During the legislative session of Oct. 18, the Harford County Council acting in both its capacity as the Board of Health and the legislative body unanimously approved Resolution 28-11 establishing a Harford County Obesity Task Force.
According to our most recent data, the health of Harford County adults and children has declined from 1996 to 2010 with respect to numerous chronic diseases including, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Obesity has emerged as a significant contributing factor for these preventable chronic diseases.
Sadly, the percentage of obese children has tripled in Harford County since 1996. Lack of physical activity and poor nutrition are known contributing factors, therefore I was compelled to author this Resolution and give my voice to this emerging public health problem.
While recognizing the need to address these issues through a collaborative effort involving citizens and government agencies, the Task Force will remain sensitive and respectful of personal life-style choices. The Task Force will take an objective look at local public policy and programming to provide educational, guidance and fitness opportunities.
The Task Force will consist of 15 members representing a variety of industry specialists, County government agencies, the Board of Education and Sheriff's Office. Responsibilities will include reviewing and making recommendations concerning programs and policies for creating a "Healthier Harford." Larger citizen-based workgroups will also be established.
The Harford County Council will be accepting volunteer applications for the Task Force and workgroups through Nov. 28. Applications can be found on the Harford County Council website: http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/council.
I would like to publicly thank my council colleagues and co-sponsor Councilman Cap'n Jim McMahan for recognizing and supporting this endeavor.
Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti
Harford County Council, District F
Havre de Grace - Abingdon