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Advancing Healthy Lifestyles

Chronic Disease, Health Equity, and COVID-19

Important AHL Survey Results:

Healthy Lifestyles Subcommittee Policy Recommendations, January 2021

Download recommendations Coming soon: Survey results

The Goal for AHL

Advancing Healthy Lifestyles (AHL) is part of the Division of Public Health’s (DPH) Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention (PANO) Program. AHL’s goal is to reduce adult and childhood obesity as well as other chronic conditions, to achieve long-term health equity for schools, communities, and workplaces.

We are accomplishing this by addressing:

  • The social determinants of health (SDoH)
  • Communities that are experiencing SDoH inequities
  • A shared agenda and narrative developed and adopted, together

School Health and Wellness

Comprehensive school health and wellness incorporates physical activity, nutrition, and obesity prevention intervention — all addressed through a variety of measures. These measures include school educational planning, such as supporting curricula and instruction for students in pre-K through grade 12 that will address a variety of important health topics, as well as Healthy School Action Teams (HSATs), which will work to identify the multiple factors influencing childhood obesity.



April 13, 2021

Community Capacity Building

Using the Theory of Change model, AHL is facilitating and expanding community action. Engaging community partners is key to long-term, sustainable health and wellness outcomes.

There are three community-based interventions happening in 2021.

  • Healthy Schools Toolkit for asthma and tobacco prevention
  • Improved community access to healthy foods
  • Improved physical fitness and gross motor skills



April 19, 2021

Workplace Wellness

Healthier employees relate directly to better-functioning state agencies. AHL is actively promoting health equity and workplace wellness initiatives, with the goal of positively influencing workplace culture and policies as well as encouraging state employees to improve their health. AHL is currently drafting a workplace wellness policy, soliciting feedback from an executive branch agency workgroup of human resource leads, and identifying ways to expand it to address additional public health priorities. offers a free toolkit of downloadable materials that promote workplace wellness and healthier habits among employees. Use these proven tools to help build morale, increase physical activity, and reduce employee absenteeism — while also reducing health care costs.



April 16, 2021

World Café: Engagement for Policy Recommendations

PANO hosted three World Café events in May, attended by over 50 people in total. Participants from agencies and organizations related to Advancing Healthy Lifestyles commented on each of the recommendations developed by the Cancer Risk Reduction Committee’s Healthy Lifestyle Subcommittee (HLSC). The participants’ comments and guidance will contribute to the Action Plan for the HLSC recommendations, which will be complete in July.

AHL Learning Series

These seminar-style webinars will be open to organizations related to schools, community groups, or workplace/employee health and wellness. The Learning Series will provide learning opportunities that support organizations’ capacity building in key programs or services, and help create common levels of capacity across all organizations, related to PANO priorities focusing on evidence-based approaches.

Promoting Equity in Nutrition Security: How the Social Determinants of Health Affect Healthy Eating

Th, 6/3/21, 12:30-1:30 p.m. EDT (11:30 a.m. Central).

  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • Associate Director, UIC Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion
  • Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships

Access Passcode: Learning2021!

Valuing Voice in Advancing Healthy Lifestyles: The Community as the Expert Resource

Th, 6/10/21, 12:30-1:30 p.m. EDT (11:30 a.m. Central).

Presenter: Mary Kane, President, CSI

  • President, Concept Systems, Inc.
  • Principal Consultant, Public Health and Health Promotion

Access Passcode: Learning2021!

The 24-Hour Activity Cycle and How It Affects Our Health: Strategies for the COVID Experience and Beyond

Th, 6/17/21, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

  • University of North Carolina
  • Assistant Professor, Director of the UNC Cardiometabolic Lab
  • Department of Exercise and Sport Science

Access Passcode: Learning2021!

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle: A Focus on Heart Disease

Th, 6/24/21, 12:30-1:30 p.m. EDT

  • Senior Evaluator
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Access Passcode: Learning2021!

Future Topics

  • Culture of Health and How It Can Inform Small Agencies’ Work
  • Evaluation Practices That Fit Your Organization
  • What Advancing Healthy Lifestyles Looks Like for the Aging Population: Heart
  • Activity, Including Physical Activity, and COVID Behaviors: Simple Strategies to Improve a Child’s Daily Health.