Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer account for 7 out of every 10 deaths in the United States and adversely affect the quality of life of millions of Americans. They also cost billions of dollars annually in medical expenditures and lost productivity. In Michigan, rates of cardiovascular disease, smoking, obesity, and type 2 diabetes are higher than the national average. Locally, the Eaton County statistics mirror the same. Research tells us that the vast majority of chronic diseases can be reduced by changing just three different lifestyle behaviors.
That is exactly what the Grand Ledge Building Healthy Communities (GLBHC) coalition aims to do - change one thing at a time, little by little, step by step. The three goals of GLBHC are designed to decrease chronic diseases and obesity by:
1) Increasing access to fruits and vegetables;
2) Increasing options for physical activity; and
3) Increasing tobacco-free environments.
These three goals can help individuals of all ages make healthy lifestyle choices – choices that can have a positive impact on the community; choices that can last a lifetime.