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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Violence prevention, health promotion coming together: Projects creating healthier neighborhoods

From the April 2012 edition of The Nation’s Health

byTeddi Dineley Johnson
In Louisville, Ky., some liquor retailers are taking down alcohol ads that once covered their exterior walls. In Chula Vista, Calif., long-vandalized utility boxes are being painted and transformed into works of art. And in a Denver neighborhood, youths at risk for gang violence are sowing seeds of hope in a community garden.

On the surface, the three scenarios might appear to lack a common thread, but joining them is an emerging public health movement that brings practitioners in the fields of violence prevention, healthy eating and active living together to transform their communities in ways that will foster health and safety.

At its core, the work aims to get to the root cause of why some people are not going outside to exercise and not eating healthy foods, said Mighty Fine, MPH, CHES, a public health practice manager in APHA’s Center for Professional Development.

“Promoting healthy eating and physical activity are front and center on the nation’s public health agenda, but people who feel unsafe in their communities are less likely to go outside for walks, take their children to parks or use community centers or services such as public transportation,” Fine said. “And to make matters worse, grocery stores are reluctant to locate in communities in which people feel unsafe, which limits residents’ access to healthy foods.”

Until recently, the connection between violence and health outcomes has not been intuitively apparent to the public health community, and the lack of attention has prevented some people from living a healthy lifestyle, Fine said….

April 13, 2012 - Posted by | Nutrition, Public Health | , ,

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