Overweight and Obesity Prevention:
Minnesota Obesity Plan
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Minnesota Plan to Reduce Obesity and Obesity-Related Chronic Diseases?
A: The Minnesota Plan to Reduce Obesity and Obesity-Related Chronic Diseases was developed to provide a vision and a road map for obesity prevention and treatment in the state. The intent of the plan is also to help recommend and prioritize evidence-based strategies and initiatives; encourage collaboration in order to maximize opportunities and impact; and to evaluate what has been accomplished and what work is left to be done.
Q: How was the plan developed?
A: The framework for the plan was developed with the
participation of a diverse group of stakeholders who are passionate about the prevention of chronic disease and obesity and dedicated to improving important health behaviors, specifically healthy eating and active living. For more details, please see page 31 of the plan.
Q: Who is the plan for?
A: The plan is intended for all obesity prevention stakeholders committed to:
- improving healthy eating and physical activity environments and people’s health behaviors;
- preventing and reducing overweight and obesity;
- preventing and reducing obesity-related chronic diseases; and
- eliminating health disparities related to overweight and obesity.
Q: How will the plan be updated?
A: The plan will continue to evolve as more scientific evidence and research on the prevention and reduction of overweight, obesity and obesity-related diseases becomes available. The Minnesota Department of Health will work with partners across the state to regularly review the plan’s vision, goals and strategies.
Q: What is the relationship between the Minnesota Plan to Reduce Obesity and Obesity-Related Chronic Diseases and the State Health Improvement Program (SHIP)?
A: In May 2008 the Minnesota Legislature passed new health care reform legislation supporting community-based health promotion and chronic disease prevention efforts statewide to reduce health care costs.
The new initiative, SHIP, will provide competitive grants to community health boards and tribal governments to convene, coordinate, and implement evidence-based strategies targeted at reducing the percentage of Minnesotans who are obese or overweight and to reduce the use of tobacco. Grantee activities will:
- be based on scientific evidence;
- be based on community input;
- address behavior change at the individual, community, and systems levels;
- occur in community, school, worksite, and healthcare settings; and
- be focused on policy, systems, and environmental changes that support healthy behaviors.
The Minnesota Plan to Reduce Obesity and Obesity-Related Chronic Diseases is a key obesity prevention guidance document for SHIP. The Obesity Plan outlines the serious burden of obesity and obesity-related chronic disease in Minnesota. The plan also lays out a state vision, goals, objectives and specific examples of evidence-based strategies for overcoming the obesity epidemic in our state. However, the success of the plan depends on strong statewide partnerships and collaboration to take action.
The commitment of state policymakers and the governor to funding SHIP provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dramatically shift current obesity trends in Minnesota, through community-based planning and policy implementation.
Promoting healthy environments in our communities, schools, worksites and health care systems that support healthy eating and active living has the potential to dramatically reduce obesity, obesity-related chronic diseases and health care costs across Minnesota. With the support of SHIP and many partners across multiple sectors throughout the state, we will have the ability to achieve our state Obesity Plan goals.
Q: What is the relationship between the Minnesota Plan to Reduce Obesity and Obesity-Related Chronic Diseases and the Childhood Obesity 5-Year Action Plan?
A: A Statewide Childhood Obesity Steering Committee was convened for one year in 2007. The task of this group was to build upon the state recommendations developed by the Minnesota Task Force on Childhood Obesity in 2006, by identifying key priorities and creating an action plan to address childhood obesity for the State of Minnesota. Minnesota’s Childhood Obesity 5-Year Action Plan provides a stand-alone document that highlights three key focus areas for reducing obesity in Minnesota’s children:
- improve school wellness environments so they support adequate time for physical activity and support healthy food environments in schools,
- establish and support community-based partnerships and programs to address social, economic and environmental barriers that contribute to childhood obesity in certain populations; and
- create a state childhood obesity measurement system.
In 2008, the identified priorities and action plan developed by the Childhood Obesity Steering Committee were incorporated into the goals and objectives of the Minnesota Plan to Reduce Obesity and Obesity-Related Chronic Diseases. Childhood Obesity Steering Committee members also endorsed Minnesota's Obesity Plan and provided important input, review and feedback during its creation.