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UT Extension Receives Grant from CDC to Improve Nutrition and Physical Activity in West Tennessee

JACKSON, Tn.-UT Extension recently received a $525,000 CDC grant for their High Obesity Program, which is used to encourage healthier lifestyles choices.

“The Centers for Disease Control HOP Program, which stands for High Obesity Program, allows us to go into the counties where there are at least 40% or more adult overweight or obese individuals and we work with community partners throughout those counties to identify the assets and the opportunities for improving access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities.” said Amy Elizer, Ut Extension.

Being overweight or obese can put individuals at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers. According to researchers, 35% of adults in Tennessee are obese.

“Tennessee was one of 33 states throughout the nation that had at least one county with 40% or more adults overweight or obese. And that number was actually up when we applied for this round of funding five years ago, there were 16 states. Now, that number has doubled with at least one county.” said Elizer.

Originally, the High Obesity Program was only in Hardeman County. This new grant will allow the project to expand across multiple counties in the area.

“In West Tennessee, we will be in Crockett, Decatur, Haywood, Hardeman and Henderson County. So, we'll be working with the family consumer sciences agent to support them as they work with partners to implement projects to address physical activity and healthy eating.” says Elizer.

The UT Extension program will announce its plans for each county later in the year.

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