April 9, 2012
This week marks National Public Health Week and World Health Day (April 7), and also kicks off a month full of national health observances aimed at increasing awareness about the critical importance of better managing one’s health to help prevent future complications. April’s being Cancer Control Month, Defeat Diabetes Month and Physical Wellness Month brings a timely reminder to renew our commitment to improved health, especially for the millions of us at high risk of developing a chronic disease.
Most chronic diseases are preventable and highly manageable and there are many simple steps we can each take to improve our own health and improve health in America overall. Adopting healthier lifestyles, such as eating a nutritious diet, being physically active, and getting enough rest can help stave off the onset and progression of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, visiting a doctor for recommended, preventive check ups and following through on treatments including taking medications as prescribed can significantly improve an individual’s health and reduce chronic illness risks.
As the debate around national health care reform continues, it’s important to recognize that every effort – whether at the legislative or individual level – toward health improvement counts. While policymakers, patient advocates and coalitions, including the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, work to identify, support and invest in more evidence-based programs that focus on the prevention of chronic diseases and well-developed disease management strategies, we encourage everyone to take an active role in their health care and make a positive difference in the nation’s long-term health outlook. Working together represents our best chance at achieving meaningful reductions in health care spending while improving the overall quality of life, especially for those struggling with chronic diseases.