INDIANAPOLIS -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding $1.15 million to Purdue University to help lower obesity rates in two Indiana counties.
The CDC selected Purdue University because of Indiana’s high obesity rate. The university also has existing extension offices in all Hoosier counties.
The two-year grant will focus on two counties with particularly high rates: Lawrence County at 38 percent and Jackson County at 39 percent. Purdue professor Tim Gavin says interventions will have to be community-based.
"Trying to find opportunities for people to be physically active can be very challenging and we also see a lot of food issues, assuring that we’re getting fresh food, and providing opportunities where people can get fresh food, on a regular basis," says Gavin.
Gavin says around 90,000 people live in these two Indiana counties, and the goal is to have a lasting impact.
"Our goal is to build the infrastructure and to help build the leadership that will serve these communities into the future," says Gavin.
The next step will be to hire community champions that will work with extension staff to start outreach. The grant runs through 2018.