Communities Making Changes to Promote Prevention

July 20, 2011

Last month, the Administration declared a goal of changing America’s “sick care system to a health care system” with their announcement of a national wellness strategy. The President has asked a range of Federal agencies to consider prevention in everything they do, and asks the rest of us to contribute to being healthier and making our communities healthier places.

Many communities across the country have been making strides in becoming healthier. Exercise stations are being added to public areas, walking clubs are being formed, and communities are looking at ways to change their infrastructures to encourage physical activity.

Some cities, like Philadelphia, are taking broad approaches to meet some of the goals of the strategy. The city has strict nutrition labeling requirements for chain restaurants, and high penalties for selling tobacco to underage buyers.  In 2006, smoking in restaurants was banned and the Mayor recently banned smoking at city pools, recreation centers and playgrounds. They encourage merchants to make healthy food displays more appealing to buyers, and high calorie sweet drinks are positioned in the bottom row of vending machines and limited to 12 oz sizes. The city has also initiated a unique program giving low income individuals $2 dollars in coupons for every $5 in food stamps they spend in at participating farmers markets.

What are you doing to make healthy lifestyle changes and is your community adopting policies to encourage good health? To learn more about what steps you can take as an individual to reduce your risk for cancer, visit the Prevent Cancer Foundation website.

Editor’s Note: This post is second part of a two part series discussing the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy. Read the first post here.

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