Healthy Communities – September 9, 2010

The RWJF Center is posting a fact-a-day for the month of September on Twitter. Click here to learn more about the epidemic.

Name a snack food that’s neon orange and makes a loud crunch when munched. If you picked Cheetos, the nation’s biggest producer of baby carrots wants you to think again.

Just in time for the battle over what’s gonna be in millions of back-to-school lunches, Bolthouse Farms and nearly 50 other carrot growers today will unveil plans for the industry’s first-ever marketing campaign. The $25 million effort sets its sights on a giant, big-spending rival: junk food.

Resources

El ejercicio y su salud (Exercise and Your Health) El ejercicio y su salud is an empowering Spanish-language guide for older adults that addresses the importance of physical activity in aging and the subsequent health and emotional benefits of being active. The tool provides information on how to set goals and sensitively explain that nearly everyone is capable of being active in one way or another.

A similar and recently updated version in English called Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging can be found on the National Institute on Aging’s website.

Explore the World with Fruits and Vegetables CDC has developed a kit for teachers, public health professionals, and dietitians to use with children to spark their interest in eating more fruits and vegetables.  The kit explores cuisines from different parts of the world, and provides activities to use in geography, math, and social studies classes. In addition, the kit includes a leader’s guide, poster, recipe cards for adults and children, interactive worksheets, and a brochure. For more information on printed campaign materials, click here

Whole Child: Developing Mind, Body and Spirit Through Outdoor Play The National Wildlife Federation has published this report that reveals how America’s addiction to time indoors affects our physical and mental health. Whole Child explores how regular, unstructured outdoor play can boost the health of a child’s mind, body and spirit.  In addition to obesity, Whole Child highlights the rising rates of childhood diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, asthma, and vision problems, all of which can be tempered with adequate outdoor time.

New Partnerships for Healthier Neighborhoods
How public health and redevelopment agencies can work together to rebuild blighted neighborhoods

Reports & Articles

Fitness Tax Breaks Encourage Activity: Experts Richmond News, August 14, 2010                                                                                                                                                  Just in time for New Year’s resolutions vowing to shed those extra pounds, Nova Scotia this week became the first province in the country to offer a tax credit for the cost of gym memberships and other physical activities.

Junkie food: Tastes your brain can’t resist Researchers say there is plenty of evidence that food and drug addiction are so similar that treatments proven safe and effective for other addictions – such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine and heroin – should be tested for food addiction too.  What some people claim is now beyond doubt is that junk foods rich in salt, sugar and fat switch on biological mechanisms that are just as powerful, and hard to fight, as drugs of abuse.

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