Muskegon, Michigan(Partner: National Association of County and City Health Officials)
Activities that the ACHIEVE team will undertake include supporting strategies that encourage intake of and increase access to healthy food, such as working with locally grown food advocates and building a community garden; incorporating healthy strategies in workplaces; and reestablishing connections with Muskegon policymakers.
ACHIEVE Muskegon will focus on the Jackson Hill neighborhood of Muskegon County. According to the 2000 Census, Jackson Hill is a predominately African American (75%) residential community that consists of an older and smaller housing stock, with nearly 40 percent being built before 1930. Of the 1,131 people residing in the neighborhood, over 40 percent are children under 18 years of age and 12 percent are over age 65 and are undereducated. Twenty-two percent of the population over 25 never graduated from high school and less than 1 percent of males and 3.8 percent of females of this same age group have an associate's degree or higher. A reflection of low educational attainment levels, Jackson Hill residents live with a lower per capita income and higher poverty rate than other neighborhoods in Muskegon. According to the 1999 Economic Census, Jackson Hill (Census Tract 002) had a per capita income of $9,893, a poverty rate of 38 percent, and an unemployment rate hovering near 4 percent. Compounding socioeconomic issues, it also appears that Jackson Hill children and adults are at extremely high risk for chronic disease.
According to the 2004 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, kids in Muskegon Public Schools (grades 8, 10, and 12) are 47 percent more likely to be overweight than their counterparts in other county school systems (20.4% vs. 13.9%) and 56 percent more likely to be overweight than their national peers. Furthermore, tobacco use is higher (16%) than the average student in Muskegon County, intake of fruits and vegetables is lower (10%), and children are 12 percent less likely to have engaged in vigorous physical activity in the last week. Jackson Hill has higher rates of diagnosed diabetes and asthma than other youth in the county.
Among adults in Muskegon, 35 percent of residents reported hypertension (27.1% statewide). In addition, Muskegon residents were slightly more likely (33.5%) than Michigan residents (32.9%) to have high cholesterol. Muskegon adults were significantly more overweight than Michigan peers (66.5% vs. 61.0%). Muskegon residents were also more often obese than Michigan residents (28.8% vs. 24.7%). Another concern in Muskegon is the disability rate. In the 2000 Census, a staggering 28.1 percent of residents reported being disabled in the city of Muskegon, as compared to the county of Muskegon (22.3%) and Michigan (19.3%).