NCMJ: Putting Health Behaviors in Context in North Carolina

Blog | July 13, 2022


What we eat and drink, and how often we move our bodies, contribute to our health. But, as detailed in Healthy NC 2030, those behaviors are not always determined by a choice to be healthy or unhealthy. Where we live, what we are exposed to, and our social and economic circumstances may contribute even more to health outcomes than our individual decisions. Authors in the latest issue of the North Carolina Medical Journal provide context, analysis, and recommendations for upstream policy changes to improve health behaviors and outcomes.

Guest Editor Carrie Rosario, DrPH, of UNC-Greensboro, asks whether organizations, communities, and public institutions in North Carolina are engaging in behaviors that create healthy conditions for all people in our state. “The COVID-19 pandemic cast renewed light on our need to change systems of inequity that pattern our contexts, render population groups vulnerable, and impose demands of resiliency on equitable systems that foster opportunities for health and well-being,” notes Dr. Rosario. “As a state, there are numerous actions we can take to improve health behaviors.”

Click the links below to read about these actions and more. Connect with us on Twitter @NCMedJ for further discussion of this and other health policy issues in North Carolina.


Issue Brief

Shifting Loci of Responsibility Upstream to Advance Healthy Behavior and Equity by Carrie Rosario, DrPH


Data & Trends

Evidence-Based Point-of-Sale Policies to Reduce Youth Tobacco Use in North Carolina by Sarah M. Halvorson-Fried, MS, PhD; Alexandria E. Reimold, MS, PhD; Sarah D. Mills, PhD, MPH; and Kurt M. Ribisil, PhD

Swimming Upstream: Addressing Racial Disparities in Teen Births in North Carolina by Kia Thacker, MPH; Ashley S. Jackson, MS, CHES; and Bianka M. Reese, PhD, MSPH


Policies & Programs

Excise Taxes as a Policy Lever for Reaching Healthy North Carolina 2030 Targets by Shelley D. Golden, PhD; Shu Wen Ng, PhD; and Pamela J. Trangenstein, PhD

History and Future of Harm Reduction in North Carolina: Pragmatism and Innovation by Nabarun Dasgupta, MPH, PhD

Addressing Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in North Carolina by Mariann Yount, RDH, CDHC; and Derek Wilson



PrEP Uptake in North Carolina: Innovative Strategies for Reducing Barriers by Amanda E. Tanner, PhD, MPH; and Scott D. Rhodes, PhD, MPH

Partnership Between Black Faith Leaders and HIV/AIDS Communities Can Foster Change by Allison Mathews, PhD; Warren Campbell; William Boyce, PhD; Marcus Hawley; Demi McCoy; and Shonda Jones, EdD

Advancing Commercial Tobacco Control and Health Equity Through Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change by Sally Herndon, MPH; Jim Martin, MS; Joyce Swetlick, MPH; Stephanie Gans, LCAS, MSW, NCTTP; Courtney Heck, MPH; Ann H. Staples, MA, MCHES; Karen Caldwell, MS; Luanna McCraw, MPH; Ray Riordan, MS; and Juliana Wilson



Stewarding Opioid Settlement Funds with Transparency and Equity: An Interview with North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein conducted by Carrie Rosario, DrPH


Lived Experience

The Death Toll is Too High to Ignore: Caring About the Health of All People, Including Those Who Use Drugs by Louise Vincent, MPH


COVID Reflection

Impact of COVID-19 on Excessive Alcohol Use in North Carolina by Sara McEwen, MD, MPH


Policy Review

Achieving Healthy NC 2030 Goals: Health Behaviors


Original Research

Increasing North Carolina’s Workforce Capacity for Prescribing Buprenorphine Products by Ana Cabello-De la Garza, MSW, MPH; Chase Harless, MSW; Bayla Ostrach, MA, PhD, CIP; and Blake Fagan, MD

Temporal Changes in Treatment Patterns for Rural and Urban Patients With Early-Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer by Joshua Herb, MD, MSCR; Tzy-Mey Kuo, PhD; Vaibhav Kumar, MD; Benjamin Wu, PharmD, MS; Mark Holmes, PhD; Jennifer Lund, PhD; Katie Reeder-Hayes, MD, MSc, MBA; Chris Baggett, PhD; Ashley Weiner, MD, PhD; Gita Mody, MD, MPH; and Karen Stitzenberg, MD, MPH, FACS

North Carolina’s Changing Energy Generation Profile and Reductions in Key Air Pollutants, 2000-2019 by Adrien A. Wilkie, MSPH, PhD; David B. Richardson, PhD; Thomas J. Luben, PhD; Marc L. Serre, PhD; Courtney G. Woods, PhD; and Julie L. Daniels, PhD