Every year during the first week of April, The American Public Health Association brings communities together to observe National Public Health Week, and Springer Publishing Company is proud to observe as well. Since 1995, NPHW was designed as time to recognize the contributions of public health and to highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health each year. The theme for this year is "Healthiest Nation 2030"- how we can make the United States a healthier nation in one generation.
Many Americans believe that we are the healthiest nation in the world. The reality is, we don't even make the top 25 when it comes to life expectancy. There are several steps we can take and changes we can make to achieve this goal of Healthiest Nation 2030, according to the NPHW website. Read on to see how the APHA explains how we can improve our public health in these areas.
Healthier Communities- From housing to playgrounds to crime statistics, we need to make sure the places we live are safe and conducive to healthy lifestyles. Your home and neighborhood you live in can impact how healthy you are.
Education- Studies show that people who are high school graduates- whether through a high school diploma or a GED- live longer and healthier lives than their peers who don't. While dropout rates are going down every year, there are still far too many students who are pushed out or just give up.
Economic Mobility- It's no surprise that income and health are correlated. It has been proven that people living below the poverty line are more likely to suffer from depression and less likely to have the proper screenings for diseases than those living above it. In order for the health gap to close, the income one must as well.
Social Justice and Health- Everyone deserves equal rights and opportunities, especially in healthcare. People need the chance to be the healthiest they can be, and yet there are still so many hurdles we face socially that prevent this.
Healthy Food- Eating well should be a priority for everyone, but research shows that most children in the U.S. today aren't eating enough fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. The foods we eat affect more than just our pants size, nutrition is a link between some of the nation's leading causes of death.
Climate- While we can't control the weather, we can take care to dress and act appropriately to prevent getting sick or hurt from the weather. Changes in climate can negatively affect public health.
Healthcare- While the U.S. has some of the best healthcare in the world, we still don't have the healthiest people.The Affordable Care Act has made significant strides by bringing healthcare to almost 20 million Americans, but there are still at least 1 in 10 Americans who don't have healthcare.
Public Health Infrastructure- Funding for public health needs to be consistent and strong. We can't make the changes to become the healthiest nation if we don't strengthen the public health infrastructure.
There are so many ways to implement change in these areas. Everyone can do their part to take steps to help make the United States the "Healthiest Nation by 2030". Do you have ideas for how we can become a healthier nation? Let us know in the comments!
Happy Public Health Week!