Recognizing that obesity is a significant problem both nationally and locally, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County has awarded $10,000 to Get Healthy CT (GetHealthyCT.org), a coalition whose mission is to eliminate obesity. Get Healthy CT works collaboratively with key stakeholders in the greater Bridgeport region to remove the barriers to healthy eating and physical activity.

More than 100 large and small businesses and nonprofit and community organizations have joined the coalition to date, along with individuals and families, too. Funding will be used to generate greater awareness of Get Healthy CT and the free resources available on its website, GetHealthyCT.org.

“Health impacts every aspect of people's lives and we know that the good health of individuals and families helps build stronger communities,” explained Cathy DeCesare, Chief Strategic Officer, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. “Our goal is to support community based efforts to help children in need and their families stay physically, socially and emotionally healthy. Get Healthy CT is the ideal partner for us to have a significant impact on the region's health and well-being.”

When joining Get Healthy CT, members commit to two simple pledges: A Healthy Eating Pledge and a Physical Activity Pledge. Get Healthy CT also has created the Step It Up campaign, which encourages people to take the stairs whenever possible or find other no-cost ways to incorporate walking into their daily routines. The pledges and the free Step It Up resources are available online at GetHealthyCT.org.

Obesity in the Region

The obesity rates in the United States and greater Bridgeport region are increasing due to a myriad of factors such as portion sizes, food choices, lack of convenient supermarkets in neighborhoods, consumer advertising, food costs, and more sedentary lifestyles. Likewise, it is clear that obesity contributes to other serious health complications including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, to name a few.

According to the Greater Bridgeport Community Health Assessment (March 2013), survey respondents in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull report obesity rates ranging from 16% to 32%.

To learn more and join Get Healthy CT, visit GetHealthyCT.org.