The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among adults in New York City is 9.7%; the nationwide prevalence is 8.3%.
Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), created as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is a one-time, $373 million initiative to combat the persistent public health problems resulting from tobacco use and obesity in communities nationwide. Through the Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY), the NYC Health Department received a total of $31 million in CPPW funding, with $15.5 million dedicated to NYC programs that help prevent and reduce obesity.
Being obese puts individuals at higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In New York City -- and around the nation -- communities with limited access to nutritional foods and physical activity suffer disproportionately from this condition. The interventions funded by the CPPW grant focus on policy, systems and environmental changes that make active living and healthy eating the easier choice in even the highest-need areas. The NYC Health Department's multi-pronged approach includes a variety of media, policy and environmental strategies along with key partnerships in the community to advance common goals.
Specific interventions include partnering with NYC schools to make salad bars and water available to students and to increase physical activity in schools. Recently adopted food purchasing and vending guidelines will set the standard for schools and other private and public institutions to offer healthier choices to their constituents. More farmers' markets will begin to accept food stamps, while bodegas and corner stores will receive incentives to stock nutritional foods. At the same time, point-of-decision and price interventions will influence consumer behavior. Media strategies will complement policy initiatives by raising awareness among residents of the nutritional impact of different food choices. Hospitals have been awarded grants to promote breastfeeding for babies' as well as mothers' health and weight control; 28 farmers' markets have been given grants to implement electronic benefit transfer machines; and a Request for Proposals has been issued inviting faith-based organizations to improve their food and physical activity offerings.
In order to increase physical activity among all NYC residents, Active Design Guidelines have been established to make the city more conducive to walking, climbing stairs and using active transportation. More streets will be closed at certain times of the day and on weekends to encourage physical activity. A new Department of Transportation campaign will encourage New Yorkers to get fit and "live green" through active transportation and stair use.
A leadership team of influential policymakers is guiding these and other CPPW-Obesity interventions, which represent the efforts of hundreds of community-based organizations and individuals working together to reverse the obesity epidemic. For more information about preventing obesity, go to NYC Health Department.
To learn about opportunities in your neighborhood to be physically active, go to New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.