Who Is Responsible For The Nation's Health? Everyone

If there is one social issue capturing attention this week it is the nation’s health, following the monumental signing of healthcare reform legislation by the U.S. government. No matter which side of the debate you sit on, perhaps there is one shared reality – true change will come only when all sectors work together to create solutions. In fact, most Americans (89%) expect business, government and nonprofit organizations to work collaboratively to solve social issues.

We are already seeing a lot of cross-sector momentum which demonstrates a sense of shared responsibility. Organizations have started working together to address the national concerns of childhood obesity and healthy schools. A few recent initiatives include:

  • Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to fight childhood obesity, supported by the dairy industry

  • The American Beverage Association’s agreement to remove high-calorie beverages from schools, which includes key industry players PepsiCo and Coca-Cola

  • Jamba Juice and the National Parent Teacher Association's (PTA) creation of a smoothie to help young people get their daily servings of fruit

  • Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s partnership with ABC for the premier of “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” a reality series where he sets out to make over the eating habits of families in the “nation’s unhealthiest city”

The government is forcing change, but the responsibility rests on everyone. National health is too large for one organization or sector to tackle alone. Leaders of all sectors should take time to consider how they will impact the issue, and what role they will play in promoting national health solutions. What role will your organization play? Share your plans in the comments below.


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