The Steps Program in action : success stories on community initiatives to prevent chronic diseases
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The Steps Program in action : success stories on community initiatives to prevent chronic diseases

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      Rises in chronic disease rates did not happen in the blink of an eye—they came about slowly after a century of profound cultural changes. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, people often struggled to get enough food, faced unsanitary living conditions, and engaged more extensively in physical labor. Today, most people’s struggles involve finding ways to balance increasingly demanding work and family obligations. Add to our hectic schedules the growth of labor-saving technology, the vast array of high-calorie “convenience foods,” widespread commercial promotion of unhealthy foods and tobacco products, and a vast array of sedentary entertainment choices, it is no wonder that chronic disease rates have exploded in this country.

      Concentrated efforts are needed in local communities across the country to address the national epidemic of chronic diseases. Steps Programs support these efforts by serving as learning laboratories for increasing local momentum and providing a tipping point for the nation toward better community health.

      The Steps Program funds communities across the country to show how local initiatives can reduce the burden of chronic diseases by encouraging people to be more physically active, eat a healthy diet, and not use tobacco.

      This booklet provides a snapshot of how the Steps-funded communities are showing what can be done locally in schools, work sites, communities, and health care settings to promote healthier lifestyles and help people make long-lasting and sustainable changes that can reduce their risk for chronic diseases. The state, community, and tribal success stories featured in this booklet illustrate the wide range of Steps-funded activities taking place in communities across the country.

      Suggested citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Steps Program in Action: Success Stories on Community Initiatives to Prevent Chronic Diseases. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2008.


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