Health Reform Rapid Response: the conversation on prevention
Integrating rigorous study data when communicating your community’s successes helps to make the case for prevention that much more effective. This week, we highlight several new studies that add to the growing evidence base for what we already know: community prevention works—and it’s working right now.
- A recent Gallup poll found that U.S. businesses suffer $153 billion in annual lost productivity due to chronic diseases, including those resulting from lack of access to healthy food and opportunity for physical activity. Only 1 in 7 workers suffers from no chronic illness and is of a normal weight.
- A new University of Cincinnati study is one the first to quantify the impact of multipurpose trail proximity on residential property values. The study found that home prices increased $9 for every foot closer to the trail entrance.
- A new American Journal of Preventive Medicine study found that women living in neighborhoods with sidewalks, lower rates of crime, and proximity and access to shops/stores and recreation facilities were more likely to meet weekly guidelines for physical activity in both urban and rural areas.
- In another study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers found that the estimated economic cost of excessive drinking in the U.S. was $223.5 billion in 2006, with 76.4% attributable to binge drinking and 12.1% from underage drinking. The cost to government was roughly $94.2 billion, or 42.1% of the total cost.
- The LA Times reports on a new study that found the rates of extreme obesity in women who moved to less impoverished neighborhoods were about 19% lower than those who stayed in low-income neighborhoods, and that the rates of diabetes were roughly 22% lower. Dr. Harlan Krumholz, Yale School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study, underscored the study’s findings: “Your health is not just what happens to you, but is influenced by all of those around you and the environment.”
Know of any other new research to make the case for prevention? Please share them with us.
Tips to Guide your Conversation
When paired with the talking points below, studies like these underscore that prevention efforts are evidence based, and show multiple benefits—better health, more jobs and increased economic vitality.
- Prevention is based on decades of solid science. We all deserve to be healthy, and we are proud of the communities across the countries that are already showing results and building health.
- Experience and research show that building health in the places people live, work and play saves lives and money. Federal and local prevention dollars support strategies that have been field tested.
- We need to expand what is already working across the country so that everyone can enjoy health and prosperity. We can’t afford not to invest in what works.
What you can do
- Send your congressperson a letter today, educating them about the importance of community prevention: we’ve made it easy, with tailored emails that you can send directly to your legislators.
- Partner with local leaders from different sectors--business, medicine, community members--to author a joint op-ed on the power of prevention.
- Write a blog, op-ed or letter to the editor of your local paper.
- Have a successful example of community prevention in action? Please share it with us so we can include it in our talking points.
- Visit our Health Reform Advocacy page for additional tips on how to frame your community successes.