Healthy Communities – September 2, 2010

In today’s food news, the five worst kid’s meals have been revealed and the Center for Science in the Public Interest released an update on “normal” serving sizes compared to recommended serving sizes.  Check out the super-sizing!

And if you are needing some inspiration, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is highlighting various leaders who are working towards reversing the childhood obesity epidemic.  Learn more about Julia Lopez, Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program and Chip Johnson, Mayor of Hernando, MS


Healthier U.S. School Challenge Made Easier
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is making it easier and more appealing for schools to participate in the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) by providing schools with monetary incentives for earning HUSSC certification; offering an online HUSSC toolkit to provide schools a step by step guide on how to navigate the application process; and providing schools with a range of educational and technical assistance materials.

Laws to require purchase of locally grown food and constitutional limits on state and local government: Suggestions for policymakers and advocates, Public Health Law & Policy Center, August 2010

Concerns about buying food from afar – whether it’s about the safety or quality of the food, environmental impact, or local economic loss – are prompting some states and cities to consider laws promoting the purchase of locally grown food. But because of constitutional restrictions on state and local laws that discriminate against products derived out-of-state, “locally grown food laws” should be drafted carefully. To help advocates and policymakers encourage local purchasing without buying a lawsuit, PHLP staff have written an article explaining the constitutional restrictions, with guidelines for drafting policies that favor locally grown food.

Reports & Articles

Fixing a World That Fosters Fat New York Times, August 21, 2010              Behavior changes won’t work on their own without seismic societal shifts, health experts say, because eating too much and exercising too little are merely symptoms of a much larger malady. The real problem is a landscape littered with inexpensive fast-food meals; saturation advertising for fatty, sugary products; inner cities that lack supermarkets; and unhealthy, high-stress workplaces.

Death Risk Widens for Blacks With Colorectal Cancer MedPage Today, August 27,2010                                                                                                                                    The risk of death from colorectal cancer is greater for blacks than whites and the differences have been widening for four decades, researchers said.

Restaurant Chains, Vending Machines Will Have to Post Calories LA Times, August 25, 2010                                                                                                                  Many chain restaurants and vending machines would have to display the number of calories in their food for consumers under draft guidelines released Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration.

A School Fight Over Chocolate Milk New York Times, August 24, 2010 Chocolate milk has emerged as both villain and victim in a cafeteria drama that pits the milk industry, administrators and parents against one another.

Less Than 6 and More Than 9 Hours of Sleep Associated with Chronic Diseases, Social Science Medicine, August 2010                                                                New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and San Diego State University (SDSU) finds that the amount of sleep you get each night is an indicator of your chance for developing chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease

Schools urged to freshen up lunch, The Register-Guard, August 25, 2010                    At the same time national attention is fixed on food production and childhood obesity, the Eugene School District is feeling more pressure to make changes. Earlier this year, a group of parents and community members launched the Eugene Coalition for Better School Food.

School Food Service Costs: Does Location Matter? USDA Economic Research Service, July 2010                                                                                                    Researchers take into account that all lunches and breakfasts in the nation are reimbursed at the same rate. However, different regions around the country incur varying costs for the same meal because the cost of living varies between locations.

Do School Lunches Plump Up Poor Kids? Miller McCune, September 1, 2010              A program to ensure all American children get at least one good meal a day may lie behind their expanding waistlines. Oddly, a breakfast program does not.


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