BRADENTON -- The Florida Department of Health named Bradenton a 2015 Healthy Weight Community Champion, an award given to 65 Florida county and municipal governments.
The award recognizes local governments that play a role in encouraging its citizens to maintain healthy weights, according to a release from the Manatee County Department of Health.
"Research indicates that the number one public health threat challenging the bright future of Florida is weight. Currently, only 35 percent of Floridians are at healthy weight. One quarter is obese, and the rest are overweight," says Dr. Jennifer Bencie, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County. "On current trend, by 2030, almost 60 percent of Floridians will be obese."
DOH-Manatee said Bradenton's best practices in encouraging its residents to be healthy include maintaining nine parks covering a total of 63.9 acres and improving safety in pedestrian areas via street lights and the Bradenton Police Department's neighborhood watch program.