Making A 'Healthier Heartland:' Businesses & Health Agencies Kick Off Initiative | KCUR

Making A 'Healthier Heartland:' Businesses & Health Agencies Kick Off Initiative

Sep 16, 2009

Kansas City, MO – Area business, health, and community leaders kicked of a campaign yesterday aimed at helping Kansas City residents increase their physical activity, eat better, and reduce their exposure to tobacco.

Called "Building a Healthier Heartland," the campaign will coordinate various health initiatives across the region over the next couple years.

Health Department Director Rex Archer says the efforts will take a wide-scale approach.

He says that's because social and physical environments in a community play a major role in personal health decisions.

"The doctor may council an individual patient on the importance of more regular physical activity or eating a better diet," Archer said. "[But] they don't influence that 99.9 percent of the time the person is outside of the doctor's office."

Archer points to how making healthy options widely available can positively affect health behaviors.

He says smoking in Kansas City declined twice as much as the state average, due to things like passing local smoking ordinances and coordinating education efforts.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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