Standing before a mural depicting this year’s theme, “A Healthier California: One Step at a Time,” Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), called on Californians to take steps to achieve better health. Horton and other leaders challenged attendees to write down the steps they will take to improve their health and post those pledges on the mural.
With more than 30 booths and exhibits, the event highlighted state programs designed to improve the health of Californians. As a follow-up to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s obesity summit held earlier this year, Horton reinforced the Governor’s commitment to addressing the obesity epidemic by unveiling a new social marketing campaign produced by the CDPH Network for a Healthy California nutrition program.
“The California Department of Public Health is leading the nation with ground-breaking programs to motivate all Californians to live a healthy lifestyle,” said Horton. “Obesity takes a significant toll on individual’s health and costs more than $40 billion each year. This new campaign urges all Californians to make healthy choices to become part of the solution.”
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), three out of five adult Californians are overweight or obese, and one in three California children are overweight or obese.
The Network for a Healthy California’s “What’s Harder?” ads were produced in English and Spanish. The ads emphasize that, even though it may not be easy at first to ensure your kids follow a healthy menu, it is harder to watch them suffer the negative physical and emotional consequences associated with obesity. The ads feature “Champions for Change” moms and dads from across the state.
“The hard-hitting tone of our new ads sends a clear message -- we all have a role in improving the health of our families, and we can’t wait to act,” said Horton.
Shay Sorrells, a 30-year-old mother from Newport Beach who last year shared her life-long battle with obesity as a contestant on NBC’s reality show, “The Biggest Loser” shared her success story with the audience. An inspirational Champion for Change, Sorrells talked about her struggle to lose 150 pounds and the steps she and her family continue to take to reach their fitness goals.
“I’m honored to join these Champion for Change moms who are fighting for their families’ health,” said Sorrells. “The Biggest Loser gave me the boost I needed to make necessary changes in my life, and those are lessons I now share with my family. But it doesn’t take a team of professionals to develop healthier habits. Being active, eating more fruits and vegetables and getting regular health screenings are a few examples of steps we can all take to get in charge of our health today.”
National Public Health Week is celebrated April 5-11.