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Effective Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Initiatives Can Reduce Health Disparities
Date:2/26/2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Local communities can be effective in preventing health disparities in such chronic diseases as cancer, diabetes and heart disease if they use healthy eating and active living initiatives that adhere to five strategic principles identified by leading national programs.

Communities are embracing healthy eating and active living initiatives across the nation. There are eight leading national programs which have worked with Disparity Reducing Advances Project (DRA Project) of the Institute for Alternative Futures to share what's working for low income communities and communities of color. These national programs are: Active Living by Design of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the California Endowment's Healthy Eating Active Communities Program; CDC'S Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Across the U.S. (REACH U.S.); CDC's Steps to a Healthier US Program; Kaiser Permanente's Community Health Initiatives; Place Matters: Addressing the Root Causes of Health Disparities of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Food and Fitness Initiative; and the YMCA's Activate America: Pioneering Healthier Communities.

The DRA project recommends communities and other key health organizations adopt healthy eating and active living initiatives to address health disparities. By following these five strategic principles, they will increase the probability of successful and sustainable outcomes.

The DRA Project has identified the following strategic principles for using healthy eating and active living to reduce health disparities. It is recommended that initiatives should:

-- Contribute to Healthy Community Conditions: Infrastructure matters. By contributing to comprehensive improvements to neighborhood safety, physical design, and built environment, initiatives can have a deep and long-lasting influence. Changes
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SOURCE Institute for Alternative Futures
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