Report: Mass. Gets C+ For Helping To Improve Residents' Health

There are some mixed grades in a second annual report card (PDF), from the Boston Foundation, on Massachusetts' efforts in health and wellness.

As WBUR's Monica Brady-Myerov reports for our Newscast unit:

The state gets a C+ in the foundation’s report card for helping to improve the health of its residents with policies and programs. Last year, it got a C-.

The state improved in the areas of: access for bikers; primary care that emphasizes prevention; and healthier school meals.

But Mary Jo Meisner, of the foundation, says the state still gets failing grades for not taxing sugary beverages and for under-funding public health programs.

"That’s a reflection of the state’s inability to deal with these two key areas, where either legislative change or an increase in investment would have huge payoff in health outcomes for state residents," she said.

The report card aims to improve health and lower health care costs.

The Boston Foundation releases the 2012 Healthy People/Healthy Economy report card, measuring 14 health factors, later Tuesday. (Update: It's here now.) (And here's the 2011 report card.)

In its article on the report card, the Boston Globe notes one area of decline: public transportation. The paper reports:

“The fact that we have this whole array of transportation finance issues facing the Common­wealth now concerns us greatly,” said Mary Jo ­Meisner. ...

Public transit is important for health, the authors said, pointing to research that has found that users of local transportation systems walked an average of 24 minutes daily to and from stations.

This program aired on June 19, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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