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Kaiser grants Ventura group $1M to fight obesity

By   /   Thursday, January 26th, 2012  /   Comments Off on Kaiser grants Ventura group $1M to fight obesity

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Kaiser Permanente has granted $1 million to a Ventura County health care group to promote healthy eating and active living in the community.

Advocates for a Lifestyle of Exercise and Nutrition West Ventura, an alliance of health-focused community groups, is one of six Southern California groups set to receive the grant. The investment is part of Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente’s new three-year, $7 million Healthy Eating Active Living Zones initiative.

The program is designed to help make healthy choices accessible to people in underserved communities and prevent obesity and diseases that results from it such as diabetes and hypertension, according to a news release from Ventura County Public Health.

“We are excited to receive this funding from Kaiser Permanente because it will allow us to make changes that reflect the specific needs of our community,” said Rigo Vargas, division manager with Ventura County Public Health. “The partnership with Kaiser Permanente is invaluable in the campaign to fight obesity here in west Ventura. We appreciate not only the funding from Kaiser Permanente, but also the expertise and technical support they will provide as part of this initiative.”

According to the release, a person’s neighborhood effects his or her likelihood of obesity because it’s tied to how easy it is to buy healthy food and find a safe place to exercise. Low-income communities tend to have high obesity rates, the release says, which is why the Kaiser grants are focused there.

By the end of the three-year initiative, the communities that received grants are set to have more walking and biking routes and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.

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