Public Opinion Poll Gauges Support for Prevention, Access to Healthy Options in Richland County
By Sara Richie, Health Educator – Richland FIT
Richland FIT today released findings of a public opinion poll gauging attitudes toward healthy living and prevention in Richland County. The purpose of the poll, that was conducted in August of this year, is to evaluate public support for Richland FIT efforts to promote healthier places to live, work and play. Richland FIT is a healthy living coalition in the community made up of several community members that want to be a part of making Richland County a healthier place to live. The survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies by calling 300 Richland County residents at random. The sample size was then evaluated by using a statistical tool called weighting. Weighting is done by scanning the sample size to make sure that the demographics of the residents that were surveyed accurately depict the population by age, gender, education, race, etc.
The poll found that Richland County residents agree childhood obesity is a serious problem.
- 89 percent of Richland County voters surveyed think childhood obesity is a serious problem in Wisconsin (50% said it was very serious)
- 79 percent of Richland County voters surveyed that they would pay more to ensure locally grown Wisconsin fruits and vegetables are served in schools (46% said they strongly agreed)
- 94 percent of Richland County voters agreed that ensuring kids have daily physical activity in schools will help improve their academic performance (74% strongly agreed)
The poll found that universally, childhood obesity is seen as a serious problem. In Richland County, respondents also agreed that schools, community groups and local health departments should be major players in the battle against childhood obesity.
“We do all we can at home to ensure our kids are eating well and getting their exercise. Knowing our local schools and community organizations are implementing programs to give them healthier options at lunchtime and more physical activity during the day is essential. Promoting wellness for our children starts at home, but prevention of childhood obesity can only happen when families and communities work together,” says Jodi Mieden, parent and volunteer for Richland FIT.
Richland School District is already taking steps to ensure kids get healthy choices at school through the new Farm to School program and ensuring that students are getting more opportunities for physical activity at school through implementing active school strategies, such as incorporating short activity bursts into the classroom.