Helping People Achieve Optimal Health
The goal of the Triple Aim is to help people achieve optimal health at all stages of life. This includes physical and mental health as well as social well-being. Preventing and managing chronic disease is a particular focus, given the rising prevalence of chronic diseases and the impact they have on the state’s residents.
Cross-sector collaboration is needed to address chronic disease and to create healthy communities that support healthy choices in addition to access to quality, coordinated health systems.
Enabling All People Access to Opportunities for Healthy Lives
Environmental conditions, poverty and education all contribute to risk for chronic conditions. Despite advances in reducing mortality from chronic conditions, health inequities persist in our communities.
Chronic Disease is Largely Preventable
Up to 80 percent of cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes; and over 30 percent of cancers could be prevented by eliminating tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol.
Chronic Disease is Deadly and Expensive
Poor health increases direct medical costs, such as emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and indirect costs, such as lost productive time at work, both of which have rapidly increased over the past decade.
Many Californians Experience Chronic Disease
Nearly 14 million adults in California live with at least one chronic condition and more than half of them have multiple chronic conditions.
Innovations in Living Well
Check out creative ways that innovators in many organizations and communities are working to improve outcomes in Living Well.
Living Well Indicators
In 2017, 48 percent of adult Californians report very good, or excellent health status
As the “Golden State,” California prides itself as a place where people can enjoy a high quality of life, be healthy, and pursue their dreams. To meet this vision, Let’s Get Healthy California aims to increase the number of individuals who report very good, or excellent health to 60% over the next ten years.
Reducing body mass index (BMI) by 5 percent could save California billions
If adult body mass index (BMI) were reduced by 5%, California could save $81.7 billion in obesity-related health care costs by 2030.1
Obesity increases the risk of many health conditions and contributes to some of the leading causes of preventable death, posing a major public health challenge.2 There are many factors that contribute to weight gain and ultimately to obesity. Inactivity, unhealthy diets, and eating behaviors are the most preventable. The rising rates of obesity are related to health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.2
Nearly 25 percent of adults say they aren’t physically active1
Active individuals that participate in physical activity on a daily basis are less likely to develop chronic illnesses than those who do not. Studies also indicate that increased physical activity combined with eating a healthy diet may actually prevent or postpone a variety of chronic illnesses. Let’s Get Healthy California aims to increase the number of adults who meet physical activity guidelines.
California has the highest number of new cases of diabetes in the nation1
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of blood sugar resulting from issues with the body’s insulin production, insulin action, or both. Among US states, California has the highest number of new cases of diabetes.1
Sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with increased rates of obesity and other chronic health conditions1
One approach to improving the overall health of Californians is to improve diet. Many Californians are looking closer at their drink choices as sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are one of the largest sources of added sugar in our diets.1 Sugary drinks are defined as liquids that are sweetened with various forms of sugars that add calories. These beverages include, but are not limited to, soda, fruit-ades and fruit drinks, and sports and energy drinks. This indicator is measured by the number of adults who drank two or more sodas or other sugary drinks per day, The Let’s Get Healthy California aim is to reduce the number of Californians who drink two or more SSBs per day by half.2
Learn More » about Healthy Diets – Reducing Consumption of Sugary Sweetened Beverages
Not eating enough fruits and vegetables contributes to poor health and risk of chronic disease1
Currently only 28% of Californians meet the standard of eating fruits and vegetables five times a day.2 Research indicates that many chronic conditions including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can be treated, controlled and in some cases reversed with proper diet. Over the past 30 years, caloric intake nationwide has increased significantly. On average Americans consume more than 300 more calories per day than they did in 1985.3 Let’s Get Healthy California seeks to increase fruit and vegetable consumption from 28% to 34% by 2022.
Learn More » about Increasing the Ability to Find Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in the Neighborhood
California has led the nation in reducing smoking.1
California has been a national leader in efforts to reduce smoking. As a major contributor to a range of chronic diseases, reducing smoking is a priority for living well. Smoking rates vary considerably by gender, race/ethnicity, income, and geography. By reducing these disparities and striving to achieve the 2022 target to bring the state’s overall smoking rate to 9 percent, California can continue to be a leader in efforts to lower smoking rates.1
The majority of those who have a substance use disorder started using before age 18 and developed their disorder by age 20.1
Substance use has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities. Children and adolescents who use substances at an early age are more likely to face problems with substance use as adults.2 The effects of youth alcohol and other drug use are cumulative, significantly contributing to a wide range of costly physical and mental health problems.3 Substance use has been linked to risky health behaviors (e.g., unprotected sex, smoking), injuries, motor vehicle accidents, impaired cognitive functioning, poor academic performance, physical violence, and suicide attempts.4
This indicator tracks the percentage of public school students who have used alcohol or drugs (excluding tobacco) in the previous 30 days.
There are twice as many suicides as homicides in California.1
Over the past decade, statewide suicide rates have been rising.1Suicide is a major health concern in California that can both have immediate and long-term impacts on individuals, families, and entire communities.1Lasting effects include, and are not limited to, change in family structure, household income, psychological impacts/disorders, chronic diseases.1 Mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor.2 Other problems often contribute to suicide, such as relationship issues, substance use, physical health, and unemployment, poverty, legal, or housing stress.2
This indicator tracks the age-adjusted suicide rate per 100,000 people.
Depression is a common and treatable condition
Good health is not limited to physical health.1 Mental health and well-being are also important. Therefore, screening and treatment for depression is an important priority for the Living Well goal. Depression is a common and treatable condition which can have serious health consequences if left untreated.2 Let’s Get Healthy California seeks to reduce the number of adults and adolescents (teens) who experience a major depressive episode. Additional data needs to be developed in order to provide a measure for effectively diagnosing and treating depression in adolescents and adults.3
For resources regarding Mental Health services for various populations, please see the Mental Health Services Division website.
For details on County Mental Health Plans, including links on depression screening resources, please see the Mental Health Quality Improvement Work Plan website.
Learn More » about Mental Health and Well-Being: Reducing Adult Depression
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