Mississippi’s obesity rate among adults is 37.3 percent. A third of the U.S. population is obese. Without dedicated efforts to combat the epidemic, this rate of prevalence is projected to jump to 50 percent by 2030*. Community health centers are joining in the battle of the bulge by promoting health and wellness through fitness events. These efforts provide an opportunity for citizens today to build on healthy habits to pass along to future generations.
This is one reason why Mississippi’s 21 community health centers launched the 65x65 Obesity Prevention Challenge. Obesity is an epidemic in Mississippi that contributes to other chronic health conditions. Community Health Center providers identify these conditions and help patients manage chronic diseases each day. But efforts to prevent diseases benefits the entire population of the community. Chronic health conditions result in poor overall health and increase health care costs for everyone.
65x65 is the health outcome goal set by Mississippi’s community health centers…65,000 fewer Mississippians with the disease of obesity by 2065*.
Community Health Centers provide primary health care to more than 300,000 Mississippians at more than 200 sites throughout the state. These access points to primary care are for those populations underserved by health care. They include people without health insurance and those with private insurance or Medicaid and Medicare. Community health centers provide primary care to patients regardless of their ability to pay.
The 65x65 Race events are held statewide at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, August 10, 2019. 65x65 events in Mississippi take place at the end of National Community Health Center week.
Residents in Mississippi’s 82 counties do not have the same opportunities to achieve health and wellness. If there was equity, 65,000 fewer Mississippians could avoid developing the chronic disease of obesity. From safe places to exercise to affordable healthy foods to primary health care providers, gaps in access to the building blocks for health and wellness exist in Mississippi’s communities.
Community Health Centers are part of the solution by providing underserved areas access to primary patient-centered health care. This access is key in helping citizens managing chronic disease or avoid it. Three components of the 65x65 initiative are education and awareness (association level); primary care to avoid or manage the disease of obesity (community health centers), and 65x65 events (patient level).
1* Source: Wang, YC et al. Lancet. 2011;378:815-25. Retrieved from
2* Source: chcams.org/65x65-source/