Well-Ahead Louisiana

We're pretty proud of our way of life in Louisiana, and improving our well-being doesn't have to mean giving up our favorite things like good food, great music and legendary festivals. Rather, it means making smart choices so we can enjoy them even longer.

Small choices towards wellness, enabled by the environments we're in every day, allow us the opportunity for balance. Together we can shape a future that gives us the chance to feel better and enjoy life a little longer.

The Challenge:

Louisiana is…


in Overall Health

50TH in 2018




in Physical Activity

44TH in 2018


in Cancer Deaths

44TH in 2018


in Diabetes

47TH in 2018


in Smoking

48TH in 2018


in Obesity

47TH in 2018

Source: America's Health Rankings, 2019

The Costs:

Chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, cost Louisiana a total of $4.5 billion in 2003. The additional economic loss caused by sick days and reduced productivity in Louisiana was $17.4 billion in the same time period. Adjusted for inflation, Louisiana drained an estimated $28 billion from the nation’s economy in 2013 in the form of treatment costs, economic loss and productivity loss.

If we made smarter choices together to improve our well-being, the Milken Institute predicted that we could avoid 612,000 cases of chronic conditions in 10 years. We could also reduce future economic costs by more than $17 billion in 2023, and we could increase Louisiana's economic output by $62 billion by 2050.

About Well-Ahead Louisiana:

Well-Ahead Louisiana is an initiative started by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) aimed at improving the health and wellness of Louisiana residents. Well-Ahead Louisiana promotes and recognizes healthy choices in the spaces and places where we live and work every day that make it easier for us all to live healthier, happier lives - from going tobacco-free, to ensuring healthy lunch options or to supporting workplace fitness programs.

Well-Ahead promotes voluntary changes towards health in communities throughout the state. This is about Louisiana's people, leaders, businesses and organizations taking action because it is the right - and healthy - thing to do.

About WellSpots:

A key part of the Well-Ahead Louisiana initiative is recognizing places and organizations that are working to make it easier for Louisiana residents to live well. Upon meeting certain wellness benchmarks, these environments are designated as “WellSpots.” 

LDH staff works closely with worksites, schools, child care centers, colleges/universities, restaurants, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and faith-based organizations to help them identify and meet the wellness benchmarks. Once LDH staff verifies an organization has met enough benchmarks, it will be designated as a Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 WellSpot. Level 1 is the highest level of designation.

Let us help you become a WellSpot! Click here or email us at WellAhead@la.gov.

Want to learn more? Visit our FAQ page.

Well-Ahead Louisiana and the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Healthcare Access programming does not take the place of medical advice. Individuals should always consult with a physician prior to starting any exercise or diet regimen.