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The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being – not simply the absence of disease. The choices we make on a daily basis about what we eat, how much we move and how we manage stress affect our overall health today and in the future. We can reduce our risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease through healthy eating, regular physical activity and reaching or maintaining a healthy weight.

Other important tips for good health include:

  • Get enough sleep on a regular basis (needs vary)
  • Find healthy ways to manage stress (laugh more, try a new hobby or sport)
  • Make time to connect with friends and family (take time out from social media)
  • Engage in activities that are spiritually fulfilling (church, meditation, yoga)

Healthiest Weight Initiative 

The number one public health threat to Florida's future is unhealthy weight. Currently, only 36 percent of Floridians are at healthy weight. On our current trend, by 2030, almost 60 percent will be obese. Additionally, six out of ten children born today will be obese by the time they graduate high school.

Over the next 20 years in Florida, obesity is expected to contribute to millions of cases of preventable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, costing an estimated $34 billion. To address this important public health issue, the Department of Health launched the Healthiest Weight Florida initiative in January 2013.

Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not for profit organizations, businesses, and entire communities to help Florida’s children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living.

As part of the Florida Health Cleans Up! initiative, the Florida Department of Health in Bay County has adopted a one-mile stretch of 15th Street. Each month a team of Health Department employees gets exercise while beautifying the community in which we live and work.

The 2016-17 Healthiest Weight workplan includes six healthy places; Birthing Facilites, Early Care & Education, Schools, Worksites, Health Care Settings, and Communities.

Tobacco Cessation 

Smoking is the #1 cause of preventable death in the United States, and every day 88 Floridians die due to tobacco related illnesses. Quitting tobacco (or never starting) is one of the best choices one can make for a healthy lifestyle. You can double your chances of a successful quit attempt by having a plan and support. Free quit smoking classes are offered at several locations in Bay County, including the Florida Department of Health. In addition, counseling is available over the phone or online.  Find out more here:  http://www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/.

The Healthy Bay program provides healthy lifestyle information and education to Bay County community members. Chronic disease prevention and management classes are offered in partnership with other community organizations on topics ranging from smoking cessation and hypertension management to container gardening. The Healthy Bay program also provides outreach to community groups on healthy eating, physical activity and weight management at health fairs, at worksites and at other community events.

For more information, please contact Healthy Bay Coordinator Heather Kretzer at heather.kretzer@flhealth.gov or 850-872-4455, ext. 1344.