Although Massachusetts has lower obesity rates than most other states, overweight and obesity are still major public health problems in the Commonwealth. More than half of Massachusetts adults and almost one third of high school and middle school students are overweight or obese. In the past 10 years the percentage of Massachusetts adults with diabetes has almost doubled, and obesity will soon pass smoking as the leading cause of preventable death.
Launched in 2009, the Mass in Motion Initiative promotes wellness through the prevention of overweight and obesity. Mass in Motion stresses the importance of creating conditions that encourage, nurture and promote wellness. Key elements of this initiative are:
- A Call to Action file size 2MB documenting the burden of obesity in Massachusetts.
- Regulatory changes promoting healthy eating and physical activity, including the collection and surveillance of of public school students in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10.
- An Executive Order (EO509) by Governor Patrick which requires state agencies responsible for large-scale food purchasing (hospitals, state worksites, and prisons) to follow healthy nutrition standards in their food service operations.
- Grants to Mass in Motion cities, towns, and counties to make wellness a priority for those communities. Funding comes from DPH, public-health funding foundations, and the federal Community Transformation Grants.
The Working on Wellness Program, which assists employers to implement an infrastructure for a worksite wellness program that meets the needs of employers and the employees.
- The Massachusetts Children at Play Program, which is a childhood obesity prevention program used to improve the nutrition and physical activity policies and practices of child care settings.
- Ongoing communication efforts, including the Mass in Motion website , Blog, Twitter account (@massinmotion), and the Facebook Fan Page.
Visit Mass in Motion at www.mass.gov/massinmotion .