Did you know that Americans are NOT the healthiest people in the world? In the U.S., we spend more on healthcare, but have shorter lifespans and more health issues than comparable countries.
For example, we have the highest rate of obesity across age groups, the second highest rate of heart disease and the highest rate of infant mortality. These facts may point to a dismal outlook for our nation’s health, but the good news is that public health professionals are hard at work addressing these and many other health challenges.
But, we can’t do it alone.
For over 20 years, the American Public Health Association (APHA) has observed National Public Health Week (April 4 – 10, 2016) to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight accomplishments that have improved the health of our nation.
One of the goals of the APHA is to create the healthiest nation in one generation through their Generation Public Health campaign. This is a national movement of organizations, people and communities committed to making changes to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. Improving health means we need to make healthy choices and improve the factors that impact our health, such as education, housing, environment and community design.
How can you help? This National Public Health Week, take the pledge to create a healthy me and create a healthy we:
- Be a role model to family and friends by making healthy choices for personal health.
- Support local businesses that value health, like retailers that don’t sell tobacco or farmers’ markets.
- Support efforts to promote early school success and higher high school graduation rates.
- Be a champion for school-based health centers in your local schools.
- Demand fair allocation of community resources.
- Call for policies that help eliminate food deserts and bring healthy food to all neighborhoods.
- Support policies that protect the air we breathe indoors and outdoors and the clean water we drink.
Together, we can become the healthiest nation in one generation!
At Grand Canyon University, the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions offers public health degrees that helps students gain the education needed to become healthcare professionals. Learn more about our healthcare degrees by visiting our website.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.