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Planning Commission

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Dec 31

In the Spotlight: Our Health!

Posted on December 31, 2013 at 9:28 AM by Anne Leavitt-Gruberger

The Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation recently released its Tri-County Area Community Health Needs Assessment, which covers the health status and wellness needs for the Greater Pottstown Area.  This area extends beyond just Montgomery County into Berks and Chester Counties.

Some of the topics this report touches upon include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of adults in the study area are overweight or obese.
  • About 70 percent of adults in the study area don’t meet USDA guidelines of eating 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day; in Pottstown Borough this number jumps to just over 80 percent.
  • More than half of the adult residents in the study area don’t use public recreation facilities.

Do these physical health factors have any connection to the Planning Commission and the local built environment?  Sure they do!  The way municipalities plan for the built environment has a huge impact on the way people live their lives. 

For example, planning can help:

  • Ensure that residents easily walk or bike to work or school
  • Provide local parks and playgrounds that people can easily access and in which they feel safe
  • Assess the need for recreation facilities and playing fields to encourage team sports and exercise
  • Provide better access to healthy food options

As for the Pottstown area, recommendations in the report include:

  • Expand community gardens and provide more affordable local farmers markets to increase access to fresh produce
  • Increase public knowledge about healthy foods
  • Provide more low-cost or free opportunities for adults, teens, and young adults to participate in organized sports
  • Encourage residents to make exercise a priority

We’re looking forward to seeing the Tri-County Area become a healthier place!

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