• Ensure organized statewide efforts for personal, educational, and environmental health; provide access to health services; and solve health problems

  • Guarantee the availability of a minimum set of health care services

  • Support local health care service capacity, especially when disparities in local abilities exist with fiscal, administrative, technical capacity, and direct action

Local Government Responsibilities

  • Assess, monitor, and provide surveillance for local health problems and resources with consideration of physical, behavioral, environmental, social, and economic conditions

  • Prevent, investigate, minimize, and contain adverse health effects

  • Ensure compliance with public health laws and ordinances

  • Lead planning and response for public health emergencies

  • Develop policy and leadership to engage the community, ensure the equitable distribution of public resources, and develop public-private partnerships to deliver activities commensurate with community needs

  • Implement health promotion programs

  • Coordinate public health system efforts in an intentional, noncompetitive, and nonduplicative manner

  • Address health disparities.

  • Ensure that high-quality services for the protection of public health, including personal health care, are accessible to all people; that the community receives proper consideration in the allocation of federal, state, and local resources for public health; and that the community and media are informed about how to obtain public health services

  • Serve as a resource to local governing bodies, policy makers, community-based organizations, other governmental agencies, entities engaged in public health issues, and researchers

SOURCES: Adapted from IOM (1988, 2003); NACCHO (2005).

activities with the potential to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic is vast, dynamic, and difficult to track systematically over time. The prevention of childhood obesity will require contributions from all sectors of society. Government can play a special role by augmenting its own capacity in such a way that it stimulates and enhances the capacities and activities of other sectors of society. In order to continue to focus attention on the childhood obesity epidemic and encourage sustained efforts from all sectors of society, government will need to consistently acknowledge the importance of preventing childhood obesity.

In addition to implementing and sustaining new programs, governmental agencies at all levels need to reexamine their existing policies and initia-



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