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Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion
(406) 258-4775
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Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion

Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion

Overweight & Obesity Concerns

Overweight and obesity are an epidemic health problem in the U.S. and are now the 2nd leading preventable cause of death.   

Overweight and obesity are responsible for an increased risk of nearly 30 medical conditions, as well as reduced mobility. In addition, the social stigma associated with obesity can hamper employment opportunities and community interaction, leading to isolation and depression.

A healthy body weight is easy on joints and bones and avoids unnecessary stress on heart, lungs, liver, kidney's and other organs. You move better, sleep better, and have more energy if you maintain a healthy weight. It also allows for better quality of life and independence, especially as a person ages.

Genetics may play a part in some people's weight challenges, but healthy lifestyle choices that include a healthy diet (high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat and processed food) and at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day will improve quality of life for anyone. 


Eat Smart / Move More Program

A Health Department program started in 2002 to improve health by promoting physical activity and healthier food choices for all Missoula County residents.


    National recommendations

The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation

Let's Move - Michelle Obama's campaign

Overweight & Obesity Trends - CDC


BMI data

The body mass index (BMI), is a statistical measurement of the relationship of a person's weight and height. Though it does not actually measure the percentage of body fat, it is used to estimate a healthy body weight based on a person's height. Due to its ease of measurement and calculation, it is the most widely used diagnostic tool to identify weight problems within a population, usually whether individuals are underweight, overweight, or obese.

Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) - CDC

BMI Reports - Missoula 3rd Graders


Studies show that exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life results in a significant overall reduced risk of overweight, from infancy through adulthood.

Missoula Health Dept - Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding - CDC guidelines

Montana La Leche League

La Leche League International

Does breastfeeding reduce the risk of childhood obesity? - CDC

Promotion and Support for Breastfeeding - CDC

Breastfeeding friendly businesses in Missoula



Good nutrition comes from a diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and is low in processed foods, refined sugars and fats.

Eat Smart Missoula

Missoula's WIC Nutrition Program

Eat Right Montana

Missoula Food and Agriculture Coalition

Garden City Harvest - community gardens

Benefits of eating fruits and vegetables - CDC

Nutrition & Physical Activity - CDC

Nutrition for Everyone - CDC

Cheap and healthy brown bag lunches for grown-ups - WebMD
There are many other web sites that discuss healthy lunches to take to work.

Healthy school lunch ideas - There are many other web sites that discuss healthy lunches to take to school.

Restaurant menu nutrition information can be found by searching the internet for a particular chain restaurant.


Physical activity

There are scores of benefits linked to physical activity, including burning calories,  weight control, improved mental function, reduced risk of falling, improved coordination, improved self-confidence, increased energy and improved sense of well-being. 

Let's Move! Missoula - Missoula

Unplug & Play

Physical Activity & Your Daily Dose  - How much physical activity do we need?  What are the benefits?  What are some easy ways to get it?

We Can! - Ways to Enhance Children's Activity and Nutrition, a national movement designed to give parents, caregivers, and entire communities a way to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight.  National Institute for Health


    Childhood obesity prevention

Eating and physical activity habits are established in childhood.  Parents can be good role models for making healthier choices. 

Childhood obesity - CDC

Teens Health - When overweight is a health problem

Local Government Action to Reduce Childhood Obesity - Institute of Medicine

Helping your child achieve and maintain a healthy weight - CDC




CATCH Program in Missoula - Coordinated Approach To Child Health

School lunch program - USDA

Missoula model school wellness policy




Worksites can employ several strategies to reduce overweight and obesity and enable employees to maintain a healthy weight.  This can produce many benefits for the employer as well as the employee.

Leanworks - CDC

Overweight/obese patients have higher health care costs - CDC


    At home

The person who buys groceries for the household has a significant impact on creating and maintaining healthy eating habits.

Tips for Teens: healthy eating and physical activity - National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Show your children how to live a healthy life - CDC

Ways to be physically active At Home.


Type 2 Diabetes

One of the challenges of the obesity epidemic is the corresponding dramatic increase in Type 2 diabetes with all its complications and costs. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is often associated with overweight or obesity. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk.

Type 2 diabetes has usually been associated with obese adults beginning at age 40.  However, since 1980 the incidence of Type 2 diabetes has been increasing in youth, ages 10-19.  Obesity in childhood, lack of physical activity, and exposure to diabetes in utero seem to be contributing factors. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In Type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications that include damage to eyes, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, nerves, teeth and gums.  These complications can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and limb amputations.

Nearly 8% of the United States population currently has diabetes. 

Health information and living with Type 2 Diabetes - from Healthline Networks

National Diabetes Education

American Diabetes Association

A Family Approach to Diabetes Prevention

Small Steps, Big Rewards - a game plan for preventing type 2 diabetes




    Other related information

CDC - Obesity Trends

Montana Nutrition and Physical Activity Program

Benefits of healthy lifestyle choices

Using The World Around You - to be healthier and more active.

CDC Video Player. Flash Player 9 is required.
CDC Video Player.
Flash Player 9 is required.


Missoula Measures  - selected data, links and other information on scores of topics related to health and quality of life in Missoula, Montana.


Contact information

Nutrition Services Director: Kate Devino
Phone: 406-258-4837
Fax: 406-258-4906
Health Promotion Director: Cindy Hotchkiss
Phone: 406-258-3686
Fax: 406-258-3992
Eat Smart Coordinator: Rebecca Morley
Phone: 406-258-3827
Fax: 406-258-4906
Active Missoula Co-Coordinator: Mary McCourt
Phone: 406-258-3895
Fax: 406-258-3992
Active Missoula Co-Coordinator: Lisa Beczkiewicz
Phone: 406-258-3889
Fax: 406-258-3992
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