“I am truly inspired by the work Fontana is doing to help build a brighter, healthier tomorrow for the next generation.” – First Lady Michelle Obama
With high blood pressure and childhood obesity on the rise in San Bernardino County, one city in our region is actively working to make wellness a part of its culture. This week the City of Fontana is being honored at the National League of Cities Conference as the first city in California to be designated a Five Gold Medal Achiever as part of the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties, a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative.
Founded by Mayor Acquanetta Warren, the city’s Healthy Fontana Program not only promotes health and wellness as a citywide goal, it encourages a generation of sedentary children to become active in an effort to combat childhood obesity, one of the chronic health problems facing our region.
Wellness is the foundation for a healthy quality of life and we cannot build and maintain healthy and livable communities without healthy and vibrant residents.
According to the 2014 Community Indicators Report published by The Community Foundation, while San Bernardino County’s health outcomes rank is improving, from 44th out of 56 California counties in 2013 to 40th in 2014, our region is still suffering. In age-adjusted death rates for major causes, San Bernardino is seeing a worsening trend in deaths caused by colon cancer, suicide, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. And the county is worse than the California average in age-adjusted deaths for all cancers, stroke, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, and diabetes.
Under Mayor Warren’s leadership, the City of Fontana has made the health of its residents a key priority in an effort to build a healthy and sustainable community. Other cities in the county should follow their lead. One city’s cultural shift toward health and wellness can definitely help move the entire region in a positive direction.