Crow Wing County adults believe they are healthy, but a majority have poor eating and exercise habits that contribute to existing health conditions.

Every three years, Crow Wing Energized conducts a survey of adults in Crow Wing County. The second of those surveys was distributed in the fall of 2017, with over 1,000 people responding. Results showed that almost 90 percent of the adults in Crow Wing County feel their health is good to excellent. But when they report their actual health conditions, reality is:

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• 2/3 of the population is overweight or obese,

• 38 percent have high blood pressure,

• 31 percent have high cholesterol.

Results also indicated that two/thirds of adults in Crow Wing County are not eating five or more fruits or vegetables a day, nor are they getting the recommended amount of moderate or vigorous physical activity.

Our lack of physical activity and healthy eating choices shows as we age:

• 51 percent of Crow Wing County adults age 45 and over have high blood pressure,

• 42 percent of Crow Wing County Adults age 45 and over have high cholesterol,

• Other areas of concern included an increase in tobacco use, from 17.6 percent to 23.3 percent over the past three years.

Less than half of cigarette smokers indicated they are trying to quit (reduced from three-fourths of smokers who tried to quit in the previous survey). The survey also found that 44 percent of people who make less than $20,000 are cigarette smokers. Tobacco users report higher rates of obesity, depression, and anxiety.

More than 1 in 4 (28.2 percent) adults in Crow Wing County have been told by a health professional that they have a mental illness, an increase from 24.4 percent in the 2014 survey. Depression and anxiety are more common than diabetes.

Change management research suggests that awareness is needed before action. The good news is Crow Wing Energized visibility increased from 4 percent three years ago to 24 percent of adults.

How can we improve health and wellness in Crow Wing County? That's a challenge we can all help address together. On March 1, Crow Wing Energized will be hosting a free community summit with attendees involved in table discussions facilitated by a cultural anthropologist to brainstorm how to drive change.

During the summit, attendees will work through identifying barriers and creating solutions to address obstacles. Together attendees will look specifically at issues in Crow Wing County surrounding:

• Tobacco use,

• Healthy eating,

• Physical activity,

• Mental fitness (sleep and resiliency).

"Whether you struggle with one or more of these areas yourself, or you feel passionate about helping impact change in others, your input and ideas are valuable to help drive change," Crow Wing Energized reported.

The 6th annual Crow Wing Energized Health & Wellness Summit

Crow Wing Energized invites the community to participate in the process to generate positive behavior changes to impact health and wellness in Crow Wing County.

When: 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. March 1.

Where: Lakewood Evangelical Free Church, Baxter.

Cost: No charge but registration is required. Lunch will be provided.

To register: Go to

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speaker and facilitator: Christine N. Chastain, design, research and innovation