State continues focus on obesity prevention

Published 8:37 am Monday, October 31, 2016

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released its “Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan Progress Report 2012 – 2015” last week, which summarizes Michigan’s progress to prevent and control obesity, reduce chronic disease and build a stronger, healthier Michigan.
Gov. Rick Snyder tasked the MDHHS with addressing the issue of obesity in Michigan. Obesity is one of the state’s most pressing health issues with two-thirds of Michigan adults and one-third of children either being overweight or obese.
The report outlines the $1.7 million in state funds and the $3.5 million earned in federal grants that have helped the 4 x 4 Plan reach 2 million children and adults in Michigan’s communities. Michigan has made significant progress over the last few years with childhood and adult obesity rates leveling off, moving from the fifth to the 16th most obese state in the nation.
The 4 x 4 Plan promotes prevention through healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco, regular physical exams, and encourages the tracking of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and body weight. These prevention efforts have been supported by three major initiatives, as highlighted in the “Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan Progress Report,” including: a multi-media public awareness campaign; the work of local coalition communities to improve opportunities to access healthy food and safe places for physical activity; and the 4 x 4 Partnership which promotes healthy workplaces and wellness at work.
“Most people in the workforce spend half their day and consume nearly half their daily calories at work,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS. “I am glad to see 4 x 4 Partners leading the way by making changes at their own workplaces and promoting proven strategies elsewhere across the state to make it easier for Michigan workers to make a healthier choice while at their job.”
More than 34,000 Michigan adults have taken the MI Healthier Tomorrow pledge to live a healthier lifestyle at Those who take the pledge receive free healthy lifestyle kits and ongoing support messages via email and text message.
To learn more about Michigan’s health and wellness efforts, and for additional tools and resources, visit