Make Healthy Choices

Many Western New Yorkers believe the region's health system needs to shift from reactive care to embrace a more proactive approach to patient health.

Why it Matters

For WNY and the Nation

Unhealthy lifestyles and choices - smoking, poor diet and substance abuse - lead to 40 percent of all premature deaths in the United States. In other words, two out of five of us could live longer and healthier if we made better choices. What's more, preventable chronic conditions are costly to treat and contribute significantly to overall health care spending. For instance, 10 percent of all health care spending stems from heart disease, for which the leading risk factors are lifestyle choices such smoking, diet and physical activity. Nationwide there is growing appreciation for the need to adopt proactive approaches to health, with one in five adults saying so in a survey conducted last year. Engaging Western New Yorkers in improving their own health is critical, with preventive behavior relatively low in the region. In fact, the region's baby boomer generation has the highest obesity rate in Western New York, according to the Western New York Health Risks Assessment.