Addressing Health Disparities in Cities: Lessons from the Field
A child’s health is a key predictor for his or her future success and well-being. Unfortunately, far too many children face barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential because of where they live, learn and play.
The inequitable distribution of social, economic and environmental resources across communities — often called the social determinants of health — create challenges for healthy living. Socioeconomic conditions (e.g., concentrated poverty), access to health care and transportation options, educational and employment opportunities, and aesthetic elements (e.g., green spaces and vibrant public spaces) result in differences in opportunities and exposure to health-promoting resources such as child care, high performing schools, affordable housing, access to healthy food and safe spaces for physical activity.
Many municipal leaders are eager to learn more about the underlying causes of childhood obesity-related health disparities as well as potential strategies to reduce these disparities. With generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute) established the Learning Collaborative on Health Disparities in the fall of 2014.
Many municipal leaders are eager to learn more about the underlying causes of childhood obesity-related health disparities as well as potential strategies to reduce these disparities.