Surgeon General Releases Wellness Promotion Plan

The National Prevention Council Action Plan is the next step in implementing the National Prevention Strategy to tackle obesity, tobacco use, and chronic diseases.

U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin announced the release of the National Prevention Council Action Plan, described as the nation's first health and wellness road map, on June 13. It is the next step in implementing the National Prevention Strategy to tackle obesity, tobacco and drug use, excessive alcohol use, and chronic diseases, including asthma.

The council -- 17 federal departments and agencies, including Labor, DOT, Justice, HHS, EPA, Homeland Security, HUD, Agriculture, Defense, and Education -- was created by the Affordable Care Act to help move the nationh's health care focus from one based on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. The strategy was released last year.

"Currently, chronic diseases and conditions account for at least seven of every 10 deaths in our country, and many of these conditions are preventable," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a member of the council. "Our council's commitment to promoting health and preventing disease across each of our areas of responsibility is a commitment to helping Americans lead longer, healthier, and more productive lives."

All 17 agencies have agreed to increase tobacco-free environments and access to healthy, affordable foods. The plan lists more than 200 specific prevention and wellness actions federal agencies are already taking or plan to take.

"The National Prevention Council Action Plan is a road map to turning around the huge burden of chronic illness and health disparities that the nation and individual Americans currently bear," said Dr. Benjamin, who chairs the council. "I believe that prevention offers the greatest opportunity to improve the health of America's families, now and for decades to come."

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