HHS Gives 11 Wellness Programs $31 Million

Wellness gets $31 million to fight obesity and smoking.At present, seven of every 10 deaths among Americans are due to chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.  These diseases also eat up 75 percent of the nation’s annual healthcare spending.

New wellness programs are getting a boost from the Affordable Care Act in the form of $31 million to help communities cut obesity, increase physical activity and improve nutrition.  The funding is contained in the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program, a prevention and wellness program that is overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“As I’ve seen throughout the year in my work with Let’s Move!, prevention works when it comes to improving the health of our families,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.  “These critical investments will help more communities across America tackle serious challenges like childhood obesity, while promoting physical activity and healthy eating.” The funding is being awarded to communities that have resources in place to increase the availability of healthy food and beverages; enhance access to safe places to encourage physical activity; discourage smoking; and promote environments that are smoke free.  Of the 11 awards announced, 10 are dedicated to anti-obesity programs and one to smoking cessation.

“To realize our goals of improving the health of Americans and lowering our nation’s healthcare costs, we must address the underlying factors that influence our families’ health – factors like the foods we eat and the conditions that exist in our homes, neighborhoods and workplaces,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “With Communities Putting Prevention to Work, we’re creating evidence-based models that we can replicate on a large scale to permanently reduce the chronic diseases plaguing so many of our communities.”  Already this year, CPPW has given nearly $492 million to support community and statewide hotlines and media campaigns that promote healthy living.

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