BY CHRISTINA E. SANCHEZ • THE TENNESSEAN • MARCH 23, 2010
Nashville plans to use a $7.5 million federal grant over the next two years to make barriers to healthy eating and active living go away.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Nashville an obesity prevention grant that will be used to target the city’s obesity epidemic. The federal agency gave out more than $372 million to 44 cities nationwide for a new initiative. Nashville was the only city in the state to get money.
“For the first time, our children may not live as long as we do because of obesity, diabetes, and a failure to eat healthy and partake in physical activities,” said Dr. Bill Paul, director of the Metro Public HealthDepartment.
One of five children and two out of three adults in Nashville are overweight.
With the grant money, the health department will create 40 full-time jobs and 40 part-time jobs to run the two-year program.
The money will be used to:
– Make safe routes to school for children, an initiative in partnership with Metro Public Schools.
– Start a share the road program to increase awareness about cyclists and motorist sharing the road and to improve policy and signage on shared roads.
– Begin The Golden Sneaker Program, which will help teachers incorporate physical activity and health eating into the curriculum.
– Create a bike rental around Nashville so people can see the city and get exercise at the same time.
– Promote health eating by putting fresh foods in corner stores and neighborhoods markets.