Obesity leads to chronic diseases and even death.
According to the World Health Organization, the increase reflects significant changes in diet habits, physical activity levels, and tobacco use. These three health behaviors elevate the risk for four chronic diseases that together cause more than 50% of deaths. By working with communities to create a culture of health and increase opportunities for affordable healthy foods and safe places for physical activity, obesity and chronic disease trends can be changed.
Community partnerships are instrumental to our work.
Since 2007, we’ve been working with community partners to help implement evidence-based strategies that make communities healthier. We reinvest funding from state and national sources into communities as mini-grants, technical assistance, and training opportunities to implement strategies, and we provide communities with the tools and expertise they need to successfully plan and implement strategies. With our support, communities have increased access to the latest tools and information on approaches that increase access to healthy foods and safe places for physical activity.
Making the healthy choice, the easy choice through policy, systems, and environmental changes.
Our work is centered around one goal: making the healthy choice, the easy choice for all South Carolinians. We do this by encouraging our community partners to use a policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) approach to community work. This sustainable approach focuses on modifying the environment to make healthy choices practical and available to all community members. By changing policies and shaping physical landscapes, a significant impact can be made with little time and resources. We strive to support our community partners by equipping them to create communities with equitable access to healthy food and safe places to be active because the choices we make are influenced by the choices that we have.
Local economies have generated revenue and have even seen cost savings.
According to SCaleDown.org, the economic cost of obesity in South Carolina is estimated to be $8.5 billion per year and growing. Together, we can reduce the cost of obesity by helping communities increase equitable access to healthy foods and physical activity. Farmers’ market, trails, downtown improvements, and other strategies can increase access and create healthier environments. Many communities in South Carolina have sought to make these types of environmental changes, and they’re saving money and generating revenue.
Three ways you can make a difference.
We’re working in 36 counties that have successfully implemented changes, impacting 93% of our state’s population. While this work is important, we cannot do it alone.