NEVADA, Mo. — A local organization has a program designed to aid in childhood obesity struggles.

Healthy Nevada works to promote rural community health and wellness.

In 2020, it received a $750,000 grant to create a program to help families struggling with obesity.

“The program that we work with was designed by Washington University in St. Louis. and it’s a program that is based on food choices, movement, and emotional issues,” said Kristin Wood, Integrative Health Strategist, Healthy Nevada.

In 2020, the organization reported that over 67% of adults in Vernon County are struggling with obesity — especially for many low-income families.

The free program offers emotional and educational support, meal planning, and even a home delivery of fresh produce and healthy recipes to go with it.

“We, through the food, we look at meal planning, we look at counting calories, limiting calories, and we use a traffic light program of red, yellow, and green foods to help people just visualize what is, what’s their best choice,” said Wood.

The goal is to encourage families in making healthier life style choices. Officials say if they can reduce the amount of adults struggling with obesity, it would do the same for children and create a healthier lifestyle for the whole family.

“The impact of that is a healthier population that is active in the community, supporting the community, that doesn’t have as many health issues. I think with success, it’s going to encourage neighboring counties to want to implement a similar type program. If not the same program,” added Wood.