Wellness & Chronic Disease

Obesity is widely considered the single greatest health threat to our country’s future. Addressing this crisis is a priority of the Greater Lowell Health Alliance and its Wellness & Chronic Disease Task Force.


We invite you to join us in the fight.

Who We Are

good foodThe mission of the Wellness & Chronic Disease task force is to develop and improve partnerships that are committed to leading Lowell area residents to a healthier community. Cross-cultural and inter-generational collaborations build on strengths of the community to improve active living and nutrition for healthy minds and healthy bodies for all.

Hailed by the Lowell Sun newspaper as “a new soldier in the war on obesity”, the Wellness & Chronic Disease Task meets regularly to develop and implement a long-term campaign to fight obesity and chronic diseases.


Join Us

Attend one of our monthly task force meetings (3rd Fri. 10-11am) or contact Chair Karri Greenhalge to learn about how you can get involved.

  • Friday, March 15, 2024
  • Friday, April 19, 2024
  • Friday, May 17, 2024
  • Friday, June 21, 2024
  • Friday, July 19, 2024

 


Addressing the Need

The statistics around obesity, malnutrition and sedentary lifestyles are staggering. At home, at school, and in the workplace, obesity plays a central role in creating our major causes of death and disability. Left unchecked, obesity’s effects on health, health care costs, and our productivity as a nation could become catastrophic.

Nationally

  • Obesity affects 1 in 5 children and adolescents, with 17% of children between the ages of 10-17 in the United States have obesity.
  • Almost half of adults of 119.9 million (48.1%) have hypertension.
  • As of 2022, 38.4 million people have diabetes, amounting to 11.6% of the US population.
  • Heart disease continues to be the Number 1 cause of death for the whole population as one person dies every 33 seconds from cardiovascular disease.
  • There is inadequate intake of nutrients that create nutrient gaps in the United States,
    specifically critical nutrients that promote immune health, as 94% of Americans are
    nutrient deficient.

Locally

The 2022 Greater Lowell Health Needs Assessment, a collaborative effort of the GLHA, Lowell General Hospital, and University of Massachusetts Lowell, has identified obesity and related conditions as among the most serious unmet needs in Greater Lowell.

Public health data supports concerns that the Greater Lowell area, and the City of Lowell in particular, have higher rates of diabetes, poor nutrition (inadequate fruit and vegetable intake), cardiovascular disease, and sedentary lifestyles.

  • The prevalence of Community Health Survey participants reporting heart disease nearly doubled from 2019 to 2022 (5.7% to 9.3%).
  • Although just 7.7% of all participants indicated they couldn’t afford prescription
    medication, the rate doubled to 14.4% among participants diagnosed with diabetes.
  • The prevalence of adult obesity surpasses the state’s average in both Billerica (26.7%)
    and Lowell (30.4%), based on the most recently available data.

For additional resources, visit our Resources page.


Our Impact

Since its inception, the Wellness & Chronic Disease Task Force has successfully reached out to community members and local organizations to increase awareness and initiate healthy lifestyle changes.

 

Past Initiatives

Past Initiatives:

  • The task force engaged with Mill City Grows—an active member of the task force—in MCG’s Community Health Food Assessment, assisting in distribution of the
    assessment survey to ensure high participation.
  • Staff working on the GoLowell initiative attended the November 15th task force meeting to discuss the findings of the walk audit conducted the summer of 2019 as well as explain the GoLowell project. Task force members were able to provide feedback and ask questions from staff at the City of Lowell.