Posts tagged Julian Castro
Physical activity is increasingly recognized as a critical way to prevent obesity, chronic disease and other serious health issues.
But nationally, only 1 in 4 adults meet physical activity guidelines.
Even fewer youths do.
A local volunteer group is trying to change that in San Antonio, a Texas city whose residents, most of whom are Latino, don’t engage in enough physical activity.
The Active Living Council of San Antonio, a community coalition formed in 2009 by local health officials using federal grant funds, has created the Active Living Plan for a Healthier San Antonio to identify and implement effective strategies to help people partake in “active living.”
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his Mayor’s Fitness Council have endorsed the plan, which also has broad support from several community groups.
“We hope local leaders use the plan to build a culture of ‘active living,’ a way of life that integrates physical activity into San Antonio residents’ daily routines, such as walking to the grocery store, biking to work, or exercising,” said Laura Esparza, a member of the council and a researcher at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The council spent 18 months collaborating with community, governmental and industry members to create the plan.
The plan shares the vision of the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP): “One day, all Americans will be physically active and they will live, work, and play in environments that facilitate regular physical activity.”
NPAP encourages use of evidence-based strategies to promote active living through policy, environmental and systems changes.
The council is currently reaching out to educate decision-makers, community leaders, and residents about local challenges to active living and how implementing the plan can help increase physical activity.
“We feel like this can help make San Antonio a much healthier place, and contribute to reducing obesity rates,” Esparza said.
Watch San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s award-winning introductory video about SABalance.org, the city’s new website touting healthy eating and physical activity for local families, schools, and more.
The video won bronze Telly awards in the health and wellness and instructional categories.
In the wake of the city’s $15.6 million federal grant to fight childhood obesity, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro has named Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, a co-chair of his new Mayor’s Fitness Council, which will develop ways to spur improved community nutrition and activity.
The council, which recently met for the first time, also is co-chaired by Wane McGarity, a former Dallas Cowboy and current H-E-B health promoter, and Tony Canty of Labatt Food Service and the YMCA of Greater San Antonio.
The council will develop and implement initiatives in these five main areas:
• Media and community outreach/education;
• Corporate and organizational wellness;
• Healthy schools;
• Nutrition and fresh food; and
• Fitness, recreation and active transportation.
“We have the exciting task of developing a variety of innovative ways to improve nutrition and physical activity across San Antonio,” said Dr. Ramirez of the UT Health Science Center, who also heads SaludToday and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Latino childhood obesity research network called Salud America! “I’m really looking forward to seeing the kind of changes we can make to reverse the obesity epidemic, especially among our children and underserved populations.”
Read more about the council here.