Community Profile: Miami-Dade County, Florida
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“WE ARE PROUD OF THE PROGRESS THAT WE'VE MADE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST OBESITY IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY. ALTHOUGH OUR WORK MAY NOT BE COMPLETE, WE CAN TAKE PRIDE IN WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE FUTURE AS WE CONTINUE TO INCREASE OUR MOMENTUM AROUND PROTECTING AND PROMOTING THE HEALTH OF OUR COMMUNITY.”
— Lillian Rivera, RN, MSN, PhD, Administrator of the Miami-Dade County Health Department
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“YOU GET YOUR VEGETABLES, YOUR STARCH, YOUR PROTEIN. IT'S REALLY GOOD.”
— Miami-Dade County high school student and healthy vending machine patron
Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) is an initiative designed to make healthy living easier by promoting environmental changes at the local level. Through funding awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010, a total of 50 communities are working to prevent obesity and tobacco use—the two leading preventable causes of death and disability.
Miami-Dade County, Florida, is tackling obesity throughout the community, which is home to nearly 2.5 million residents. The rate of obesity and overweight adults in the county is 67.4%. Approximately 13% of high-school students are obese and only 12% attend daily physical-education classes at school, which is lower than the state rate of 44%. Poor diet and physical inactivity contribute to the obesity problem. Only 22.1% of adults in the county meet the Federal government's guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption, and 24.5% of the adult population reported no physical activity in the last 30 days.
If healthy options are not available, then healthy living is not possible. With the support of the CPPW initiative, Miami-Dade County has implemented a variety of changes throughout the community to make healthy living easier.
To decrease the prevalence of obesity, Miami-Dade County:
- Trained more than 2,700 staff members in approximately 960 childcare centers and programs on nutrition, physical activity, and screen time standards. The trainings were conducted by the University of Miami and about 100,000 children will benefit from this initiative.
- Supported 340 childcare centers and childcare programs to revise their menus to offer healthier options based on consultations with a registered dietician.
- Secured the commitment of 10 of the county's 14 birthing centers to take steps toward earning the Baby Friendly Hospital designation and to implement a work-site lactation policy. Baby Friendly Hospitals provide a host of maternity services aimed at protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding.
- Installed 234 bicycle racks throughout Miami-Dade County.
- Supported the Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation incorporation of Great Streets Planning Principles and Complete Streets into the Urban Design Manual for private development. These initiatives help ensure safe street access for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders.
- Increased the number of public elementary schools implementing the Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK™) curriculum from 40 to 240. SPARK™ is an evidence-based physical education program aimed at increasing students' physical activity during and outside of school.
(The list above is a sample of all activities completed by the community.)
Miami-Dade County is using technology to battle childhood obesity. Students in public schools now have access to a variety of healthy meal options made from local ingredients, which are available though reimbursable vending machines. The machine menu was designed by Miami-Dade County Public Schools Food & Nutrition in partnership with celebrity chefs and meets guidelines for the Federal reimbursable meals program. More than 58,000 lunches were sold through the machines during the trial period, which ran from April through May 2011. To date, 40 machines have been installed. When the initiative is fully implemented, approximately 99,636 high school students will benefit from the reimbursable vending machines.
The leadership team includes high-level community leaders from multiple sectors, who have the combined resources and capacity to make healthy living easier. Members of Miami-Dade County's leadership team are key agents for change in their community. The leadership team includes representatives from the following organizations:
- Florida International University
- Florida State Senate
- Health Care Management Consulting
- Health Foundation of South Florida
- Jessie Trice Community Health Center, Inc.
- Miami-Dade County Health Department
- Miami-Dade County Public Schools
- Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 6
- South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association
- Page last reviewed: October 25, 2013
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