Nutrition and Fitness
Building healthier and more equitable communities requires a commitment to tackling all the contributors to poor health outcomes. In the South Bronx, 4 in 10 adults report not exercising at all and 9 in 10 adults eat fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The lack of healthy food, opportunity for physical activity, and proper nutrition and fitness education contributes to rising rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease throughout underserved communities in New York City. Children in these communities are affected by these factors at an early age and, without proper intervention, are at a high risk for developing chronic conditions later in life.
Promoting opportunities for a healthy lifestyle is a major focus of Bronx Health REACH’s work to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. Our approach to improving nutrition and fitness is based on the socio-ecological model and targets multiple levels. We provide direct education to individuals, work to implement policies within institutions, and create communities where healthy choices are available to all. This work is led by a multidisciplinary Nutrition and Fitness Committee representing schools, churches, health providers, and community groups. Together with Bronx Health REACH, the committee aims to build healthier communities by creating opportunities to eat healthy and stay active.