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New Obesity Remedy Unveiled: Fun
Oct 19, 2011 (05:10 PM EDT)

Health Campaign Launched in Tampa Bay Promotes App for Finding "Actively Fun" Alternatives to Screen Time

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new health campaign launched in Pinellas County with an unexpected prescription for America's obesity epidemic: More fun.

The new campaign, part of an effort by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve health outcomes in 50 targeted communities across the U.S., is called "Find the Fun Now." It is built around a new web-based application that helps people find actively fun things to do at Pinellas County's parks, beaches and other attractions. Visitors to the [] site can also "bring the fun," sharing their own ideas, and what they found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

"Obesity is a national health crisis, but the same old approaches haven't worked to encourage more physical activity and healthier food choices," said Dr. Claude Dharamraj, the director of the Pinellas County Health Department, which is managing the CDC grant. "By associating active fun and fresh foods with a new way of thinking, we can try to change attitudes and make policy changes that create healthier communities."

Users of the website can search by neighborhood, budget, time of day, how much time they have for a fun activity and the kind of people they want to invite. The application searches a database of hundreds of activities and returns a list of ideas for the user to consider, along with descriptions, if the activity is outside, and the current weather. also helps people find "feel-good foods" – food that feels good after you eat it – with a database of local farmers' markets and fresh produce locations, as well as ways to find healthy recipes.

Like most of the nation, two-thirds of Pinellas residents are overweight or obese. The county has a diabetes rate that exceeds 12%, as well as climbing rates of other obesity-related diseases and conditions such as heart disease. Preventing obesity will save lives and help reduce the nation's skyrocketing health-care costs.

The campaign is part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program being funded in Pinellas County and 49 other communities across the U.S. to address the nation's two leading causes of death and chronic disease: obesity and tobacco.

View campaign materials:

SOURCE Pinellas County Health Department