Updated January 2018
Health & Fitness Overview
Progress towards meeting the 2020 goal to reduce obesity and diabetes in San Antonio has varied year-to-year. As of 2016, the adult obesity rate was flat/getting worse, while the goal to decrease the percent of adults reporting diabetes diagnosis by 10% was met in 2015 and maintained in 2016. It should be noted, however, that the margins of error associated with these estimates make interpretation difficult. Additionally, in order to minimize the lag between data collection and report, the data source for this indicator was changed to Texas Department State Health Services (TDSHS). Because TDSHS uses a different survey to assess this indicator than San Antonio Metro Health, the previously reported data were updated to allow for year-to-year comparison. After several years of progress on our goal for pre-terms births, as of 2015 San Antonio is trending in the wrong direction. The goal to reduce Bexar County’s teen birth rate has been a success story. Originally hitting the 2020 target of reducing the teen birth rate by 15% in 2012, the San Antonio Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition created a bolder goal for 2020 - a reduction of 25% - and hit that target by 2014. Now, San Antonio is on track to reach the next goal of reducing of the teen birth rate by 50%. As of 2016, San Antonio is on track to reach its goal of increasing access to healthcare. The data for reducing health and behavioral risks was not available in 2015, and no report was issued in 2016. The last data available in 2014 showed progress being made. This is measured through Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL), or the number of years of life lost due to premature death, which is defined by a standard cut-off age in a population to obtain a total sum of the life-years lost before age 65 (sometimes 75 or 85).
Why is this important?
Improving the health and fitness of San Antonio is not only essential to promoting a robust quality of life, but is integral to the success of efforts to improve education and promote economic competitiveness. Improving nutrition and increasing physical activity in schools bolsters academic performance and test scores. Enhancing health and fitness also promotes economic competitiveness by lowering health care costs, promoting a healthy workforce, and attracting creative class workers who seek out cities that provide world-class parks and recreation facilities, healthy and fresh food, and excellent health care.
Public Health is a complex issue that needs a combination of efforts to make a positive impact including: community investment, public policy, and engaging the community on changes needed that improve the overall health and well-being of our community. Good physical and mental health is linked to – or impacted by – virtually every one of the SA2020 Cause Areas. And in San Antonio, where one in five kids struggle with mental illness, and according to our Community Health Improvement Plan there is up to a twenty year difference in lifespan between people who live on the south and north sides of town, it is important to understand the interrelatedness of socio-economic, cultural, and environmental conditions on health.
Understanding that social determinants of health (SDOH) deeply influence our community’s health outcomes, allows for a more robust and profound conversation around the social and physical environments that can promote good health for all San Antonians. The SDOH are “the structural determinants and conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age” (Marmot et al, Closing the Gap in a Generation: Helath Equity through Action, 2008). Things like: education and physical environment, employment and social support networks.
More specifically, the SA2020 Health Dividend shows that a 1% decrease in the San Antonio metro region’s diabetic population - or approximately 1,700 less people being treated for diabetes - could result in a savings of $16.1 million in medical and associated costs (CEOs for Cities, San Antonio SA2020 City Dividends, 2014).
Humana shares San Antonio’s commitment to putting in the work to achieve better health and well-being for entire community. That’s why together we are working toward a Bold Goal – to help make San Antonio 20 percent healthier by 2020 by addressing barriers to health both inside and outside of the clinical setting. To help San Antonians experience fewer unhealthy days, Humana established the San Antonio Health Advisory Board in 2015. This partnership between local physicians, nonprofit organizations, business and government leaders is dedicated to nding solutions to complex health problems. In 2017, they launched the Diabetes Resources Guide, a comprehensive online list of free or low-cost diabetes resources and programs in the San Antonio area. According to Humana’s latest Bold Goal Progress Report, San Antonio has seen a 9 percent decrease in unhealthy days—the most dramatic improvement among the communities Humana is measuring.