HAB45 Leadership Council Gets Active!

(This story was originally posted in First 5 Contra Costa’s Newsletter, August 2011.)


In photo from left to right: Kitty Lenhart – Child Care Council,  Jan Schiling – Weigh of Life, Jennifer Balogh – Healthy and Active Before 5, Sandra Scherer – Monument Crisis Center, Emily Justice – Center for Human Development, Tonya Love – Healthy and Active Before 5, Jacqueline Elliot- Michael Chavez Center,   Gwenn White- Contra Costa Health Services. Congratulations …thank you for your inspiring work!

Healthy and Active Before 5 Leadership Council, a countywide collaborative dedicated to preventing early childhood obesity, met last month to gather key agencies in Contra Costa County serving children aged 0-5, provide updates on the status of projects, and to engage partners in adopting a new Movement and Play policy.

Over 40 participants attended including representatives from Contra Costa Health Services, Kaiser Permanente, WIC, community health clinics, the County Office of Education and library, United Way, First 5 Contra Costa, and Supervisor Karen Mitchoff and John Gioia’s offices.

The key note speaker, Mike Miller (left) from Brown Miller Communications, spoke about how social marketing can be a powerful tool in shifting public norms and changing behaviors. He also updated the group about a new 3-year social marketing project between First 5 Contra Costa and HAB45 to help families with young children prevent childhood obesity and engage in healthy and active lifestyles.

Meeting participants also heard from 10 agencies who received mini-grants to implement policies related to serving healthy food and beverages or making accommodations for breastfeeding mothers. Grantees (pictured up top) shared anecdotes on implementing these practices in the workplace, which is part of HAB45’s “Pledge the Practice. Pass the Policy” initiative to help partner agencies model obesity prevention practices.

The remainder of the meeting was spent strategizing ways to encourage physical activity in the workplace – from fitting in physical activity breaks during long meetings, keeping track of the steps taken during the work day, or keeping children moving in waiting rooms.Prizes were handed out for meeting participants who logged the most activity during the meeting, using free pedometers provided by Kaiser Permanente.

HAB45 will draft its new “Movement and Play” policy to present to Leadership Council agencies for approval this fall.

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