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Healthy Communities
Today, chronic diseases affect almost 50% of Americans and account for 7 of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States. Chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and obesity cause suffering and limitations to daily functioning. Preventable health risk factors such as tobacco use and exposure, insufficient physical activity, and poor nutrition contribute greatly to the development and severity of many chronic diseases.

The Healthy Communities Program is engaging communities and mobilizing state partners to focus on chronic disease prevention. Communities are working to change the places and organizations that touch people's lives every day – schools, work sites, health care sites, and other community settings – to turn the tide on the national epidemic of chronic diseases.

The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides funding to the Division of Public Health Services to provide technical assistance, training, and consultation to community partners to build capacity to institute systems, environmental, and policy changes related to chronic disease prevention. There is much that communities can do to encourage people to be more physically active, eat a healthy diet, and not use tobacco. These population-based change strategies have been found to be an effective approach to improving the health of communities.

Examples include:

  • Encouraging policy makers to provide opportunities for kids to be physically active before, during, and after the school day;
  • Encouraging schools to offer more nutritional food;
  • Building new or enhancing existing walking and biking trails and sidewalks;
  • Working with employers to provide workplaces that support healthy eating and physical activity; and
  • Providing opportunities for residents to purchase and eat fresh fruits and vegetables through community gardens, farmers' markets, and other activities.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852


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