Mid-Mississippi Delta Counties, MS

For more information and to become involved, please contact:
Team Lead
Ms. Lela Keys

Team Profile Summary

The Mid-Mississippi Delta team (MMD) includes Coahoma, Quitman, Sunflower, and Washington Counties. The team has targeted childhood obesity as the focus of its work. With the reduction in childhood obesity, the assumed consequences would be a reduction in Type II Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease. According to aneki.com, the United States has the highest obesity rate in the world. In 2011, Mississippi’s obesity rate of 34.9% was the highest in the nation, and 44.4% of Mississippi’s children ages 10-17 are overweight or obese. More than half (54%) of Mississippi’s Black children are overweight, or obese, compared to over one-third (36%) of their white peers.

For additional information, you may contact Ms. Lela Keys at 662.902.9602 or [email protected].

Team Profile Details

Problem Statement

Citizens of the MMD counties have a disproportionate share of obesity. In Washington County, the adult obesity rate is 38%; it is even higher in Quitman (40%), Sunflower (42%), and Coahoma (44%) counties. Mirroring national trends, low-income families and people of color in the Mid Delta are particularly at risk for obesity and the chronic health conditions that often accompany it. Race, disparity, poverty and limited access to available health services are the major social determinants contributing to this high obesity rate. Obesity leads to increased incidences of Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart disease, Asthma and Osteoarthritis. The goal of our project is to help citizens overcome the poor health status resulting from inactivity, improper nutrition and negative social determinants of health with short term and long term solutions/strategies.

Team Objectives

  • – Implement policy through legislation to require bike paths, walking trails, playgrounds and sidewalks in any new subdivision.
  • – Implement strategies to market community gardens resulting in increased access to healthy food choices, decreased dependence on unhealthy food outlets and increased community participation in physical activity.
  • – Decrease incidence of obesity in the counties by strategically marketing “healthy environment leads to a healthy community”, thus changing the mindset of the citizens to make positive lifestyle choices.