Establishing foundations for healthy living in Louisiana
St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana has an adult obesity rate of 30%. A recent needs assessment there identified opportunities to expand focuses on community-based policies, systems and environmental changes establishing foundations to encourage healthy food access, healthy eating, increased physical activity and improved health equity.
In working with the local healthy community coalition and the city, land was identified to use as an outdoor education site to aid in these identified needs in an at-risk area, and the Louisiana State University AgCenter installed a NEST, or Nutrition Education Station. The NEST is an outdoor education site, integrating a number of opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles, including an outdoor kitchen and food preparation area, safe food storage area, community garden, seating area for meetings and nutrition education classes, and bike access.
Extension agents have hosted numerous youth and adult groups at the NEST, completing 16 nutrition classes as well as a community health and resource fair, with 81 neighborhood residents in attendance. Local funding and donations plan to expand the garden and NEST site; more than 600 volunteer hours have been logged.
Link to full statement on website: http://landgrantimpacts.tamu.edu/impacts/show/6148