The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will use Recovery Act funding to assist the State to implement policy changes in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and tobacco prevention and control. We propose to enact a statewide policy to ensure that healthy foods and beverages are available in vending machines, snack shops, canteens, and cafeterias of state agency facilities, and in the meals catered for all state agencies, boards and commissions. This policy is intended to reach all state employees, their families, visitors to agency facilities, and members of boards and commissions. The intended short-term health effect will be the availability of more healthy food options at the worksite and opportunities to compare healthy versus unhealthy food choices at the point of purchase. In the long term, we anticipate that results of the annual Health Risk Assessments of participants in the health department's Arkansas Healthy Employee Lifestyle Program (AHELP), an incentive-based voluntary worksite wellness program for state employees, will show a greater proportion of program participants with a decrease in Body Mass Index and progression toward a healthy weight, as well as a reduction in the state burden of chronic diseases over time.
Within the domain of physical activity, we propose to implement policy change that will mandate that all new and updated roads/streets in Arkansas with motor vehicle traffic under 50 mph enhance the built environment by incorporating complete street design features to encourage physical activity. The proposed policy is intended to reach all Arkansans ─ with emphasis on those individuals with higher risk of chronic diseases ─ and will promote increased physical activity throughout the state by increasing access and mobility on roads and streets. The anticipated long-term effect will be an overall decrease in obesity and the incidence of chronic diseases.
Within the domain of tobacco, we propose to implement a 100% Smoke-Free Policy with no exemptions that will reach all Arkansans, tourists and visitors to our State to reduce the risk of heart attacks and heart disease associated with exposure to secondhand smoke and improve the health of smokers and all those currently exposed to second-hand smoke, resulting in substantial reductions in health care costs.
Stimulus Amount: Component I -$584,747
Grant Period: February 4, 2010 – February 3, 2012 - Grant has been extended to August 3, 2012.