Delicious and Nutritious: Grant to Help Create a Health Conscious Community
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Delicious and Nutritious: Grant to Help Create a Health Conscious Community

More than $50,000 from the Texas Department of State Health Services will be used to provide the Lubbock community with tools needed to get healthy.

Written by Suzanna Cisneros

A portion of the funding will be used to establish menu boards with nutritional information at community hotspots.

A portion of the funding will be used to establish menu boards with nutritional information at community hotspots.

The Garrison Institute on Aging received a $53,000 grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Program to fund and expand projects conducted by Healthy Lubbock.

The funds will be used to create nutritional awareness, environmental policy change and health information for the workforce and community members. Permanent environmental policies will include menu labeling with nutritional information promoting healthy options and expansion of the healthy restaurant dining guide. In addition, a health and wellness symposium will be organized, while Healthy Lubbock Day, an outside health fair, will be expanded to provide additional information to the Lubbock community.

Label Lowdown

Annette Boles, director of the Garrison Institute on Aging, said restaurant dining guides were created by the Lubbock Coalition for Better Nutrition and are being used by dieticians, area schools and local community members. Through this grant, the institute is able to enhance its resources and include additional restaurants to the dining guide that offer healthy options for patrons.

“Providing healthy nutritional information to community members is one step in preventing obesity, high blood pressure and other diseases,” Boles said. “If we can establish menu boards that identify the nutritional value of the foods that are being offered, consumers may select a different item if they see that the sodium is high and if they have high blood pressure.”

The City of Lubbock Parks and Recreation and the South Plains Girls Fastpitch League are two key supporters of the healthy menu board initiative. Concession stands at the Berl Huffman Athletic Complex, Parks and Recreation swimming pools and two concession stands at the fastpitch games will have menu boards with the following nutritional value identified: calories, saturated fat and sodium.

Workplace Wellness

In addition, on May 4 a health and wellness symposium will educate business leaders, community leaders and health care professionals about having a healthy workforce and how to implement strategies for a healthy workforce. Information will be presented to include how environmental policy changes can make a positive impact on the community.

Healthy Lubbock Day will be May 12 with the support of Safety City and the Hodges Summer Health Fair. The collaboration enables the groups to provide more health information and summer programming information at one central location.

“The mission of this program is to provide Texas communities with the tools to create environments that support healthy eating and active living for the purpose of reducing obesity,” said President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D. “TTUHSC is proud to be a partner with Healthy Lubbock to help provide the needed tools to get healthy.”

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Healthy Lubbock
Healthy Lubbock

Healthy Lubbock is a program of the Garrison Institute on Aging.

The Healthy Lubbock initiative seeks to make Lubbock and its surrounding communities a healthier place to live by supporting and encouraging people to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and exercise regularly to promote wellness.

Garrison Institute on Aging
Garrison Institute on Aging

In 1999, university leadership identified aging as a strategic priority. Today, the Garrison Institute on Aging honors Mildred and Shirley L. Garrison's commitment and leadership to advancing aging and Alzheimer's disease research, education and service for West Texans.

Throughout the year, the institute hosts the Health Aging Lecture Series, designed to educate the public on current health issues.