Tobacco- April 4, 2014

Resources

quitline quitline2

Reports and Articles 

ecigsdontlookit
E-Cigarettes, by Other Names, Lure Young and Worry Experts
Calming inmates and raising capital. This phrase has been used by e-cigarette distributors to describe a supposed “win-win relationship” between tightly budgeted county jails and agitated inmates. Smoking is banned in federal prisons and the majority of state-run facilities have enacted similar restrictions, due to health and safety concerns. However, some county jails have created a loophole—turning to e-cigarettes to supplement limited resources and purportedly calm inmates.

E- Cigarette Study in JAMA: E-cigarettes Don’t Help People Quit Smoking
The yearlong study showed that 88 of the 949 smokers in the study that were using e-cigarettes did not decrease consumption at the end of the year.

 

The Tobacco Control Network (TCN) presents to you the March 2014 edition of the Tobacco Free Press which summarizes tobacco -related news, research, training opportunities, and tools from the past month.

 

Funding Opportunities- April 4, 2014

Accepting Applications for Learning Together and Connecting Communities
Northwest Health Foundation is pleased to announce a funding opportunity to strengthen the capacity of communities o­f people with disabilities to self-organize, and to build relationships with organizations and communities for a broader conversation about disability, race/ethnicity and geography.

Northwest Health Foundation wants to:

  • learn more about efforts in Oregon and Southwest Washington that are engaging and led by people with disabilities;
  • promote self-determination and build relationships among and with these communities;
  • and inform the Foundation’s organizational practices.
    Learn more here.

2014 Kaiser Permanente Community Fund Cycle
We are excited to announce the 2014 Kaiser Permanente Community Fund Grant cycle!
The cycle will open on April 10. Organizations and/or collaboratives must submit their intent to apply by noon on May 14 and their Letter of Inquiry by noon on May 23.
To learn more,visit our website and join us for one of four information sessions during the last two weeks of April.

Call for applications for Fall 2014-2015 Oregon Health Authority VISTA members
The Oregon Health Authority VISTA Partnership Project aims to alleviate, prevent and reduce poverty by engaging new public health professionals in a year of full-time service in public health organizations in order to improve public health systems capacity.

The applications are due by 5 PM on Monday, April 14, 2014. We have changed the application due to some program changes at the federal and program level, so please review it carefully.  The VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) needs to be more detailed than in previous applications, and every objective needs a strong tie to the VISTA anti-poverty mission. I have attached a document, “How to Write Effective VADs” as guidance.

Please mark on the application whether or not you will be able to cost-share: $13,136 for rural Oregon, or $13,352 for metro areas for the year. Host sites choosing to cost-share and meeting the goals, mission, and vision of VISTA and our project will receive approval upon application and review. Based on final CNCS approval, we will be able to award several standard VISTA members which will cost $2,500 for the year. The number of standard placements will be based on federal resources and the approval of the Corporation for National and Community Service. If your site can cost-share, you will have a stronger chance to be guaranteed a VISTA resource.

The application also includes the additional request for consideration for grant funding from the Performance Management Program to support a VISTA who will address health department accreditation.
Whenever possible, completed applications should be returned electronically in MS Word format via e-mail to eric.n.gebbie@state.or.us. Applications will be accepted in hard copy or fax and should be sent to:
Eric Gebbie
OHA-Public Health Division
800 NE Oregon Street Suite 465B
Portland OR 97232
Fax: 971-673-1309

Training Opportunities- April 4, 2014

Register just once for all webinars in the four-part series and attend as many as you like. 

Food Justice, Obesity & the Social Determinants of Health
April 10, 2 p.m. EST
Presented in conjunction with National Public Health WeekShiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, APHA president-electCecilia Martinez, PhD, Center for Earth, Energy & Democracy
Healthy communities depend on food environments that offer all residents access to healthy food choices. Where people live should not dictate how well they can eat, but it often does. APHA President-elect Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, discusses food environments as drivers of obesity and related diseases as well as critical elements in achieving health equity. Speaker Cecilia Martinez, PhD, will discuss community indicators for food justice.

Transforming Community Food: Stories from the Ground Up
May 28,  3 p.m. EST
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Transformation Grants have supported American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Hmong, Hispanic, black and many other communities in developing programs aimed at preventing food-related disease epidemics such as diabetes and heart disease. Since 2011, the grant program has awarded over $170 million. Hear three communities’ stories of trying to change their food systems, their success so far, and the many challenges that remain as residents tackle food justice, community and job development, and health inequity.

Culture is Health:  Sovereignty & Food Systems
Sept. 23, 1 p.m. EST
Maile Taualii, PhD, MPH, APHA Executive Board
Obesity, diabetes and related disease typically have greater impacts within American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and immigrant communities. Growing, cooking together and eating traditional foods are often integral to their cultures as well as key to social cohesion and community health. Yet these communities often have less-than-healthy food environments, in which policies and conditions make access to highly processed, fatty and sugary nontraditional foods more available. Thus, chronic disease prevention in many such communities is inseparable from the issue of food sovereignty.

Building Healthy Food Systems, Overcoming Historical Trauma
Oct. 15, 2 p.m. EST
Ladonna Redmond, founder, Campaign for Food Justice Now
Register now for the full series! Space is limited. Questions? Email info@healthyfoodaction.org

National DPP Lifestyle Coach Training Portland, Oregon May 16 – 17, 2014
Is your organization planning on delivering the National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program – the nation’s foremost evidence-based program for the prevention of type 2 diabetes? The Diabetes Training and Technical Assistance Center (DTTAC) at Emory University is bringing National Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach Training to Portland, Oregon on May 16, and 17, 2014.

DTTAC Lifestyle Coach Training is a highly interactive, 2-day, in-person training with an expert DTTAC Master Trainer that provides your Lifestyle Coaches with the skills, knowledge and experience that they need to successfully facilitate the proven-effective lifestyle change program. DTTAC Lifestyle Coach Training:

  • Features an interactive, small group format with hands-on practice in group facilitation techniques
  • Includes detailed review of the core and post-core National DPP curriculum, developed by CDC in collaboration with DTTAC
  • Includes the most up-to-date information on the CDC recognition process and the national program
  • Offers continuing education credits for dietitians, certified diabetes educators and nurses.

Dates:  Friday, May 16–Saturday, May 17, 2014; 9:00 am – 5:00 pm both days

Location:  Oregon Health & Science University Center for Health & Healing 2nd Floor March Wellness Fitness Center 3303 SW Bond Ave Portland, Oregon 97239

Fee:  $670 per person (Online payment option is available. The fee includes all training materials. Participants will break for lunch on their own.)

Register:  Click the following link for more information and to register for the training. http://www.cvent.com/d/84q2p Learn more about DTTAC Lifestyle Coach Training

About the National Diabetes Prevention Program An estimated 79 million Americans (about 1 in 3) have prediabetes, which means that a person has a blood sugar reading that is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) can reduce the risk for transitioning from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes by 58%. The National DPP is a year-long program (16 weekly sessions followed by monthly meetings for the balance of the year) led by trained Lifestyle Coaches. The primary goals of the National DPP are that participants experience a 7% weight loss and average 150 minutes of physical activity on a weekly basis over the course of the program.

A growing number of organizations are offering the National DPP in communities across the U.S. These organizations run the gamut from small community-based organizations serving specific populations, to large health systems. You can see a list of organizations in Oregon that are offering (or preparing to offer) the National DPP here: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/recognition/states/Oregon.htm

Lifestyle Coaches come from all walks of life.  Some coaches are medical providers and some aren’t. The only requirement of a Lifestyle Coach is that he or she is comfortable leading a group.

Interested in seeing a DPP in action?  Please click on this link: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/features.htm

Interested in becoming a National DPP Lifestyle Coach? For information and registration for an upcoming training for Lifestyle Coaches in Portland on May 16-17, 2014: http://www.cvent.com/d/84q2pk

Additional questions about the National DPP?  Feel free to contact Don Kain at 503.494.5249, or kaind@ohsu.edu. Don is a National DPP Master Trainer and Diabetes Program Education & Outreach Manager at theHarold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center at Oregon Health & Science University.

Grantees– Please consult with your liaison regarding questions about the appropriateness of attending any training or conference using TPEP or Healthy Communities funds. This list of training opportunities is provided as a resource for grantees and partners but is not an endorsement of any training or conference hosted by an external organization

Healthy Communities- April 4, 2014

Reports and Articles
fruit and veg in market Review cites link between lower diabetes risk, Mediterranean diet
People who adhered to the Mediterranean diet were 21% less likely than those in the control group to develop type 2 diabetes, according to Greek researchers who reviewed 12 studies. The findings were slated for presentation at the American College of Cardiology meeting. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News

Study: Diet of Fruit, Vegetables Linked to Reduced Risk of Death
Diets heavy on fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of death at any age by as much as 42 percent, according to a new study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Using data on the eating habits of more than 65,000 people in England from 2011 to 2013, researchers determined that the risk of death was reduced by 36 percent with five to seven portions, 29 percent with three to five portions and 14 percent with one to three portions. More specifically, they also determined that eating seven or more portions of fruits and vegetables reduced the risk of death from heart disease by 31 percent and the risk of death from cancer by 25 percent. “We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy, but the size of the effect is staggering,” study author Oyinlola Oyebode, at the department of epidemiology and public health of University College London, in a release. “Vegetables have a larger effect than fruit, but fruit still makes a real difference. If you’re happy to snack on carrots or other vegetables, then that is a great choice but if you fancy something sweeter, a banana or any fruit will also do you good.” Read more on nutrition.

The Public Health Action Plan to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke:Ten-Year Update
The National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
The report calls for a series of actions to be taken, while detailing progress made to date –  “Since the launch of the original Action Plan, the opportunities to reduce CVD incidence and risk have become significantly clearer, and specific actions have been identified to exploit these opportunities. Sound policies and programs to improve cardiovascular health are in place and known to be effective. Significant progress has been made over the past decade.”

Diabetes in pregnancy may spur long-term health risks in offspring
An analysis in the journal Current Diabetes Reports revealed men born to mothers who had diabetes during pregnancy had a higher BMI than their brothers born prior to their mother’s diagnosis. Researchers also found diabetes during pregnancy was associated with increased incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes in offspring. DailyRx.com (4/1)

In Smart Growth America’s new report on sprawl
There is a focus on health indicators. The report found significant associations between sprawl and BMI, obesity, blood pressure, diabetes, and life expectancy, but no significant relationship between sprawl and “any physical activity” as measured by BRFSS. This report covers large metropolitan areas, but may have lessons for smaller cities too. The research found that people in compact, connected communities:

  •          have greater upward economic mobility
  •          spend less on the combined expenses of housing and transportation
  •          choose to use transit and walk more
  •          live longer
  •          have fewer fatal car crashes
  •          have lower body mass index

 

Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data
Background Governments worldwide recommend daily consumption of fruit and vegetables. We examine whether this benefits health in the general population of England.

Methods Cox regression was used to estimate HRs and 95% CI for an association between fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and cardiovascular mortality, adjusting for age, sex, social class, education, BMI, alcohol consumption and physical activity, in 65 226 participants aged 35+ years in the 2001–2008 Health Surveys for England, annual surveys of nationally representative random samples of the non-institutionalised population of England linked to mortality data (median follow-up: 7.7 years).

Results Fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with decreased all-cause mortality (adjusted HR for 7+ portions 0.67 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.78), reference category <1 portion). This association was more pronounced when excluding deaths within a year of baseline (0.58 (0.46 to 0.71)). Fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with reduced cancer (0.75 (0.59–0.96)) and cardiovascular mortality (0.69 (0.53 to 0.88)). Vegetables may have a stronger association with mortality than fruit (HR for 2 to 3 portions 0.81 (0.73 to 0.89) and 0.90 (0.82 to 0.98), respectively). Consumption of vegetables (0.85 (0.81 to 0.89) per portion) or salad (0.87 (0.82 to 0.92) per portion) were most protective, while frozen/canned fruit consumption was apparently associated with increased mortality (1.17 (1.07 to 1.28) per portion).

Conclusions A robust inverse association exists between fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality, with benefits seen in up to 7+ portions daily. Further investigations into the effects of different types of fruit and vegetables are warranted.

Training Opportunities- March 28, 2014

The archived webinar on Healthy Food Procurement in LA County is NOW AVAILABLE!

Presenter:Michelle Wood, MPP,Program Manager, Food Procurement and Policy; Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

The Center TRT hosted Michelle Wood for a webinar about Healthy Food Procurement, featuring an initiative developed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) to create healthier food environments through the adoption and implementation of nutrition standards and healthy food purchasing practices in all county departments that purchase, distribute or sell food. In 2011, the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors adopted Healthy Food Promotion in Los Angeles County Food Service Contracts, a motion which established a process for the Department of Public Health to develop nutrition standards and/or healthy food procurement practices in new and renewing Requests for Proposals (RFP) for food service and vending contracts across county departments. DPH, as the coordinating agency for the motion, reviews and assesses current practices; provides training and technical assistance for departmental staff that handle food service and vending contracts; and, for quality improvement purposes, evaluates contract implementation of nutrition standards and adherence by contracted food vendors.

The initiative covers county departments that offer or sell food in a variety of venues, including: worksite cafeterias, hospitals, vending machines, concession stands, meal programs for seniors and children, and institutions such as jails and juvenile halls/camps.

Los Angeles County’s healthy food procurement model can be replicated by state, county or city health departments.

Hear more about implementation and lessons learned during the webinar!
To gain access to the archived webinar, please click here.
If you have questions about this webinar or experience difficulty registering, please contact Cecilia Gonzales at cecilia_gonzales@unc.edu.

Grantees– Please consult with your liaison regarding questions about the appropriateness of attending any training or conference using TPEP or Healthy Communities funds. This list of training opportunities is provided as a resource for grantees and partners but is not an endorsement of any training or conference hosted by an external organization

Tobacco- March 28, 2014

Crook County tackles high teen smoking rates
KTVZ.com
There’s a vicious cycle in Crook County. A high number of adults are smoking and teens are mimicking their behavior.
Nine percent of eighth graders and 19 percent of 11th graders say they use tobacco in Crook County. Those numbers are much higher than Oregon’s state average.
“Kids are smart — they can find ways to get things if they want them,” Alyssa Bruhn with the Crook County Health Department said Friday.
In Crook County, tobacco is within reach for teens.
“We have 50 percent of our tobacco retailers within 1,000 feet of schools in Crook County,” said Kris Williams of the health department.
For example, the high school is less than 1,000 feet from R and R, a grocery store that sells alcohol and tobacco. It is one short walk from the open campus.
“Students have complained about walking through clouds of smoke to get to the grocery store,” Bruhn said.
NewsChannel 21 is told kids gather there to smoke and get lunch.
“When the kids are walking to and from school, they’re exposed to it a minimum of twice a day,” Williams said.
Laws regulate how many tobacco ads stores can put in their windows, but that is not enough. Tobacco companies are targeting teens in other ways, like social media.
“The tobacco industry spends $1 million an hour on advertising and promotion,” Williams said.
That means tobacco companies are spending more in a day than the state spends in a whole year for prevention ads. Much of their ads are specifically directed towards rural areas like Crook County as well.

Reports and Articles

Time to put a light on the 10-foot smoking rule
Hood River News: March 25, 2014
Among my circle of basketball-loving family and friends I am known for my relentless rant in which I call for a major change in the game’s 10-foot rule: As players 18 years and older are so much taller and more talented than their 1891 equivalents, I think the basket should be raised to 11 feet: no more 10-foot rule.
But this column is about another 10-foot rule that needs looking at: the legal smoking perimeter outside of doorways.
Ten feet is not enough; at least not at every doorway.
And in many cases I don’t believe smokers, and establishment owners, are doing enough about it.
I believe these businesses know who they are; the doorway is one thing, but how people actually get to the doorway is another — and it is the actual pathway to the building entrance that needs to determine how far away smoking should take place.
Oregon’s Smokefree Workplace Law, passed in 2007, states that employers must “prohibit smoking in the workplace and within 10 feet of all entrances, exits, accessibility ramps that led to and from an entrance, windows and air-intake vents.” (Italics are mine.)
It does no good to require someone to stand 10 feet from a doorway but on the ramp or stairs that leads to that doorway, making people walk through a gauntlet of smoke.
I include my own workplace as an example of places with accessibility ramps that at times become inappropriate nicotine smoke pathways

An e-cigarette sits in a tray on the bar at the Henley Vaporium in New York City
Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes
The New York Times: March 23, 2014
A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel.
The drug is nicotine, in its potent, liquid form — extracted from tobacco and tinctured with a cocktail of flavorings, colorings and assorted chemicals to feed the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.
These “e-liquids,” the key ingredients in e-cigarettes, are powerful neurotoxins. Tiny amounts, whether ingested or absorbed through the skin, can cause vomiting and seizures and even be lethal. A teaspoon of even highly diluted e-liquid can kill a small child.

Lawsuit Challenges New York City’s Ban on E-Cigarettes
A “smoker’s rights” group called New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment has filed a legal challenge to the city’s ban on electronic cigarettes—or e-cigarettes—in restaurants, parks and certain other public places. The group contends that since e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco or produce smoke, they should not be subject to New York City’s Smoke-Free Air Act. The city council expanding regulations to include e-cigarettes last year and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced its intention to propose government regulations over their use. In the lawsuit, the group wrote that “E-Cig regulation is, even in the Council’s words, at best, tangentially related to the subject of smoking, in much the same way that toy water guns are at best tangentially related to authentic firearms.” However, city council spokeswoman Robin Levine said by email to Reuters that “Our legislation ensures the goals of the Smoke-Free Air Act are not undermined and protects the public against these unregulated substances.” Read more on tobacco.

The e-cigarette issue is fast-changing
A number of interesting / informative articles have hit the news recently that may be of interest/use to you in your jurisdictions, and also may help inform future committee discussions:

Teens Who Try E-Cigarettes Are More Likely To Try Tobacco, Too 
NPR
ecigandtobacco
E-Cigarettes, by Other Names, Lure Young and Worry Experts
The New York Times
E-Cigarettes and County Jails — Toxic Relationship? 
The Network for Public Health Law

Navy Considers Ban on Tobacco Sales at Exchange Stores
NBC News
The Navy is considering a ban on the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products at Navy and Marine Corps exchange stores.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus met with his staff last week and asked them to examine the impact of ending the sale of tobacco on base, two defense officials told NBC News.
The possible move is part of an initiative to improve the culture of fitness in the services.
Among the issues that will need to be resolved is whether to ban sales only on installations in the United States or to extend the ban overseas.
Other considerations are whether to ban tobacco products in combat zone bases, such as Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan and on ship stores.

ecigscolors
OK To Vape In The Office? Cities, Feds and Firms Still Deciding
E-cigarettes aren’t yet federally regulated as tobacco products, but many cities and some states are already moving to include the devices in their smoking bans. Such bans are raising a debate about whether e-cigarettes should be permitted to be used in smoke-free workplaces.

Gary Nolan was a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker until he switched to e-cigs. Now Nolan, who hosts a libertarian talk show based in Columbia, Mo., freely puffs — or vapes, as it’s come to be called — at work.

“I’m in a closed studio,” Nolan says. “There are no open windows. I can vape in here, while I’m on the air in fact, and people can walk in and out and not even know it, if they don’t see it in my hands.”

The devices come in various cigarette or pipelike shapes, and heat a chemical mixture of mostly nicotine and water. They’re often billed as a smokeless alternative to tobacco that’s gentler to both the smoker and to those around them.

Georgia Department of Health Goes Tobacco-Free
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) expanded its tobacco use policy to protect employees from secondhand smoke and encourage those who use tobacco to quit. Effective March 30, the use of tobacco products will be prohibited in any DPH facility, including all buildings, parking lots, outdoor areas and DPH-owned vehicles. The ban is effective at all state DPH facilities and some district offices, including those in the Northwest, North Central, Southwest and Southeast Health Districts. The list of banned products includes: cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Healthy Communities- March 28, 2014

goodhealththisway
National Public Health Week resources and daily themes
National Public Health Week 2014 is right around the corner! Join us as we celebrate the evolving public health system and the importance of public health from April 7-13 with the theme “Public Health: Start Here.” The NPHW website has many resources available to help you get involved in NPHW. Also, be sure to join APHA in our fourth annual NPHW Twitter Chat! The Twitter Chat will be held on Wednesday, April 9, from 2-3 p.m. EST. RSVP by joining our Twitvite and use the hashtag #NPHWchat to join the conversation.

Reports and Atricles

childdietChildren’s Diets “Far Too Salty”
BBC: March 10, 2014
Children in the United Kingdom are eating far too much salt, with much of it coming from breads and cereals, suggests new research published in the journal Hypertension. Children should eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, but 70% of children in the study consumed more. Breads and cereals accounted for more than one-third of the sodium in children’s diets. One-fifth came from meat and one-tenth from dairy products. On average, 5- and 6-year-old children consumed about 1,450 milligrams of sodium each day, 8- and 9-year-olds consumed about 1,830 milligrams daily, and 13- to 17-year-olds consumed more than 2,900 milligrams each day. Boys tended to have higher sodium intake than girls. Much of the salt consumed was from processed foods rather than added at the table. The U.K. Department of Health said its voluntary salt reduction policy with manufacturers was working but agreed that more progress is needed. – BBC News

Organizations Working Together to Advance Colorectal Cancer Control Efforts
80% by 2018 is a movement in which dozens of organizations have committed to eliminating colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of reaching 80% screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. Visit the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable to learn more about this effort and how you can be a part of it.

Colon Cancer Screening Follow-Up
The aim of this initiative was to increase return rates of colon cancer screening kits. Previous efforts involved postcard reminders, but the updated effort involved a personal contact approach by calling each client up to three times.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup Reduced Salt and Sugar Launches in Burger King
FoodBev.com: March 5, 2014
Heinz Tomato Ketchup Reduced Salt and Sugar is now available in Burger King restaurants across the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the launch of the chain’s new lower fat French fries. The Reduced Salt and Sugar Ketchup contains 25% less salt and 30% less sugar. – FoodBev.com

Health Providers Should Prescribe Sleep for People with Metabolic Disorders
The Lancet
A new study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology finds that insufficient or disturbed sleep is associated with metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, and addressing poor quality sleep should be a target for the prevention—and even treatment—of the disorders. According to the study authors, addressing some types of sleep disturbance—such as sleep apnea—may have a directly beneficial effect on patients’ metabolic health, but a far more common problem is people simply not getting enough sleep, particularly due to the increased use of devices such as tablets and online games. The authors say that early studies are starting to provide evidence that there is a direct causal link between loss of sleep and the body’s ability to metabolize glucose, control food intake, and maintain its energy balance. Read more on obesity.

prescribeabike Mayor Walsh & Boston Medical Center to Prescribe Affordable Hubway Memberships
Aside from trying to burgeon Boston’s tech scene, Mayor Marty Walsh is also aiming to make the city healthier and more physically active. On Wednesday, the mayor announced that his office is teaming up with Boston Medical Center and Hubway to subsidize bike share memberships for low-income residents through a program aptly dubbed Prescribe-a-Bike.

The overriding goals of Prescribe-a-Bike are to tackle health disparities throughout the city most often caused by economic inequalities, as well as to increase access to affordable transportation to those who typically can’t expense it otherwise.

“There is no other program like this in the country,” said Mayor Walsh in a statement. “Prescribe-a-Bike makes the link between health and transportation, and ensures that more residents can access the Hubway bike share system.”

Using Hubway’s bike share program, which stretches from Somerville through Boston, the mayor’s office hopes to enlist 1,000 residents in the program which would cost those who qualify just $5 annually. According to Hubway’s website, annual memberships run $85, not including usage fees which are extra charges tacked on for every 30-minute interval after the user has exhausted an initial 30-minutes of biking.

Overweight Teens Should Start Healthy Eating by Cutting Down on Salt
AHA: March 20, 2014
Overweight or obese teenagers who eat lots of salty foods shows signs of faster cell aging, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism Scientific Sessions 2014. Previous research found that protective ends on chromosomes (telomeres) naturally shorten with age, but the process is accelerated by smoking, lack of physical activity and high body fat. This study is the first to examine the impact of sodium intake on telomere length.

In the study, 766 people ages 14-18 were divided into the lowest or highest half of reported sodium intake. Low-intake teens consumed an average 2,388 mg/day, compared with 4,142 mg/day in the high-intake group. Both groups consumed far more than the 1,500 mg/day maximum (about 2/3 teaspoon of salt) recommended by the American Heart Association. After adjusting for several factors that influence telomere length, researchers found that in overweight/obese teens, telomeres were significantly shorter with high-sodium intake. In normal weight teens, telomeres were not significantly different with high-sodium intake.

“Even in these relatively healthy young people, we can already see the effect of high sodium intake, suggesting that high sodium intake and obesity may act synergistically to accelerate cellular aging,” said Haidong Zhu, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and assistant professor of pediatrics at Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Ga. “Lowering sodium intake may be an easier first step than losing weight for overweight young people who want to lower their risk of heart disease. The majority of sodium in the diet comes from processed foods, so parents can help by cooking fresh meals more often and by offering fresh fruit rather than potato chips for a snack.” Read more on heart health.

Sodexo pledges better meals to support First Lady’s fight against obesity
Fosters Daily Democrat: March 24, 2014
One of the nation’s largest food service companies is making a series of changes in support of Michelle Obama’s anti-childhood obesity initiative.
Sodexo says it will add more nutritious options to its vending and K-12 lunchroom programs. It will also offer a healthier children’s meal at museums, aquariums and other recreational venues it serves. The company also wants to distribute millions more free breakfasts in the elementary and secondary schools where it serves such meals.
Some of the changes could be in place as soon as next year.
The company reaches 15 million consumers a day in more than 9,000 locations nationwide, Sodexo CEO George Chavel said Wednesday.

County Health Rankings: Where you live affects your health
Posted: 26 Mar 2014 07:34 AM PDT
Whether you reside in Clallam County, Wash., Miami-Dade County, Fla., or somewhere in between, where you live affects your health. That’s the conclusion of the 2014 County Health Rankings report released today.

Exposure to Fast Food Restaurants Increases Obesity Risk
People exposed to fast food establishments near their homes, workplaces, or during their commute, are much more likely to consume fast food, according to a study published in BMJ. Read more.

Sugar Free Kids Coalition Formed
The Maryland State Medical Society, the American Heart Association, the NAACP, and the Horizon Foundation recently announced the formation of Sugar Free Kids, a state coalition to reverse the epidemics of childhood obesity and teen diabetes. Read more

“Healthy Stores for a Health Community” Launches in California
The Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community campaign is a statewide collaboration between tobacco use prevention, nutrition, and alcohol prevention partners which aims to improve the health of Californians. Read more.

Puerto Rico Introduces Obesity Prevention Bills
Senate President Eduardo Bhatia has introduced two bills to combat obesity and safeguard children’s health in Puerto Rico. Read more.

Effects of Ads Targeting Kids Linger into Adulthood
When companies advertise to kids using mascots or characters, love of the brand and feelings that the product is wholesome and healthful can persist well into adulthood, according to a study coming out in the June issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. Read more.

End Tax Deductions for Marketing Junk Food to Children
US Representative Rosa DeLauro has introduced legislation to end tax breaks that subsidize the marketing unhealthy choices. Read more.

Soda wall
The soda industry influenced news coverage of two soda tax ballot measures in the cities of Richmond and El Monte, California, according to a report recently released by the Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG). Researchers analyzed news articles and industry publications from November 2011 to January 2013 and found that the soda industry infiltrated news stories while camouflaging its identity.

According to BMSG, the industry recruited a broad range of community spokespeople to voice an anti-tax position on its behalf but did not reveal itself as the funding source. The researchers assert that this allowed soda companies to distance themselves from the political debate and create the appearance that opposition to the taxes came from within the community, rather than from an industry-funded PR campaign.

The study also found that the soda industry, which spent $4 million to defeat the proposals, exploited existing class- and race-based tensions to portray the tax as financially ruinous and regressive. The industry claimed — sometimes directly and sometimes through community spokespeople — that it would be financed on the backs of the cities’ poorest residents, according to the authors.

The study includes recommendations for journalists on ways to improve coverage of soda taxes, as well as lessons from Richmond and El Monte that advocates can use to push for soda taxes in other cities.

BMSG co-hosted a tweet chat with the Rudd Center on March 6 about the study, which is archived on Storify here.