- Minnesota Cities & The League
- Governing & Managing
- Risk Management
- Legislative Action Center
- Training & Conferences
Two Minnesota cities have passed resolutions designed to help improve the health of their residents by promoting active living and healthy eating strategies. The cities—Eagan and Eden Prairie—became the first two Minnesota cities to pass the “healthy communities resolutions.” Other Minnesota cities are also considering passing and implementing similar resolutions designed, in part, to help reduce obesity, which has doubled in the last 20 years.
The resolutions are being promoted by the Twin Cities Obesity Prevention Coalition, a community-based coalition of organizations, physicians, and individuals committed to improving public health. The coalition is a project of the Twin Cities Medical Society (TCMS) and is funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
“We are pleased to be a healthy eating and active living community and to become the first city in Minnesota to pass a Healthy Eating Active Living resolution,” says Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire. “We appreciate the leadership of the Twin Cities Obesity Prevention Coalition in helping to make our community a leader in fostering healthy lifestyles.”
Tailored to your community
The resolutions are designed to be tailored to an individual community’s needs and interests. In the case of Eagan, its resolution focuses on advocating for the continued sustainability of existing healthy eating and active living offerings; investigating additional policies and practices in the places where people live, work, eat, and play; and encouraging efforts to improve employee wellness among city-operated worksites.
Eden Prairie’s resolution calls for strategies including the continued development and sustainability of edible playgrounds, community gardens, and local farmers’ markets; the consideration of dedicated green space in all new housing developments; the establishment of processes to assess and improve existing local active living infrastructures; and the development and implementation of a healthy vending machine and concessions policy for all city-owned and city-operated concessions in facilities, parks, and programs.
“Passage of this resolution furthers the city’s commitment to be a healthy eating and active living community,” says Eden Prairie Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens.
In the case of both cities, the Parks and Recreation departments played a critical role in drafting the resolution language. Their expertise in how to design a resolution to complement the city’s existing comprehensive plan and needs was vital in producing a workable resolution.
Purpose: Fight obesity and related health problems
“The Twin Cities Medical Society is engaged in this effort because our physician members see the devastating health and financial consequences of obesity day in and day out,” says Dr. Peter J. Dehnel, TCMS president.
In Minnesota alone, 24.8 percent of adults are considered obese and another 38 percent are classified as overweight. These two groups combined means that 62 percent of all Minnesotans are in a dangerous weight category, which in turn is leading to an increased rate of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and even certain cancers.
Equally concerning is obesity’s financial impacts. The epidemic costs $1.3 billion annually in increased health care costs and, if the upward trend in obesity rates continues, it could cost Minnesotans an additional $3.7 billion by 2020.
Dehnel says that community-based healthy eating and active living strategies are important because the choices individuals make are largely influenced by the social and built environment in which they live, work, play, and socialize. “To combat the obesity epidemic, the healthy choice needs to be made the easy choice at the community level. But those choices can only be made if they are available,” he adds.
For more information about a healthy communities resolution for your city, please contact Jennifer Anderson at TCMS (see right).
Contact Jennifer J. Anderson
Twin Cities Medical Society
(612) 362-3752 email@example.com