Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA)

Walk Cabarrus is a community-wide walking campaign supported by CHA and the Cabarrus Wellness Coalition. This initiative is tasked with addressing and reducing childhood obesity rates in Cabarrus County.

Cabarrus Wellness Coalition focuses on:

  • Integrating more health and physical education and nutrition education throughout grades K-12
  • Developing messages around the benefits of healthy eating and being physically active
  • Implementing parent, caregiver, and healthcare provider education and other interventions in the areas of nutrition and physical activity
  • Expanding greenways and increasing accessibility to parks
  • Implementing and expanding policies that incentivize a decrease in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages

Risks of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States and in Cabarrus County, with nearly one in three children in the community classified as overweight or obese. The long-term effects that obesity can play on a child’s physical, social, and emotional health are a major concern.

A local report from 2016 states that about two-thirds of adult residents are either overweight or obese.

Childhood Obesity Can Lead to:

  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes
  • Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea
  • Joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort
  • Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e. heartburn)

Children May Also Experience:

  • Psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression
  • Low self-esteem and lower self-reported quality of life
  • Social problems, such as bullying and stigma
  • A child with obesity is more likely to have obesity as an adult

How It All Got Started

Approximately 34% of Cabarrus County children are overweight or obese according to the 2016 Community Needs Assessment. Obesity is one of the primary causes of preventable chronic diseases in the country and can also lead to long-term physical and emotional issues and challenges in children.

Recognizing the potential impact of such a trend, Atrium Health Cabarrus commissioned development of a plan of action to study and make suggestions for changing this trend. With the help of professors from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Health and Human Services Department of Public Health, an action plan was developed to have a greater impact on the children of our county by collaborating to “move families to make healthy choices for life” – and that is how Children WIN was established.

In 2020, Children WIN launched a community-wide campaign called Walk Cabarrus and reached the goal of collectively logging One Billion Steps, despite a worldwide pandemic. The goal for 2024 is to get families out and about walking in our county to reach #OneBillionSteps as a community. To be successful, the campaign will need strong community support from partners like you. Sponsors of the campaign will be included in all marketing materials, but more importantly be a significant force in helping Children WIN combat childhood obesity in our community and make healthy choices, the easy choices.