Growing Healthy Communities (GHC) is an initiative of the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ArCOP). Since 2009, the Coalition has been helping Arkansas communities build capacity to reduce obesity by increasing access to physical activity and healthy foods, as well as implementing environmental and policy changes that support healthy living.
Beginning in December 2014, all Arkansas communities may apply to receive recognition for their efforts towards healthier practices and policies.
Healthier environments produce healthier people. And healthier people produce greater economic outputs, consume fewer healthcare resources and lead better, longer lives.
ArCOP is focusing on making the healthy choice the easy choice. The coalition’s mission is to improve the health of all Arkansas communities by increasing access to physical activity and healthy eating to reduce and prevent obesity. GHC, the Coalition’s primary project, brings together individuals, companies and organizations across sector lines to recognize that a healthy community is a better community on virtually every measure of success.
WHAT ARE GROWING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES?
Communities awarded with GHC recognition levels have set out to get healthier—economically, policy-wise, nutritionally and physically. In each Growing Healthy Community, there is an organized, multidisciplinary team working actively to drive health forward.
WHY GROW HEALTHIER?
Healthier environments produce healthier people – and healthier people produce greater economic outputs, consume fewer healthcare resources and lead better, longer lives. GHC fosters these outcomes through proven, disciplined methods that can be replicated in your community.
Significant GHC infrastructure already exists for new communities to plug into and to communities already recognized to reach a higher level. In fact, fifty Arkansas communities are already involved with ArCOP’s GHC initiative. Guidelines, resources and experts are available for everyone to rely on.
SIMPLE, BUT NOT EASY?
The foundations of GHC are simple—increase availability of healthful foods, create healthier built environments, develop and implement healthier policy, influence social mores—laying them is by no means easy. However, communities across Arkansas are succeeding, and many across the nation have proven what’s possible.
IS YOUR COMMUNITY READY TO BE RECOGNIZED?