The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

Main menu


Cooperative effort focuses on reducing obesity

Representatives of non-profit and private sector organizations have joined Village government in a cooperative effort to reduce the debilitating health effects of obesity. Under the banner Wild About Wellness, the initiative is advocating a series of community-wide policy changes designed to increase physical activity and encourage nutritious eating by children, teens and adults of all ages. The goal, officials say, is to build healthier environments and an infrastructure that will reverse the serious epidemic of obesity. Wild About Wellness is part of Oak Park’s Pioneering Healthier Communities (PHC) initiative, a national program created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to focus community resources on changing the environment in ways that reduce community barriers to healthy living. Oak Park is one of 16 communities in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio that are building statewide networks to reduce obesity. The West Cook YMCA was the catalyst to launch and secure funding. According to national sources, the medical cost of obesity in the U.S. is estimated at $270 billion annually and contributes to heart disease, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, cancer and depression. Among the goals of the Oak Park Pioneering Healthier Communities team are to:
  • Increase community activities that promote healthy eating
  • Encourage families to provide healthy food to children
  • Align after-school programs with the new physical education standards.
  • Move children to walk or bike to school.
  • Reduce one-mile car rides within the community.
  • Increase fresh fruit and vegetable options for pre- and school-aged children.
For more information on the program, e-mail