Department of Public Health

Nutrition & Wellness

BMI Study | Healthy Living | Ottawa County Food Policy Council
Local Farmers Markets |Meet Up and Eat Up | Resources

Childhood Body Mass Index Study

bmi

Ottawa County, like the rest of the nation, is faced with the challenge of reducing rates of obesity among children. Overweight children and adolescents are at risk for health problems during their youth and as adults. Studies have shown that overweight youth are more likely to become obese as adults. In addition, overweight youth are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

Although it was suspected that local childhood obesity rates would follow national trends, until 2005, there was no information to verify this. The Department of Public Health developed the 3rd Grade BMI Measurement Study to monitor childhood obesity. As part of the study, the department measures the Body Mass Index (BMI) of local children. BMI is a health measurement based on a child’s age, gender, weight, and height., The most recent study found that 9% of the sampled students were classified as obese and 14% were classified as overweight.

Measuring Body Mass Index

Are you wondering about your child's weight status? One of the best places to find out if your child is obese or at risk for becoming obese is your family doctor. Ask for a Body Mass Index Screening at your child's next check-up. Your doctor can help you examine Body Mass Index (BMI) scores, family risk factors, and lifestyle to determine if your child is at risk. You can also use the BMI Calculator to determine your child's BMI.

Back to Top

Choose Healthy Living

You and  your family can make healthy choices by following the tips below.food

Eat Healthy

  • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
  • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
  • Serve reasonably-sized portions.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.
  • Never put your child on a calorie restricting diet without the advice of a physician.

Back to Top

Get Active

  • Encourage your kids to play outside with other children or plan physical activities as a family.
  • If you are active together, a child will not feel singled out if they are overweight.
  • Focus on fun rather than skill, allowing kids to choose what they like. If kids think that physical activity is fun, they’ll be more likely to do it.
  • Have your child help with active chores, like walking the dog.
  • Your entire family will benefit from eating healthier and increased activity.

Back to Top

Unplug

  • Make a family commitment to reduce screen time for everyone.
  • Turn off all electronics during dinner.
  • Limit TV and electronics to 1 - 2 hours per day and consider specific times as “screen free”.
  • Take the TV out of your child’s bedroom.
  • Less screen time gives you more time to be together as a family.
  • Children are more likely to be healthy when parents and other family members make healthy choices.

Back to Top

Ottawa County Food Policy Council

The Ottawa County Food Policy Council (OCFPC) is a collaboration of many local agencies and individuals that exists to ensure all Ottawa County residents have access to healthy, local, and affordable food choices. The vision of the OCFPC is an available supply of well-balanced meals for all.

The OCFPC consists of members from a variety of backgrounds, including local public health, United Way, food pantries, human service organizations, food security advocates, MSU Extension, Feeding America West Michigan, farmers, and many others.

The OCFPC developed a strategic plan for 2016-2018 which consists of 3 priority areas:

  • Eliminate Hunger in Ottawa County
  • Healthy Eating by All
  • Increase Sourcing of Local Food

One OCFPC subcommittee is dedicated to addressing each of these priority areas. Each subcommittee meets monthly and the entire OCFPC meets as a large group quarterly. In addition, the OCFPC Advisory Board meets quarterly.  For more information or to get involved, visit www.OttawaFood.org.

Back to Top

Local Farmers Markets

Accept Bridge Cards & Double Up Food Bucks bridge card

Bridge card holders can now make purchases at many farmers markets in Ottawa County (including Grand Haven, Holland, Hudsonville and Spring Lake), and have their spending matched with Double Up Food Bucks! When you use your Bridge Card at a participating farmers market, the Double Up Food Bucks program will match your dollar for dollar with bonus funds (up to $20/day) that you can use at the market to buy more fresh, Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. It’s that simple - spend up to $20 on your Bridge Card at the market, and you’ll get up to $20 more; free to spend on healthy, local foods. Visit www.doubleupfoodbucks.org  for more information.

To search for a farmers market near you, visit www.westmichiganfarmmarkets.org or view the Local Fresh Foods flyer (Spanish). Not sure if you qualify for a Bridge Card? Visit www.michigan.gov/mibridges to determine if you are eligible and to apply for benefits.

Meet Up and Eat Up

The Summer Food Service program, called Meet Up and Eat Up, was created to provide anyone 18 years of age and younger free nutritious meals during long school vacations when they do not have access to the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs. The program is available at locations throughout Ottawa County; serving breakfast, lunch and/or snacks during the summer months.  Locations Spanish

Back to Top

Resources

www.healthykidshealthyfuture.org
Let's Move! Childcare is about helping to prevent early childhood obesity.

www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org
Information about fruit and vegetables. Including ideas and healthy recipes to ensure fruits and vegetables are included in your meal plan.

www.choosemyplate.gov
Offers personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help you plan/ assess your food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/kids/
My Plate Kids Place- Kids will find games, videos, songs, activity sheets, recipes and tips to help them eat more healthfully and move more. Parents and teachers will find new ways to help kids make healthier food and physical activity choices.

www.actionforhealthykids.org
Action for Healthy Kids is a nationwide initiative dedicated to improving the health and educational performance of children through better nutrition and physical activity in schools.

www.letsmove.gov
America's Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids.

www.msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/mi_fresh
Michigan Fresh - Check out the latest Michigan Fresh fact sheets and recipes!

www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/wecan/
We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition) is a national movement designed to give parents, caregivers, and entire communities a way to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight.

www.greatstartshere.org
Great Start of Ottawa County works with families and communities to identify needs, maintain resources and creatively seek solutions to existing gaps for families with young children. The site offers parents a means to find child care and offers child care providers information about training.

www.outdoordiscoverycenter.org
Help your children get connected with nature at Outdoor Discovery Center- The No Child Left Inside Initiative.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes
Offers hundreds of healthy recipes.

www.supertracker.usda.gov/default.aspx
Get your personalized nutrition and physical activity plan, track your progress, and get tips and support.

recipefinder.nal.usda.gov
Search the database of recipes submitted by nutrition and health professionals and organizations.

www.cdc.gov/bam/gameroom.html
Fun body and mind games for kids and families from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

www.pbskids.org/arthur/games/lunchomatic
Arthur’s Lunch-O-Matic and other fun games and resources from PBS Kids.

www.foodchamps.org/
Fruit & Veggie Color Champions games and resources from Fruits & Veggies More Matters.

www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/student-nutrition-fitness-guide
Healthy Habits: Student Guide to Nutrition and Fitness Resources

Back to Top

Department of Public Health

CONTACT US

  • Phone: (616) 396-5266
    FAX: (616) 393-5643
    Clinic FAX: (616) 393-5659
  • Monday - Friday:
    8:00am - 5:00pm
Twitter Facebook

Social Media Sites Policy

Other Locations

Grand Haven
1207 South Beechtree Street
Suite B
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Phone: (616) 846-8360
Fax: (616) 844-1778

Monday: 8am-5pm
Monday: 5pm-6pm
by appointment only
Wednesday: 8am-5pm
Friday: by appointment only
Closed: 12pm-1pm

Hudsonville
3100 Port Sheldon Road
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Phone: (616) 669-0040
FAX: (616) 669-3039

Tuesday & Friday:
8am-12pm & 1pm-5pm

Stay Connected