Catalyst for Healthy Eating and Active Living works with communities to address key risk factors for chronic disease and accelerates change to make healthy living easier.
The communities we live in can shape our behaviors and influence our health in important ways. While individuals may strive to live a healthy life, the condition of the community they live in affects available resources and their choices. For example, an individual’s ability to eat healthfully and be physically active – two vital behaviors for preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease – can be limited by living in a community where access to fresh, nutritious food and safe areas to exercise are scarce.
When communities develop strategies to support healthy eating and active living, they have the potential to improve overall health among residents and minimize financial and other burdens associated with chronic disease.
Development of Catalyst
The Catalyst began in 2012 as a partnership between the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the NC Division of Public Health, and the North Carolina Public Health Foundation. Initially, the Catalyst supported changes for healthy eating and active living in four rural NC counties. The program grew in partnership with Healthy Place NC initiative of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and now serves eight counties.
In April 2017, the Catalyst transitioned from its administrative home at the North Carolina Public Health Foundation and is now a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation.
The goal of the Catalyst is to spark transformational change, creating places where healthier choices are available and easier to make. To this end, the Catalyst fosters collaboration and strengthens community engagement in evidence-based and promising strategies to increase healthy eating and active living in Beaufort, Burke, Cleveland, Edgecombe, Halifax, McDowell, Nash, and Rockingham counties.
Some of their activities include:
- increasing access to fresh produce in communities
- promoting community use of school and faith facilities for physical activity
- assisting with comprehensive, long-term plans that address the health of the community
To support these activities, Catalyst Coordinators work in each participating county to build collaboration, link to resources and strengthen community involvement. For more information about each county, click on one of the boxes below: