The mental, physical, and economic well-being of individuals across the United States is under tremendous threat from the devastating toll of preventable diseases and the rising rate of childhood obesity. Today people are eating more but exercising less; working harder but sleeping less; and drinking more beverages with high calories and sugar but less water. All of this has added up to a dangerous equation. One in three kids – ages 2 to 19 – in the United States is overweight or obese, more than 70 percent of adults across the United States already being diagnosed with a chronic disease, and more than 75 percent of the nation’s healthcare spending is being spent on managing and treating these conditions.
Fortunately, solutions exist. By helping individuals and communities to take small measures to improve their health, we can help change the course of millions of lives. By engaging individuals, schools, communities, and organizations to share their solutions to healthy living, over time, collective success will be scaled to a greater number of people. Any approach to eradicating chronic diseases like obesity and activating health for all ages must focus on scalable, systemic changes as well as individual ones, and address all factors surrounding environments that affect a persons’ life. For every dollar invested in prevention, approximately five dollars in health care costs are saved, and the benefits are many – including more active and productive individuals across all generations.