New Year, New You!
FORWARD is so excited to be partnering with over 1,400 organizations and individuals across DuPage County as we make 2017 our best year ever.  We are so grateful for all the activities that have brought us to this place over the past six years. Without your enthusiasm, hard work and activities, we would not have achieved the successes we have which include the following:
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and their County Health Rankings team, which synthesizes health information from a variety of data sources, has ranked DuPage County as the healthiest county in Illinois. Click here for more information.
  • Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, experts at HealthGrove, a health research site powered by Graphiq, found the least obese county in every state. DuPage was ranked number one in the state for least obese county. Click here for more information.
  • The DuPage County Health Department and FOWARD has released the latest obesity data for DuPage County.  The rate of obesity in DuPage County public school students declined from 15.7% in 2011-2012 to 14.4% in 2015-2016. Click here for more information.
Thanks to you we have much to celebrate, but there is much more to do! 
More than one in seven (14.4%) kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade public school students in DuPage County were obese in 2015-2016. Additionally, in 2015-2016, 42% of all obese students had an elevated blood pressure (BP) reading. Obesity among DuPage County children aged 2 to 4 years enrolled in the USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants, and Children (WIC) (15.5% in 2015) was higher than the national obesity rate among children aged 2 to 4 years enrolled in WIC (14.5% in 2014), and was almost double the most recent national estimate for children aged 2 to 5 years (8.9%), stressing the need for early intervention. In 2014, more than one in five (23%) of surveyed DuPage County adults reported being obese and while DuPage County ranked number one as least obese in the state, we ranked #21 nationally. For more information on the methods, statistics, and resources click here .
In order to help you help us, FORWARD has reorganized. We brought on two consultants that will help support your efforts--welcome, Kerrie Sneed and Tonia Batogowski. They will oversee the day to day activities for FORWARD and help support our three strategic goals-1. Improving wellness in DuPage worksites, 2. Improving wellness for our youngest residents (0-5 year olds) through early childhood programming, and 3. Helping DuPage County schools accelerate progress in obesity prevention. 
To f ind out more about FORWARD's  Strategic Goals   to assist you in making change click here .
From all of us a FORWARD, we hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year! 
Ann Marchetti
Consulting Director
Legislative and Advocacy Updates

Sugary Drink Tax Proposal for the State of Illinois

What is the Healthy Eating Active Living Proposal?
The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) proposal provides kids and families the tools they need to live healthier lives through a penny per ounce excise tax on sugary drinks.
  • Only high-sugar drinks (with 5 or more grams of sugar per 12 ounces) are taxed; milk and milk products, water, 100% fruit juice, diet and low-sugar beverages are excluded.
  • The penny-per-ounce excise tax is paid by the distributors of sugary drinks in Illinois to the Illinois Department of Revenue.
  • Estimated to raise more than $600 million a year, about $500 million goes into the Medicaid Provider Relief Fund and $100 million is dedicated into a new Illinois Wellness Fund to support community prevention and wellness initiatives like making healthy foods more affordable, providing SNAP double value coupons at farmer's markets, creating safe playgrounds and walking areas, and helping schools with high-quality nutrition and physical education.
  • Of the $100 million for prevention, at least 50% of the monies are designated for high-need communities based on poverty rates, obesity/chronic rates, and population density.
  • The Illinois Wellness Fund is overseen by an external multi-sector Advisory Council. The Advisory Council will work with the Illinois Department of Public Health to make recommendations for the request for proposals (RFP) process as well as review and make recommendations regarding which applicants will receive the funds.
For more information click here .

Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Approved

The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted 9-8 to approve a penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, which invests in the County's health and hospital system, public safety and justice system. The courageous vote puts Cook County in the vanguard of communities dealing with the health harms of sugary drinks in this way.

For more information click here

Food Donation for Schools and Public Agencies
HB5530   was signed on July 15 and is immediately effective. This law prohibits schools and public agencies from signing contracts that restrict unused food from being donated to food pantries or soup kitchens.
Read more about this bill here . 

Upcoming Events and Opportunities
2017 DuPage Environmental Summit: Landscaping for a Healthier Life
The Conservation Foundation
January 19, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM (CST)
The 2017 DuPage Environmental Summit will focus on what we can do on our immediate home and business landscapes to save water and energy, and create healthy and healing environments for ourselves and our community. 
For more information click here
Application Open: Apply to be a Core Partner
January 26, 2017 
The new year brings exciting new changes to the National Farm to School Network! We are seeking partner organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Territories to join us in implementing the next phase of farm to school growth and evolution as National Farm to School Network Core Partners for 2017-2019 .
Organizations and agencies interested in and capable of contributing to the advancement of farm to school and early care and education are encouraged to apply. Applications are due
January 26, 2017 .
Have questions about the Request for Applications? See answers to frequently asked questions  here  or e-mail .
Suburban Agriculture Resource Center Open House
The Garden Works Project                                                                                                  
January 26, 2017 from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM (CST)
Join us as we celebrate the opening of our new Garden Works Project Suburban Agriculture Resource Center! Tour our garden tool library and learn how we will support all gardeners who wish to grow food for themselves and families in need. 
For more information click here

Fitness Assessment in Illinois: Tools, Resources, and Information You Need
Webinar: January 31, 2017 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM (CST)
Co-hosted by the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, Illinois State Board of Education, and Illinois Department of Public Health, this webinar will help P.E. teachers administer the required fitness assessments accurately and with fidelity to the Fitnessgram protocols, and to use assessment data to improve P.E. programming. It will also help administrators support fitness testing and communicate with their communities about the value of fitness assessments. 
For more information click here .

America Walks: Path to a Walkable Future
Webinar: February 8, 2017 at 1:00 PM (CST)
Walkable communities are most successful when people come together to create a place where every person has safe, accessible and enjoyable active transportation. How can walking advocates work with other sectors to create vital and vibrant communities for the future? Join us on February 8th at 1:00 PM Central as we explore the "Path to a Walkable Future." This webinar assumes a basic knowledge of issues related to walking and walkable communities. 
For more information click here .

How to Start a Community Garden
The Garden Works Project                                                                                        
February 11, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (CST)

Community gardens bring neighborhoods together, allowing people to meet each other and enjoy their shared interests in gardening and healthy foods. If you're thinking about starting a community garden, we invite you to attend. 
For more information click here .

Starting Seeds for Your Vegetable Garden  
The Garden Works Project                                                                                        
February 22, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (CST)

Growing vegetable plants for your home garden from seed can be a rewarding experience. Rachel Reklau of Sweet Home Organics will address some of the issues that plague seed starters and discuss the equipment and techniques needed to raise healthy, robust plants. 
For more information click here .

Healthcare Webinar Resources
The Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) has hosted two webinars regarding diabetes:

  • Referral Strategies for Diabetes Programs: Tips for Success 
  • Improving Clinical And Community Linkages through Diabetes Self-Management

Access the recordings for these webinars here to hear the benefits of establishing  a Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) program and gaining accreditation/recognition, and to learn how to implement successful referral strategies for diabetes programs.

Community Spotlight
Healthy West Chicago
West Chicago is pulling out all the stops for the New Year. Mayor Pineda has gotten the community engaged in walks to promote fitness every Saturday and Sunday morning at 9:00 AM.  
For more information click here .
In addition, on January 27 from 9:00 AM-11:00 AM at the West Chicago ARC Recreation Center, Heathy West Chicago will hold a ReThink Your Drink Task Force Meeting. Come learn about how sugar is scientifically related to obesity, how much sugar is in your favorite beverage, and learn about the ReThink Your Drink sugary beverage initiative. Open to everyone!   At this meeting Healthy West Chicago Director, Andi Cooper, will recap the progress and programs from 2016, and share a sneak peek for 2017.
Healthy Corner
SuperFit School Challenge

Action for Healthy Kids is excited to announce a new fundraising program for schools. The SuperFit School Challenge is designed to be a partnership between schools and Action for Healthy Kidsand build healthy students in the process. The SuperFit School Challenge has everything you need including a healthy eating and physical activity curriculum, fundraising tools and all the equipment you need for the finale SuperFit School Obstacle Course!
For more information or to hold a fundraiser, contact Pam Soto at 312-324-0436 or or click here . 
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