Communities are the places we call home, the places where global issues become personal issues. While parts of the socio-ecologic model stand within communities, by their narrower definition, it is the larger social fabric, physical infrastructure and political will in a community that has an important impact on the individual’s available choices and perceptions of the norm. Many residents of this state have been afflicted with persistent poverty, but West Virginia communities are rich with civic organizations, a spirit of volunteerism, and citizens that take pride in their home-town identities.
Economic development opportunities benefit communities and residents when they focus on active community designs, pedestrian and bike-friendly neighborhoods, and attracting retailers that will stock and promote nutritious foods. This vision requires a demand from residents for these amenities, and it is here that awareness of policies advantageous to the public’s health and quality of life, reducing the prevalence and severity of obesity and chronic disease, begin. In our communities, we live, work, play and plan for the future.