What comes first: healthy people or healthy places? It’s hard to have one without the other. While individuals can take steps to reduce their risks for chronic disease, the environment where they live, work, and play has an impact on what they are able to do.
For instance, lack of access to stores that sell plentiful healthy foods has been linked to an increased risk of obesity. Greater access to convenience stores and fast food restaurants, where healthy choices might be few or cost more, is also related to higher obesity risk. Making sure there are ample and affordable healthy food options in the community is an important key to healthy eating.
Not having a safe place to walk or get other kinds of exercise limits how active individuals can be. Sidewalks, footpaths, trails, parks, and recreation centers help support physical activity. Community events can promote physical activity and drive home the health benefits of fitness for all.
Long Live Texans has created a Community Action Toolkit that provides information and materials to help communities implement strategies to encourage and support their citizens in reducing risks for chronic disease.