Fun 'N FITchburg

A Bit of History
In 2009, Fitchburg youth had the 2nd highest body mass index (BMI) in MA. Only 38 out of every 100 people were at a healthy weight.

Obesity Epidemic
If the obesity epidemic is not reversed, this generation of children could be the first to live less healthy and shorter lives than their parents’ generation. Obesity can be directly linked to the U.S. top three causes of death: stroke, cancer and heart disease. Healthy eating and physical activity reduce the risk for obesity and chronic diseases.

The Community is Getting Healthier
Fitchburg, MA is making some very positive changes for your health: where sidewalks connect to parks and schools, fresh fruits and vegetables are more available in neighborhoods, and recreational areas are safe and clean!

Who Is Leading the Effort
Partners
Fun ‘n FITchburg
is a partnership of over 75 individuals taking a different approach to obesity.
  • Board of Health
  • Businesses
  • City Police
  • Community Health Center
  • Environmental groups
  • Fitchburg Public Schools
  • Mayor
  • Montachusett Opportunity Council
  • Parks and Recreation Department
  • Youth and Residents
Focus
Our focus is on local policies, systems and environmental changes that will make it easy for Fitchburg residents to eat healthy and be physically active.

Mass in Motion Kids
Partnership
Mass in Motion Kids is a partnership between:
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Cities of Fitchburg and New Bedford
  • Harvard School of Public Health
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Massachusetts General Hospital for Children/Harvard Medical School
  • National Initiative for Children's Health Care Quality
Team Members
It consists of a team of pediatricians, teachers, nurses, community members and researchers to help Fitchburg children (ages 2-12) grow up with a healthy weight. The team works at the Fitchburg Community Health Connections, with child care programs, Fitchburg's elementary and middle school after-school programs, and with Fun 'n FITchburg!

Changes Have Already Been Made
  • Built over 40 community gardens at Green Acres and Meadowbrook Village
  • Worked for all farmers markets to accept SNAP and Farmers Market Coupons
  • Created an adopt-a-park program with 16 parks adopted by residents/groups 
  • Adopted healthy food guidelines for vendors at city parks and concessions
  • Partnered with the police and Parks Department to make parks Safe Zones
SUCCESS!

According to the MA Department of Public Health, Fitchburg’s youth are no longer ranked 2nd for BMI. In fact, Fitchburg schools’ BMI has improved by over 10% since 2009!
Fitchburg Youth BMI Chart
Join Us in Our Next Steps
  • Advocating for a transportation system that supports all users
  • Encouraging local day cares to adopt MA Children at Play standards routes to school, and safe routes to parks programs.
  • Helping the Community Health Center establish a Healthy Weight Clinic
  • Incorporating healthy retail food practices in local supermarkets
  • Increasing healthy food and drink options where youth and families play
  • Transforming vacant lots into healthy eating/physical activity spaces
Fun ‘n FITchburg a program of the Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc is funded by a Mass in Motion initiative sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities