According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year and treating people with chronic diseases accounts for 86% of our nation’s health care costs.
While chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity are common (and costly), they are also easily preventable. The cause of many chronic conditions, illnesses and early deaths are directly traceable to risky health behaviors, such as lack of physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use as well as poor nutrition - behaviors that can be changed.
The Coalition's Work
Local health departments are key partners in efforts to implement policies that protect or improve the health of people living in their community, such as bans on trans-fats in food served by restaurants. They sponsor and host screenings to identify people with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and connect them with services and tools to help them manage their diseases. Though the need is great for their work, many local health departments are operating at a diminished capacity due to budget pressures on state and local governments. In the area of chronic disease prevention, this means there are fewer health educators to promote healthy lifestyle changes to combat obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and tobacco use.
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Philadelphia: Innovative Efforts Have Philadelphia Seeing Big Drops in Obesity Among Youths of Color
“Philly is special,” notes Food Trust Executive Director Yael Lehmann. “There are some special things happening there, especially around food and food access.”
Clark County (Las Vegas): Getting Physically Active and Cutting Calories via Mobile Apps, Social Media, and Technology
Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), which serves 2.1 million residents of Clark County Nevada and more than 40 million visitors annually to Las Vegas, has added new innovative strategies to the Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s “Get Healthy Clark County” campaign in the form of mobile applications.
Seeing the incidence of Type 2 diabetes double to nearly 12 percent in recent years, Fulton County, Georgia health officials are targeting elementary school-aged children to stem the tide.