Minnesota will soon learn if its $47 million bet on statewide health improvement is making a dent against the ills of smoking and obesity.
"There is some positive movement on behaviors," said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, state health commissioner. "I'm assuming those positive behavior changes will lead to reduced obesity and diabetes and cardiovascular disease."
Grants have improved school lunches through partnerships with local farms and made produce accessible to low-income neighborhoods. Walk-to-school programs and bike paths and racks have increased fitness activity, Ehlinger said.
Ehlinger remains optimistic: "$15 million is not enough to change the culture and change behavior throughout the state.