PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
April 12, 2013

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Health Department Awards $112,000 To Reduce Obesity in Minority Communities ( En Español )

 

April is Minority and Multicultural Health Month

 

As part of Minority and Multicultural Health Month, New Jersey Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Dr. Arturo Brito today visited All Saints Community Service and Development Corp. in Hoboken to announce $112,000 in grants to reduce obesity and improve health in minority communities. 

The Department's Office of Minority and Multicultural Health awarded four community organizations $28,000 each to implement Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More, a program focused on providing families in faith communities with the skills needed to eat healthier foods and be physically active. 

Organizations receiving awards are:

  • All Saints Community Service and Development Corp., Hoboken, Hudson County
  • New Covenant United Methodist Church, Hamilton, Mercer County
  • Living Hope Empowerment Center, Trenton, Mercer County
  • The Good Tree, Inc., New Egypt, Ocean County

"New Jersey's faith-based organizations play a critical role in eliminating disparities in our diverse communities," said Dr. Brito.  "These grants will be used to teach congregation and community members tools to eat healthy and incorporate more physical activity in their lives." 

In New Jersey, obesity is more prevalent among minority and multicultural populations with 32 percent of blacks obese and 27 percent of Hispanics obese, compared to 23 percent of whites. 

Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More is designed to provide instruction on healthy diet, nutrition, food resource management and food safety. In addition, the curriculum teaches families how to address six behaviors identified to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity: 

1. Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages

2. Limit TV and screen time

3. Increase physical activity

4. Eat together as a family

5. Increase variety of foods eaten especially fruits and vegetables

6. Control portion sizes 

"The public housing community we serve is an ‘urban food desert' - where nutritious, affordable food is difficult to obtain, but high caloric, un-nutritious, and inexpensive foods are readily available to area residents," said Armstead Johnson, Executive Director, All Saints Community Service and Development Corporation. "We believe this program will help our families learn to make healthy and affordable food choices." 

The Department's Office of Nutrition and Fitness began to engage the faith-based community in obesity prevention activities last year through a conference entitled "Health for All: Bringing Healthy Eating and Active Living to NJ's Faith Based Community." The conference was hosted in collaboration with the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health. The faith-based summit brought together religious leaders from all over New Jersey to begin the conversation about the important role that these leaders can play in improving the health of their congregants, and their responsibility to do so. 

As part of Minority and Multicultural Health Month, community organizations around the state have planned nearly 150 health screenings, exercise programs, diabetes/cooking classes, forums and health fairs focused on prevention strategies to reduce health disparities.  For the full listing of events please visit:  http://nj.gov/health/omh/index.shtml

The mission of the Department's Office of Minority and Multicultural Health (OMMH) is to foster accessible and high quality programs and policies that help all racial and ethnic minorities in New Jersey to achieve optimal health, dignity and independence. 

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