County to Tackle Obesity, Chronic Disease with $3.5 Million CDC Grant

Nearly one-third of San Diego children and over 50 percent of adults are overweight or obese.

Thanks to a $3.52 million federal grant announced today, the County is stepping up its fight against obesity and chronic disease and its work to get more San Diegans to stop smoking, eat healthier and be more physically active.

The funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) efforts to tackle health disparities in populations with high rates of chronic disease in the City of San Diego, specifically communities with higher rates of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. HHSA anticipates the funding from the CDC to continue three additional years.

“The County is working hard to improve the health and safety of all residents through our Live Well San Diego initiative,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Chairwoman of the County Board of Supervisors. “The grant money will help us reach communities that are disproportionately affected by chronic disease and help them improve their quality of life.”

HHSA will lead the implementation of Healthy Works: Public Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke and work with the City of San Diego, UC San Diego’s San Diego Division of Community Health, and Be There San Diego.

In San Diego County, three behaviors—poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and smoking—lead to four diseases—cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and respiratory illness—that are responsible for over 50 percent of the local deaths.

“Obesity and chronic disease can be prevented,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts. “Our goal is to decrease death and disability due to these conditions. With this funding, we will build on the work we’ve been doing with our partners to make it easier for people to lead healthier lives.”

Healthy Works aims to:

  • Increase consumption of healthy food and beverages
  • Get people to be more physically active
  • Increase referrals to and enrollment in lifestyle-change programs
  • Make sure adults with hypertension take medication as directed
  • Get people to self-monitor their blood pressure

“We’ve seen some progress in the fight against obesity and chronic disease in San Diego in the past few years, but thousands of San Diego children and adults are still overweight,” said HHSA Director Nick Macchione. “Small changes can make a big difference in individuals, families and communities and can lead to a better quality of life.”

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact