Stories about: stimulus package

Stimulus money to improve public health?

David LudwigDavid Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program, has been an outspoken advocate for government investment in infrastructure that supports physically active lifestyles (like new bike paths and recreational facilities).

Now, embedded within the health care legislation weaving through Congress is an innovative provision that would do just that. The bill includes potentially billions of dollars in the form of community grants that could be used to build jungle gyms, improve lighting in parks and provide better access to nutritional food.

“President Obama has spoken of using the economic crisis as an opportunity to align the economic system with fundamental values of our society,” says Ludwig. “Few projects can compare in importance with public health measures to combat the obesity epidemic. The investment we could make now would be returned many-fold to society, through reduced health care costs in treating diabetes and heart disease, and the greater productivity of a healthy workforce.”

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