MIAMI – With the aim of becoming a local leader in the national fight against obesity — a key focus of First Lady Michelle Obama — the Miami-Dade County Health Department has launched a comprehensive initiative to inform communities and constituents of the grave health-related conditions caused by the lack of proper nutrition and physical activity.

Supported by the Communities Putting Prevention to Work nationwide program, Miami-Dade County will take on its own fight against this health hazard, inspiring the people of its community to help bring legislative changes affecting the well-being of their children and of the entire constituency.

“If we all contribute, we can really make a difference,” stated Dr. Lillian Rivera, administrator for the Miami-Dade County Health Department. “Obesity is an immense problem, affecting our most vulnerable residents, especially the children in our poorest neighborhoods, who have little access to fresh fruits and vegetables, or the safe use of parks.”

Karen Weller, director of the Office of Community Health and Planning for the Miami-Dade County Health Department, added, “We must all work together towards bringing better physical education programs to school, provide incentives to farmers markets to come into the less privileged neighborhoods and build bicycle paths that are safe for our children and neighbors.”

With that in mind, a Haitian outreach campaign was created aimed at empowering this underserved population to start building community-based programs to combat obesity. The Creole-language campaign, “Fe Sante Mache Miami,” (Make Healthy Happen Miami) is being deployed throughout Miami-Dade via television channels, radio stations and the fesantemache.com website.

The campaign’s main objective is to empower the Haitian community to  bring about change in their communities, transform behavior leading to chronic disease, and inspire residents to improve their nutritional habits, decrease screen time and increase physical activity.

Photo: Michelle Obama