Access to affordable, healthy food, safe places to be physically active, and air that’s free of tobacco smoke are some of what’s needed to create a healthy community.
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This interactive map shows what issues people are pulling for in neighborhoods across Minnesota.
Access to healthy food is critical to healthy living. Yet, Minnesotans living in low-income and rural communities often have limited access to affordable, fresh food. In order to help combat chronic conditions linked to a poor diet, accessibility, affordability and availability must be increased.
More than half of Minnesotans don’t feel safe biking where they live and agree that not being able to bike or walk to work or school is a barrier to healthier living. That’s significant because a lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for many preventable diseases. Increasing opportunities to be physically active in our communities is key to improving health.
Since Minnesota’s Freedom to Breathe Act took effect smoking rates and exposure to secondhand smoke have decreased. But 4,900 Minnesota kids under age 18 become new smokers each year, and e-cigarettes are being marketed in candy and fruit flavors that are appealing to children. While our state is a leader in reducing the harms of tobacco, there’s still work to do.
Minnesota ranks among the healthiest states in the nation. But we also have some of the widest health gaps in the country. These gaps cross all cultures, incomes and geographies, but they are disproportionally higher in some communities. Minnesota will only be a truly healthy state when all people have the opportunity to live the healthiest lives possible.
Change doesn’t happen overnight or through a single strategy. It requires multiple approaches and committed people pulling together to achieve a common vision. We know we can’t create a healthy state on our own — but we’re happy to be part of the solution.
The Center for Prevention plays many roles. We support community initiatives that align with our focus areas of healthy eating, physical activity, health equity and tobacco use. We act as a convener, connecting people from all corners of Minnesota. And we use public awareness campaigns to encourage public dialogue and ultimately, expand the way people think about what’s needed to achieve good health.
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