Healthy Boston

City of Boston receives $4.6 million grant to reduce obesity and hypertension.

On Thursday October 4, 2012, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that Boston has received a $4.6 million from the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant program to help reduce the obesity and hypertension among black and Latino communities around Boston. Over the next three years, the REACH program will partner up with the YMCA of Greater Boston, Harvard School of Public Health’s Prevention Research Center and Department of Nutrition, Boston Public Health Commission in order to address the correlation between racial inequalities and health problems in the Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, East Boston and Hyde Park communities.

The program intends to attack this problem with four different strategies: increase bicycling opportunities, develop more out-of-school physical activity programs, support more outdoor exercise, and supply more healthy beverages across Boston.

REACH plans to work with Hubway to create low-cost memberships for low-income residents, and also to ensure that the roads are safe for bicyclists. The YMCA will also be working with REACH to provide more out-of-school programs in order to increase daily physical activity for students. The Boston Parks, Police and Transportation Departments will be collaborating with REACH so that parks and common greens are safe for people to exercise and play on. The final intention is to work with communities and public locations around Boston to decrease the amount of sugary drinks available and provide more access to tap water.

By addressing social inequities around Boston, the REACH grant program hopes to eliminate some of the causes for obesity and hypertension, and with their hard work they will create a healthier and happier society.

-Lynsey Bourquin

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