Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program (NUPAO)

The Arizona Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan is a result of numerous individuals who devoted their time and effort to the creation of this plan. This endeavor could not have happened without the hard work and commitment that was displayed from the partners of the Arizona Obesity Prevention Program, working as members of workgroups representing a variety of settings, and representing more than 90 organizations were involved in this process, together with more than 400 Arizonans who provided input through community forums, workgroup meetings and advisory team meetings.

Special Thanks
The Arizona Obesity Prevention Program Advisory Team is comprised of community members who are committed to and passionate about the problem of obesity in our state and who played a critical role in the development of the Arizona Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan.

The Arizona Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan is the outcome of months of strategic planning by six workgroups. Participants included individuals from state and local agencies and representatives from advocacy organizations throughout the state. The participants have expertise in healthcare, education, transportation, planning, physical activity, nutrition, parks and recreation, health education and economic development. The workgroup members spent countless hours providing the foundation for this plan. Each workgroup showed tremendous strength and resolve in accomplishing their tasks and their patience, diligence and willingness to work cooperatively were integral to this process. Their efforts are recognized and greatly appreciated.

Governor’s Call To Action And Proclamation
Arizona participated in a National Governor’s Association Policy Academy on Chronic Disease Prevention and Management that was held in August 2003. The purpose of the Policy Academy was to bring state teams together to work with national experts to design action plans for preventing and managing chronic diseases. Arizona’s delegation included a representative from the Governor’s office, State Legislators, community representatives and staff from the Department of Health Services and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). The first strategy was to convene a forum on childhood obesity.

To increase the awareness of Arizona’s residents and potential stakeholders about the burden of obesity, the Arizona Department of Health Services partnered with the Office of the Governor of Arizona, the Honorable Janet Napolitano, to create an event that was the catalyst for the development 15 of the state plan. Because Governor Napolitano felt strongly about the need to reduce childhood obesity in Arizona, she eagerly supported this effort. Major sponsors of the event included Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Arizona Physicians/IPA, Kronos Optimal Health, the Western Growers Association, the Arizona Dietetic Association and the National Governor’s Association. The “Governor’s Call to Action: Healthy Weight for Children and Their Families” event was held on January 30, 2004. Approximately 350 individuals, appropriately representative of the diversity of the state, attended. Noted speakers included Governor Janet Napolitano, Arizona Department of Health Services Director Catherine Eden, Ph. D., James S. Marks, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Eduardo J. Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Attendees participated in 11 facilitated sessions to discuss tactics to combat the obesity epidemic in Arizona. From these sessions, individuals were invited to continue their involvement and participate in the state plan development process by joining one of eight workgroups. Arizona state Senator Robert Cannell, M.D. and Governor Napolitano’s Health Policy Advisor Susan Gerard concluded the event with a Call to Action.

Governor Napolitano issued a Proclamation declaring obesity a serious issue and urging residents of Arizona to eat healthy and be physically active. Governor Napolitano encouraged all citizens of Arizona to take the following steps:
• Eat at least 5 servings or more fruits and vegetables a day.
• Spend less time in sedentary activities (i.e., watching television, playing video games and working on computers).
• Eat reasonable portions.
• Make time to be physically active, such as walking as a family or walking to school or work.
• Work together to create changes in schools, worksites, medical settings and communities so healthier alternatives are available in all areas of our lives.

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