Since 2011, the increase in obesity has slowed and the decrease in smoking has accelerated with the expansion of coordinated statewide action, such as the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) to address these risk factors.

• Obesity: In Minnesota, $365 million in healthcare spending averted since 2011 by putting the brakes on the rising adult obesity rates.

• Tobacco: In Minnesota, $252 million in healthcare spending averted since 2011 by accelerating the drop in adult smoking rates.

That’s an estimated $618.2 million—over half a billion dollars—in health care spending was averted because of changes in obesity and smoking rates since 2011. SHIP supports community-driven solutions to expand opportunities for active living, healthy eating and commercial tobacco-free living, helping all people in Minnesota prevent chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Ninety (90%) percent of the nation’s health care costs are for people with chronic conditions, and the majority of those costs are preventable.

Locally, Public Health SHIP collaborates with community partners to make changes that result in healthy environments for all individuals.

Successes such as increasing availability and affordability of healthy foods, promotion of health through community comprehensive plans, and improving streetscapes to ensure that all community members can walk, bike and roll safely throughout their day have occurred in our communities because of SHIP.

Since SHIP’s inception in 2008, the Minnesota Department of Health has provided $132 million in funding.

“Minnesota’s progress on obesity and tobacco has outpaced that of the nation, signifying that the combined investment of SHIP and coordinated obesity and tobacco prevention efforts is substantial and has contributed to the over half a billion dollars in health care costs averted”, says Sarah Reese, Director, Polk County Public Health.

“$132 million of SHIP funding resulting in averting over half a billion dollars of health care spending is a large return on investment. This funding helps to provide opportunities for our residents to live healthier lifestyles.” Joan Lee – Polk County Commissioner.