Health and Wellness
Increasing the health and wellness of Greater Boston residents
While Boston is known as a world class community for providing excellence in health care, it is not immune to the nation’s rising tide of preventable chronic diseases and an epidemic of overweight and obesity. Several reports published by the Boston Foundation and the health institute NEHI have confirmed these challenges and have shaped our civic leadership and grantmaking in this area, which focuses primarily on efforts to promote health and wellness.
Our approach to all of our programming in the area of health and wellness is to encourage healthy behaviors among Boston residents and increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. We are approaching this through our grantmaking and through the Healthy People/Healthy Economy Coalition, which we launched in partnership with NEHI. The Coalition’s ambitious goal is to make Massachusetts the national leader in health and wellness.
In this area, the Foundation focuses on reducing the number of Boston children who are either overweight or obese from today’s 44% to 40% in 2015, and to measure over time a number of important benchmarks, such as greater availability of fresh foods and increased physical activity for children. We also seek to create a permanent funding stream for public health initiatives through the state’s Prevention and Wellness Trust by removing the sales tax exemption for sugar-sweetened beverages.