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General Information
Rodakowski, Natalie
Delivery - Extension Staff
McCoy, Janice
Rodakowski, Natalie
Delivery - Groups/Others
Family and Consumer Science Educators
SNAP-Ed Community Workers
Youth Development Educators
Situation or Issue
Situation Description
Situation Description
Physical, psychological, emotional and financial well-being are all important in the development of a healthy
lifestyle for adults, youth and families in Illinois. In 2006, the World Health organization defined the
optimum state of health as having two focal points: the realization of the fullest potential of an individual
physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually and economically and having the fulfillment of one’s role
expectations in the family, community, place of worship, workplace and other settings.1
Poor nutrition, low cost processed foods, the lack of physical activity, overweight/obesity increases, and the
burden of chronic diseases such as diabetes, and heart disease continue to negatively impact the physical
health of both individuals and families. In 2011, Illinois was ranked as the 23rd most obese state in
America. 2 According to Illinois Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2010, the overweight
population was at 33.9% and the obese population at 27.6 %. 3 According to the Obesity Community Health
Report, in Lee County, 27% of the population is obese and over 60% is either overweight or obese. Lee
Counties outcome objective is by 2016, the percentage of Lee County residents who are obese will fall below
the national benchmark of 25% (Baseline is 27% of the population). The most recent data of 2007 states that
34.9% of children and teens (ages 10-17 years) were considered over-weight or obese.4 Conditions such as
heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer (some of the leading causes of preventable
death) are associated with obesity.5 Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the state,
followed by cancer and stroke as the second and third causes of death respectively. Diabetes ranks as the
seventh leading cause of death in Illinois6 . In fact, more than 800,000 adults (8.5%) in the state have been
diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes, a disease that was once considered an adult illness, is increasingly being
diagnosed in children. According to the 2011 IPLAN, 7% of people in Illinois were diagnosed with Diabetes
whereas in Lee county, 9% of their population were diagnosed with Diabetes. Heart disease, stroke, cancer,
and diabetes were all noted as the leading cause of death.
Poor nutrition and lack of physical activity play a role in the development of obesity and chronic diseases.
Citizens of our state are not meeting dietary and physical activity goals. According to 2009 BRFSS, only
23% of adults report eating more than five fruits and vegetables every day. In addition, 62% report that they
are not getting the recommended amounts of daily physical activity, if any physical activity at all. Young
people are not eating enough whole fruit, whole grains, legumes, and dark green and orange
vegetables.7 According to the 2011 IPLAN, 32% of Lee County residents are eating 3-4 servings of fruits and
vegetables per day. 10.1% are eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Furthermore, 26%
of adults 20 and older reported no leisure time activity.
Moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood
pressure and helps to lessen the effects of stress 8 . The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines recognized the
value of physical activity as an important component of an overall healthy lifestyle. On average, physically
active people live longer and have better quality lives than inactive people9 . National trends indicate that
activity levels decrease across the lifespan. Regular physical activity and physical fitness across the lifespan
are important to an individual’s health, sense of well-being, management of stress, and maintenance of a
healthy body weight. For children and youth to meet recommended guidelines, they should engage in 60
minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week10.
Physical well-being is also affected by our psychological, social and emotional experiences as indicated
earlier by the World Health Organization. Because of stress or feelings of anxiety, individuals may
experience a variety of physical symptoms such as stomach aches and headaches, This may be due to stress
that is personally experienced or by what is observed happening to others. In a technological society of text
messages, social networking sites and instant messaging, it is also important to examine how interactions
with others are affected and perceived. Maintaining a sense of a healthy emotional and psychological
wellbeing is influenced by our interactions with others in addition to the environmental conditions to which
people are exposed. Promoting a safe, healthy environment for adults and youth can positively influence
healthy development11.
Social Networking also impacts relationships among youth. With more than 93% of American teens online,
nearly every teenager has access to and actively participates in online social networking. Sites such as
Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter all serve as a means for youth to stay in contact with their friends; however
there are some concerns associated with social networking since nothing on the internet is actually private or
protected. Many teens do not think about how public the information becomes once added to a social
networking site. One in 10 college admissions officers visit applicants’ social networking sites as part of the
admissions decision-making process (Wong, 2008). In addition, there are many web-based businesses whose
services can be purchased by individuals and/or businesses to provide an online diary of everything that was
ever posted on personal social networking sites.
Healthy lifestyles for adults, youth and families require a variety of factors to be in balance. Currently, the
long-term economic crisis has Illinois consumers and families struggling financially and as a result their
health and wellbeing are threatened. The complex economic situation means that many people in Illinois are
facing extreme challenges to their financial security:The current unemployment rate in Illinois is 8.7% as of
June 2012, compared to 8.2% nationwide12
The current unemployment rate in Illinois is 8.7% as of June 2012 , compared to 8.2% nationwide.12.
According to a report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency: more Illinois home mortgages backed by
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were seriously delinquent or already in foreclosure at the end of 2011, than
any state other than Florida and California.13
Approximately 14% of the state population depends on food stamps to battle hunger. There has been a
34% increase in food stamp program participation from FY 2006-201014.
While everyone has not been equally impacted by the economic crisis, this is a widespread problem. If
someone is not unemployed themselves, they likely have a brother, daughter, or other close person who is,
and these people may be asking their relatives for help. Finanacial insecurity means that families have
trouble providing for basic needs such as food and housing. In addition, financial insecruity can lead to
increased anxiety and stress. Chronic psychological stress contributes to a variety of health prorblems, such
as heart disease, depression and obesity15.
According to the 2010 Census, there are currently 40 million Americans over the age of 65. This number is
expected to reach 72 million by 2030, which will then represent one-fifth of the U.S. population. 1 In fact,
each and every day 10,000 Americans turn 65, and this trend is expected to continue for the next 18 years. 2
In 2000, nine U.S. states, including Illinois, tallied more than one million residents each, age 65 and older.
Today’s generation of older adults are living longer, healthier lives and are able to remain active in their
retirement years, often for several decades after work life ends. Because of this, people are looking for ways
to add life to their years. Even though older people are living longer, about 80% of them are living with at
least one chronic health condition. 3 With more than 222,000 older Illinoisans currently diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and dementia continue to be common concerns for many.5
In spite of aging and its challenges, many older people work at managing life’s transitions by remaining
socially active with friends and family members, actively working to preserve or enhance their memory,
maintaining independence, reducing stress, and staying on top of their health conditions. Providing strategies
for positive aging in retirement is the focus of the healthy lifestyles plan of work for family life
programming. Educational programs will be offered to assist older adults and their families in learning
strategies that help them navigate through the issues they face in their day to day lives in order to enhance the
quality of their lives in later life.
It was determined that the top five priority issues for the 2011 Lee County IPLAN, in order or ranked priority
are; 1) Chronic Disease Screening 2) Access to Mental Health Services 3) Obesity 4)Smoking 5)
Alcohol/Drug Abuse.
These data and others support the need for Extension programming addressing the important area of
developing a healthy lifestyle.
Stakeholder Input
Results from the Together We Can..Tell Us How Survey conducted from March 1-April 17, 2009 by
University of Illinois Extension show a strong interest by Illinois citizens for information that supports the
development and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Of those people surveyed in Illinois, 89% are interested
in information about maintaining healthy relationships, 93% in information about managing your money, and
95% have interest in maintaining physical health and well-being.
Condition Change
Condition Changes
Decreased risk factors for chronic disease.
Reduction in the proportion of adults, youth and children who are overweight or obese.
Decreased emotional strain in handling the challenges of family transitions.
Increased resources for positive role modeling and support.
Increased number of children and youth demonstrating positive contributions to their families, schools
and communities and engaging in long-term meaningful relationships.
Decrease the number of children and youth engaged in negative health behaviors such as violence,
bullying, harassment.
Increase financial stability in families that spend less on food or have enough money to buy food for the
whole month.
Increase the savings rate of individuals and families.
Increase family financial security in later life.
Action Changes
Action Changes
Increased consumption of healthy food, including the following: increased intake of fruit and vegetables,
increased intake of whole grains and fiber, decreased fat intake, decreased sodium intake, healthier
beverage choices, use of appropriate serving sizes, breakfast eaten daily.
Prepare healthy, nutritious food according to skill level and budgetary constraints.
Increased amount of time spent in physical activity.
Set financial goals (such as reduce debt, increase savings, and prepare for financial security in later life).
Practice positive financial behaviors such as paying down credit card balances, changing spending
behaviors, and saving money in retirement plans.
Increased ability to identify, manage and appropriately express one’s emotions and behaviors
Increased ability to make positive decisions and to access external supports.
Increased ability to prevent, manage and resolve interpersonal conflicts in constructive ways.
Increased communication habits in families and adults about online practices.
Learning Changes
Learning Changes
Gain awareness, knowledge, and skills related to planning menus/choosing foods/preparing foods using
the Food Guidance System (MyPlate).
Gain awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to improve and increase physical activity.
Increase knowledge of managing chronic diseases.
Increase consumer ability to recognize research based health messages.
Recognize health benefits associated with improved diet and increased physical activity.
Increased understanding of family interaction at family mealtime.
Gain awareness, knowledge, and skills related to how to save money on food.
Gain knowledge and skills related to increasing savings, decreasing debt, and planning for future
financial security.
Increase confidence in ability to effectively manage finances.
Increased knowledge of family relationship changes through family transitions.
Increased awareness of one’s emotions and behaviors
Increased awareness about personal qualities and external supports that influence choices and success
Increased awareness of how individual choices can impact others.
Increased awareness of goal-setting skills
Increased awareness of the feelings and perspectives of others
Increased knowledge of interpersonal conflict resolution skills
Increased knowledge of how social norms and media messages can affect one’s feelings, decision making
and behaviors
Increased awareness of dangers and threats of online interactions.
Increased awareness of different kinds of stressors and skills for coping with stress.
Outputs/Learning Opportunities
Learning Activities
Financial Wellness for College Students
College students at UIUC, with an interest in financial planning, connect with other students through
Facebook, e-newsletter, website information, g-chat, as well as in-person with timely financial education
information. While the Peer Educators for this program are at UIUC, the program aims to connect with
students statewide through electronic communication.
Meals for a Healthy Heart
A two-part face-to-face series that focuses on increasing participant awareness of the major risk factors of
coronary heart disease. The series highlights heart healthy foods, menu planning, healthy eating away from
home, physical activity and weight management. Food demonstrations, taste testing, and recipes are provided
at each session.
Healthy Living throughout the Lifespan Series
Educational programs for adult audiences, including HCE, relevant to issues experienced throughout the
lifespan including, general nutrition and physical activity, money management, stress management, and
maintaining healthy family relationships. Programs may be offered via teleconference, e-technology, or
face-to-face as an individual program or as a series of programs ranging in length from 60-90 minutes per
session. List of topics available from County Director and Family and Consumer Science educators.
Fit Wits: Fostering Improved Thinking While Incorporating Training Strategies
Keeping a brain healthy requires more than just doing crossword puzzles or word searches. There is
increasing evidence that brain health is directly related to body health. However, most people think more
about keeping their bodies fit or their hearts healthy than working at maintaining a healthy brain. This
program discusses the aging brain and what can be done to keep the brain healthy and engaged.
4-H Health Jam and Metro Health Jam
This nine-week program is designed to teach elementary age youth about physical activity and keeping their
bodies healthy. During this school-based program, youth participate in a two-day camp and an eight-week
Websites available to help people increase financial knowledge and confidence
Getting through Tough Financial Times (, Choosing a Financial Professional
(, More for Your Money
(, and Credit Card Smarts
Social Networking Internet Safety
Trained Extension Educators will engage in community partnerships to facilitate training for local
community members, educators, 4-H volunteers and other interested adults aimed at increasing digital
citizenship and reducing the incidence of cyber bullying. The trained adult partners will then share
information with youth to build awareness of the risks and rewards of online social networking and foster
positive dialogue among parent/caregivers and young people on the use of social networking online.
Live Well, Be Well
A chronic disease self-management workshop offered as a 6-week series for anyone suffering from a chronic
illness. Topics covered include: dealing with difficult emotions; nutrition and diet; physical activity and
exercise; relaxation exercises; medications; communication with medical personnel and family; medical
documentation; creating action plans.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed)
Persons eligible for SNAP are entitled to nutrition education through SNAP-Ed. The goal is to improve the
likelihood SNAP-Ed participants will make healthy food choices and choose physically active lifestyles. In
Illinois, more than 88% of the counties offer learner-centered education aimed at helping limited resource
families and individuals learn how to prepare safe and healthful meals and increase their physical activity to
maintain appropriate calorie balance as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Plan Well, Retire Well
A comprehensive electronic education program which includes a blog, e-news, Facebook, and news articles.
Individuals can subscribe to the e-news and the blog. The focus of Plan Well, Retire Well is to help adults
plan and invest for retirement while managing their daily financial needs.
I on Diabetes
A series of four 2½ - 3 hour face-to-face sessions designed for anyone interested in preventing or managing
diabetes. The program provides information on treatment goals and self-monitoring, managing
carbohydrates, sodium, cholesterol and fat portions, planning meals, reading food labels, and using artificial
sweeteners, low-fat products and herbs and spices. Food demonstrations, taste testing, and recipes are
provided at each session.
Target Audiences
Define the Audience
Individuals Who are Diabetic or Their Caretakers
Individuals Interested in Managing the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease
Individuals Interested in Planning for Retirement
Limited Resource Audiences in Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities
Middle School Youth
College Students
Professionals Who Assist Families with Long-term Care Needs
Individuals Suffering From a Chronic Illness
Adults interested in continuing education
Program fees will be assessed to cover the travel and material costs of Extension staff who deliver
face-to-face workshops for participants.
Facilities for workshops will include local Extension offices or other community sites.
Human resource investment will include time devoted to program development , curriculum preparation
and delivery, and evaluation of programs by Extension Educators/Specialists and Extension Staff time in
promoting and recruiting participation, volunteer delivery system locating and setting up facilities, and
the state Extension web development or unit websites.
Equipment provided by Unit including audio conferencing systems.
Volunteer contributions.
Program grants and gifts.
Collaboration with other community organizations.
Collaboration with Sauk Valley Community Services Division.
Outcome/Impact Indicators
Identify Outcomes
Healthy Living throughout the Lifespan Series--Number of participants who set goals to implement a
strategy to improve family relationships, financial health and healthy nutrition practices
I on Diabetes--Number of participants who report:
using a meal plan to help manage diabetes
reducing fat intake
reducing sodium intake
increasing use of food labels to plan meals
increasing physical activity
Meals for a Healthy Heart--Number of participants who report:
confidence in planning and preparing heart healthy meals
making more healthy food choices when eating away from home
knowledge gained about the relationship between diet and chronic diseases
eating a variety of foods based on the Food Guide System (MyPlate)
4-H Health Jam and Metro Health Jam--Number of participants who
gain knowledge, attitudes, and aspirations to explore health careers
gain, knowledge, attitudes, skills, and aspiration to improve personal health
engage in at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity
know how to choose food according to MyPlate and Dietary Guidelines
Plan Well, Retire Well--Number of participants who adopt one or more positive financial practices to
adopt one or more positive financial practices to increase savings
adopt one or more positive financial practices to reduce debt
take steps towards long-term financial security
take steps to increase their financial knowledge by subscribing to an educational social media site such as
@morethancoupons, Plan Well, Retire Well blog or e-newsletter, or a finance-related Facebook page
such as Champaign County Saves or Money Smart Week.
Identifying the Evaluation Methods
to be Used
Impact Evaluations
Activity (Title,
Evaluation Method
Date To Be
I on Diabetes
Adults interested in the prevention
and/or management of diabetes
Pre- and post-test
Before and after the
Meals for a
Healthy Heart*
Adults interested in the prevention
and/or management of coronary heart
Retrospective and
follow-up survey
End of program
One month later
3 months later
Healthy Living
Adults interested in increasing overall
healthy wellbeing.
Retrospective survey
End of program
4-H Health Jam*
Elementary age youth
Pre/post test
Beginning and end
of each program