What is it? A community health education program helps families and individuals plan, prepare, and consume more nutritious meals, improving the overall health of neighborhood inhabitants. Programs vary in subject and approach – there are many different aspects to being a healthy person and this kind of community-based educational program can touch on any or all of them. A common goal is to not only improve the health of individuals and families, but to contribute to better overall population health.
How has it been used? The New Mexico Diabetes Prevention and Control Program developed a class for people with diabetes called “Kitchen Creations Cooking School.” Interested community members with diabetes attended a four-session class focusing on how better eating to help manage their diabetes. Sessions included lessons on meal planning and food preparation techniques. To make it fun, many of the activities were hands-on and participants sampled the foods they created. The classes have increased participants’ awareness about how to live with diabetes and its community-wide impact continues to grow as more people participate. Individuals are learning new skills and improving their quality of life, while the whole community benefits. (Source: Examples of Successful Community-Based Public Health Interventions – Trust for America’s Health)