Georgia State, Morehouse tackle health issues in southwest Atlanta

Georgia State University’s School of Public Health and the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Prevention Research Center are partnering to help reduce diabetes and heart disease in black neighborhoods in southwest Atlanta.

A $400,000 Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will fund the three-year effort, which will also be implemented with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute.

“Physical inactivity and poor diet have been identified as the second actual cause of death” in the United States, said Rodney Lyn, an associate professor of health management and policy and the principal investigator at Georgia State. “We know that physical activity and food environments influence individual behaviors.”

The health care project will focus on supporting community groups in identifying and adopting improvements that make it safer for people of all ages to walk and bike in their neighborhoods, such as dangerous intersections and lack of sidewalks and bike lanes. Stores in the targeted neighborhoods will also be encouraged to carry healthier food options through the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, modeled after a successful program in Philadelphia.