A Bronx health initiative is going boroughwide.
The Bronx CAN health initiative - Changing Attitudes Now - is designed to tackle fitness, nutrition, obesity and exercise issues, and provide some access to preventative health care screenings.
It recently got a boost from The Coca-Cola Foundation, with a $75,000 grant to the year-old organization to improve health outcomes in the borough.
West Bronx state Senator Gustavo Rivera launched Bronx CAN in 2011 in response to a health study that ranked the borough as the unhealthiest county in New York State.
The new grant will help expand the program beyond Rivera’s 33rd Senate District to the entire borough.
It will help Bronxites make healthier lifestyle decisions, said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. who was on hand for the Oct. 22 funding announcement at Macombs Dam Park, along with representatives from the Coca-Cola Foundation, and the East Side Settlement House which also receives funding for nutrition education programs serving 1,200 south Bronx residents.
“This grant will have a large, positive impact on countless residents in this great borough and shows how we can all work together to help members of our community, young and old, start making healthier decisions,” said Diaz while thanking the Coca-Cola Foundation.
“Issues of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease start with bad health habits at a young age. The Bronx CAN Health Initiative will continue to inspire Bronxites to take responsibility over their own health and make changes to their habits.”
Dr. Victor Soriano of Lincoln Medical Center said state Department of Health statistics show about 68% of Bronxites are either overweight or obese, and 11.8% have been diagnosed with diabetes.
The number of Bronxites with diabetes or its early stages might actually be much higher, Soriano said, citing federal Centers for Disease Control reports that a third of all people in the United States may not know they have diabetes or could be pre-diabetic.