US grant supports healthy practices
With the nation’s surgeon general looking on, local and state health and planning officials Friday cheered a nearly $1.6 million federal grant to promote healthier lifestyles for residents of Middlesex County. Funded by the federal Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama two years ago, the grant supports local programs to promote smoking cessation and the prevention of chronic conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. “Health care does not occur in hospitals and doctors offices only,’’ the US surgeon general, Dr. Regina Benjamin, told a crowd of more than 150 who gathered at a Somerville hotel conference room. “Prevention is the key. It’s an imperative.’’ State and national leaders have held Somerville up as a model for encouraging basic healthy eating and living. Since the city began preventive health programs, an analysis has found that Somerville children fare well in comparative weight studies.
. - Matt Byrne