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J Community Health. 2012 Oct;37(5):1081-90. doi: 10.1007/s10900-012-9542-3.

Fifty communities putting prevention to work: accelerating chronic disease prevention through policy, systems and environmental change.

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Division of Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy., MS-K45, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


The burden of preventable chronic diseases is straining our nation's health and economy. Diseases caused by obesity and tobacco use account for the largest portions of this preventable burden. CDC funded 50 communities in 2010 to implement policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) interventions in a 2-year initiative. Funded communities developed PSE plans to reduce obesity, tobacco use, and second-hand smoke exposure for their combined 55 million residents. Community outcome objectives and milestones were categorized by PSE interventions as they related to media, access, promotion, pricing, and social support. Communities estimated population reach based on their jurisdiction's census data and target populations. The average proportion of each community's population that was reached was calculated for each intervention category. Outcome objectives that were achieved within 12 months of program initiation were identified from routine program records. The average proportion of a community's jurisdictional population reached by a specific intervention varied across interventions. Mean population reach for obesity-prevention interventions was estimated at 35%, with 14 (26%) interventions covering over 50% of the jurisdictional populations. For tobacco prevention, mean population reach was estimated at 67%, with 16 (84%) interventions covering more than 50% of the jurisdictional populations. Within 12 months, communities advanced over one-third of their obesity and tobacco-use prevention strategies. Tobacco interventions appeared to have higher potential population reach than obesity interventions within this initiative. Findings on the progress and potential reach of this major initiative may help inform future chronic disease prevention efforts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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