What is CCROPP?
The Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) is a program to help our communities’ live healthier lives. Some of our residents can’t easily buy healthy food, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, our neighborhoods are sometimes designed in ways that make physical activity unsafe or not convenient. This project is focused on changing our Central California environments to make it easier to eat healthy food and get regular physical activity. The California Endowment has funded this eight-county project.
Why is CCROPP focused on changing environments?
Cities and towns are not being designed for walking or biking to stores or schools. We have taken exercise out of our lives. Drive-thru restaurants keep people in their cars. Cable and satellite TV, as well as video games keep people on their couch. Increasing levels of crime keep people in their homes.
Finding affordable nutritious food is also difficult. It can be harder and more expensive to buy fresh fruits and vegetables than salty and sweetened snacks. This is especially true for communities that lack super markets.
Educating people about eating healthy and being physically active are key steps in preventing obesity. We also need to support their ability to make healthy choices. Physical activity will not happen if there are no safe places for it. Healthy eating won’t happen if there are no places for people to buy healthy foods, which they can afford. We want environments where the healthy choice is the easiest choice to make.
How are these changes going to make a difference?
Creating healthy eating and activity environments is going to make it easier for people living here to be healthier. It will be easier to buy and eat healthy food. It will be easier to walk and play. Creating communities where it’s easier to eat better and move more will help all of us avoid chronic disease feel better and live longer.
Who’s involved in CCROPP?
CCROPP is a partnership. California State University Fresno along with Public Health Departments and Community Based Organizations in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced and Tulare counties are working together to promote healthy eating and active living in Central California. In Merced County the Merced County Public Health Department is partnering with United Way.
CCROPP involves people from across all sectors of our communities. CCROPP partners have formed a community council in each county which brings together community residents, schools, local government, health care providers and others.
What can community residents do?
Become involved. Identify neighbors, friends and relatives that are interested in working together to make your community healthier. Work with school administrators, teachers, PTA Boards to ensure that only healthy foods including fruits and vegetables are offered at school. Encourage city officials to maintain parks and offer recreational programs in your area. Organize block parties and community watch patrols to make communities safer.
United Way of Merced County
658 West Main Street
Merced CA. 95340
Phone (209) 580-6414
Cell (209) 777-4323