|Obama releases healthier lifestyle plan|
|Written by David Marquis, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 28 June 2011 17:24|
Reducing the cost of health care could be as simple as living a healthier lifestyle.
“We know that [disease] prevention helps people live long and productive lives and can help combat rising healthcare costs,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a HHS press release.
The U.S. government released the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy, a plan aimed at preventing disease and injury, as well as creating healthier communities and workplaces, on June 16.
“Helping Americans live more healthful lives is a top priority for the Obama administration,” Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes stated in the same release. “The National Prevention Strategy is a road map to help us achieve that goal and will help public and private partners come together to build healthier communities using evidence-based strategies that we know work.”
The strategy outlines four “strategic directions” that are said to be key to improving the country’s health, including building healthy and safe community environments, expanding quality preventive services in both clinical and community settings, empowering people to make healthy choices and eliminating health disparities.
“The ideas presented are certainly ones that have a potential to lead to healthier citizens. Prevention of disease, when possible, has always been the most effective method in keeping people healthy. It doesn’t seem like that needs to be said, but sometimes our priorities don’t seem to be directed towards prevention, so stating the obvious and encouraging steps towards prevention on different fronts are good starting points,” Medical Director for Student Health Services Dr. Jean Swearingen said.
Kristen Nesvacil, assistant director of Recreation Services for fitness, said prevention is key.
“It’s so important for students to take the time now to form good habits,” she added. “Exercise regularly, eat well, and get plenty of sleep. Establishing these good habits now will help you in your future when you enter the real world and start working. Exercise can be challenging at first but it gets so much easier as you get in shape. There are also so many wonderful resources on campus so take advantage of [them].”
Swearingen said many entities throughout the ISU community, including Bloomington-Normal, can help make one’s life healthier in different ways.
“A few examples at ISU include the new [Student Fitness] Center, Student Counseling [Services], Health [Promotion] and Wellness, Speech and Hearing, Environmental Health and Safety, dieticians, and [SHS, to name a few]. The community has farmers’ markets with fresh foods, Constitution Trail and many parks and other resources,” she added.
The strategy, called for under the Affordable Care Act, will “help us transform our health care system away from a focus on sickness and disease to a focus on prevention and wellness,” Sebelius stated in the release.