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Healthy Eating / Active Living

Socioeconomic and environmental factors, along with unhealthy behaviors, such as poor eating habits and lack of regular exercise, heavily influence the development of chronic diseases. In response, there is strong philanthropic interest in healthy eating/active living—especially related to the childhood obesity epidemic. GIH has been committed to this issue for over a decade, with a recent focus on policy developments and improving access to nutritious foods.

Contact Colin Pekruhn for more information about our programming in this area.

Issue Spotlight

November 2017

A newly published study in BMC Geriatrics and Population Health Management, discussed by its authors in a Health Affairs blog post, found increased SNAP participation among Maryland's older adults eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dual-eligibles) living in the community collectively addressed key social determinants of health and drivers of health care spending. Researchers found dual-eligibles who were enrolled in SNAP were 14 percent less likely to be hospitalized and 23 percent less likely to enter a nursing home in the following year. Of the study population, 42 percent were eligible for SNAP benefits but not enrolled, indicating targeted enrollment efforts might lead to better population health outcomes for older adults and cost savings in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

September 2017

The Kansas Health Foundation announced two new major investments to promote healthy food access and healthy living. To help create a system that supports efforts improving food access, the foundation is providing approximately $4.2 million for the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative: a program that allows local growers and investors to leverage grant funds with other funding opportunities to sustain or create food access points in areas of great need. The foundation also announced new investments to eight Kansas organizations focused on providing access to healthy food and increasing physical activity as part of its Healthy Living Grants Initiative. Focusing on vulnerable populations, these grants will include support for walking paths, exercise programs, farm-to-school, and nutrition and food preparation education programming.

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