Newly released: Recommendations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America. Time to Act: Investing in the Health of Our Children and Communities calls for action on early childhood, healthy communities, and bridging health and health care. Read the report and explore the charts, infographics, and videos at

From the Blogosphere

The Commission followed influential blogs and captured coverage of the factors beyond medical care like housing, education, income and working conditions that affect people’s opportunities to lead healthy lives.  See below for an archive of related blog posts.

  • The Health Care Blog: We the Consumers

    November 10, 2009

    As part of the work of the Commission to Build a Healthier America, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released an issue brief in September, titled Education and Health. The RWJF study finds that those of us that never graduated from high school are twice as likely to report being in poor health than college graduates. Read More

  • RWJF APHA Blog: Menu-Labeling’s Impact Across the Country

    November 9, 2009

    Live coverage from APHA: Analysis of menu-labeling efforts across the country have shown that, on average, 30% of people who see the posted calorie information use it. Read More

  • Washington Post Blog - All We Can Eat: School Lunch Money

    October 8, 2009

    The debate over health care has largely eclipsed talk of school lunch reform. But there's good news for advocates of healthful school food in the House Agriculture Appropriations conference report: $135 million worth, to be precise. Read More

  • Prevention Matters Podcast: David Williams Discusses How Commission Recommendations Can Improve America's Health

    August 3, 2009

    What makes Americans sick, and how can we keep them healthy? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established a panel of distinguished experts - the Commission to Build a Healthier America - to explore these fundamental but complex questions. Dr. David R. Williams, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, discusses the commission's findings and how they impact every segment of society. Read More

  • Statement from PolicyLink and The Food Trust on USDA Food Desert Study

    June 25, 2009

    “Improving access to grocery stores in both urban and rural communities must be part of our national strategy to improve children’s health and prevent obesity and diabetes. The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative has demonstrated that supermarkets can thrive in food deserts and offers a strong model for solving this problem nationally. Expanding this program is one of the Top Ten recommendations of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission To Build a Healthier America.” Read More

  • The Early ED Watch Blog: An Unexpected Champion of Early Education: Former Sen. Bill Frist

    June 1, 2009

    You might not immediately associate former Sen. Bill Frist -- the former Republican majority leader and transplant surgeon -- with calls for more spending on high-quality childcare and early education opportunities. But at a forum on health policy earlier this month, his dedication to these issues was unmistakable. Read More

  • Health Beat: Health, Education and the Welfare of the Nation

    March 13, 2009

    We know that health, education and poverty are linked. This is why, at one time, the U.S had a Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Restoring that cabinet post might go a long way toward inspiring discussion about how to approach all three simultaneously. Read More

  • AlterNet: Why Our Greatest Health Concern Isn't Diet or Exercise -- It's Neighborhood

    February 19, 2009

    While we anxiously wait to hear how the Obama administration will tackle health care reform, are we missing the forest for the trees? Is it time for a complete overhaul of not just our dysfunctional system of medical insurance but what health economist Robert Evans calls our entire "repair shop" model of health? Read More

  • Corporate Wellness Insights: Safeway's Wellness Incentive Program

    January 6, 2009

    Safeway is betting that it pays to pay for good health. Beginning January 1, the grocery giant is giving non-union administrative employees up to $800 in rebates on health insurance premiums. The program, called Healthy Measures, rewards employees for remaining within limits on four common medical risk factors - smoking, obesity, blood pressure and cholesterol. Read More

  • The Health Care Blog: Judging states by the health of their children

    November 10, 2008

    While having or not having health insurance is important, poverty will have an even greater influence on an individual’s health. As Commission Co-Chair and former Congressional Budget Office director Alice M. Rivlin puts it, “This report shows us just how much a child’s health is shaped by the environment in which he or she lives.” Read More

  • The Huffington Post: Too Poor To Parent?

    June 30, 2008

    Parenting while poor almost always leads to suspicion. At least 60 percent of child-welfare cases in the United States involve solely allegations of neglect, usually for inadequate food, clothing, shelter or inadequate supervision or guardianship. Not surprisingly, poor families are up to 22 times more likely to be involved in the child-welfare system than wealthier families. Read More

  • Life Expectancy Falls In Pockets of U.S.

    April 22, 2008

    Not everybody is living longer. Sure, most Americans’ life expectancy has increased in recent years, but there have been declines in some regions of the country, especially for women. The drops took place primarily in Appalachia, the Deep South and stretches of the Mississippi River basin, Harvard University researchers found. Read More

  • Commission to Study Outside Health Factors

    April 21, 2008

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has created a two-year Commission to Build a Healthier America to focus on factors outside of medicine to improve health in the short and long term. Read More

  • Just Why Are We Sick?

    April 9, 2008

    A documentary series that has been airing on KET on consecutive Thursdays since March 27, presents some startling evidence that our socio-economic status as well as racial inequities can cause problems with our health. Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? investigates findings that belie conventional understanding of what causes us to be healthy or chronically ill. Read More

  • The new health math: < education = < life

    February 29, 2008

    A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Overcoming Obstacles to Health, codifies the relationship between socioeconomics and health. Health disparities go way beyond simple race and ethnicity categories -- the combination of income, education, wealth, and neighborhood conditions could be more useful in explaining differences in Americans' health status. Read More

  • Lack of equity in health care for minority children in America

    February 13, 2008

    There is a lack of equity in health care for minority children in America, according to data gathered in a nationwide survey and analyzed by a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher. Read More