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Healthy Community Initiatives

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More and more communities are facing the challenges of childhood obesity, asthma, type two diabetes, and other health issues resulting from an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle.  Past efforts to address these issues focused solely on changing individual behaviors and have not succeeded in reversing the obesity epidemic.  Many of today’s efforts focus more on the community than the individual.

Click here for a Video: City of Delano Healthy Communities Planning

A healthy community promotes a positive physical, social, and economic environment that supports the well-being of its residents. Healthy communities are places that encourage healthy eating and physical activity. A healthy community might have components such as:

  • Walkable and bikeable communities with “complete streets” designed for all modes of transport, as well as dedicated trails
  • Transportation options and access to public transit
  • Town centers, community focal points, a sense of place
  • Parks, open space, public spaces, and trails
  • Access to nutritious food
  • Recreation, nutrition, and education programs
  • Adequate housing including mixed use neighborhoods and housing choices to accommodate different life stages
  • Healthy schools with healthy nutrition and physical activity policies and practices
  • Access to appropriate health care
  • Worksite wellness initiatives.

However, a healthy community is more than these components. It is an overarching culture and environment that supports healthy living, and a community-wide mentality in which all decisions are made with deliberate consideration of the impact on residents' health. In such a culture, making the healthy choice becomes the easier choice.

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