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Three positive behaviors make a difference

The Vermont Department of Health’s 3-4-50 campaign focuses on helping Vermonters live healthier lives by encouraging three positive behaviors — quitting smoking, regular exercise and healthy eating. These habits will help cut down on the debilitating cost of treating the four chronic diseases (cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and lung disease) that cause over 50 percent of deaths statewide.
The 3-4-50 strategy originated in the global health field and has since been adopted by other health departments in the U.S., notably in San Diego. DOH District Director Moira Cook says that not only are these diseases killing people, “that doesn’t include data around lost productivity and quality of life,” an enormous cost to people and communities when it comes to chronic disease. A small change in disease incidence can have considerable economic implications, she said.
Cook’s office received a small block of federal funding to “build more awareness around 3-4-50 and put it into action in a different way.” The bulk of that was allocated to the Health Care Share pilot, but it will also support a pilot for kids to encourage physical activity this winter, as well as some exercise equipment for the Rural Fun Delivery summer program.

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