Monday, January 22, 2007

Neighborhood Health

In this week's Gotham Gazette there is a post done on the Department of Health's neighborhood-by-neighborhood health survey. As we have discussed in the past it is quite clear that certain areas of the city have more health challenges, especially when it comes to the obesity epidemic and its health related problems.

The existence of this health disparity provides the impetus to the DOH's healthy bodega initiative as well as for its anti-trans fat and menu labeling efforts. In addition, the naming of a food czar and the launching by Speaker Quinn of her greenmarkets program is instigated by these health data.

What is missing here is the kind of grass roots activism that government sponsored efforts so often ignore (the idea is what we can do for them). This is precisely why the Health Corps is such a welcome idea. since it looks to activate the young people in the community to take the lead on creating healthier attitudes and life styles. Access to fruits and veggies is important, but wanting to eat them is an even more crucial variable in the war on obesity.