Not sure “The Who” had National Public Health Week in mind when the iconic band wrote that legendary line, but the words do seem to fit the theme of today’s blog. Particularly since this is National Public Health Week and the goal of the American Public Health Association is to make the U.S. the healthiest nation in the world in…..well, one generation.
Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, is using National Public Health Week to highlight many of the programs and services available here in our state to improve the health and wellness of Arizonans.
Today’s focus is titled “A Healthy Community Starts with a Healthy You” and features a variety of programs and services ranging from our state’s tobacco quit line to the Strong Families program to the Healthy Aging Program.
As Dr. Amy Pearson, Franklin Health District health officer in Washington state points out, it didn’t take long for our nation’s overall health to take a turn for the worse – so perhaps programs, like the ones here in Arizona, can help change it back in one generation.
It seems like a lofty goal until we remember that it’s only taken 20 years for obesity rates in the United States to nearly double from 16 percent to 30 percent.
If we’re going to change the health of a generation, we’ll need to close the gaps in health, whether in our health behaviors, our health care system, and the communities we live, work, play, walk and breathe in. Health is affected, not just by medicine or genetics, but by education, socioeconomics and the physical environment. We should be promoting health in the policies we adopt at work, school and in our neighborhoods so that it’s easy to be healthy.
Delaware’s official state website offered some community tips for National Public Health Week that include:
- Providing more access to healthier foods,
- Being more physically active,
- Avoiding tobacco or vaping,
- Avoiding alcohol, or drinking in moderation,
- Avoiding illegal drugs,
- Taking prescription opioids (pain medication) exactly as prescribed, and
- Learning about the social determinants of health and how they impact where we live, work, and play.
We’d love to hear what your community is doing to celebrate National Public Health Week. Are you featuring any programs that you believe would benefit others living elsewhere in our state? Let us know about it! By working together to find innovative new ways to improve health – perhaps we can make the U.S. the Healthiest Nation and also make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation…..during this g-g-generation!