Putting Prevention to Work
King County in Washington is reducing health disparities in underserved populations through policy, system and environmental changes. The combined percentage of overweight and obese adults in the County was over 50% when the program began. Communities Putting Prevention to Work was funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, aiming to make healthy living easier. Six suburban cities near Seattle—Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Redmond, SeaTac and Snoqualmie—worked on the interrelated issues of active transportation planning, land use, and food access planning.
With technical training on complete streets and how they improve physical well-being, public meetings and presentations, and city council and planning commission meetings, the work resulted in all six cities amending or creating new policies to improve food access. Additionally, four cities adopted Complete Streets Ordinances and three developed a joint use agreement to share school and park facilities with the Highline School District to increase park access for kids and adults.