Healthy Communities – October 8, 2010

In this week’s edition of ridiculous food, watch as Eat This, Not That author takes on out of control calorie counts.

But if you need inspiration, watch this 13 minute PBS video on Reshaping Somerville: The fight against childhood obesity


Or listen to Jamie Oliver – schoolkids deserve more than junk food.


November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

The National Diabetes Education Program has several new resources to help partners promote the November campaign, which uses stories from real people to help raise awareness about preventing type 2 diabetes. Check out the November partner campaign page for resources you can use to share information with your constituents. Click here to download the partner tool kit. Check out the August 2010 Partner Webinar Presentation slides.

The Zero Waste Alliance, led by environmental advocate Cheyenne Chapman, offers training and support services to help organizations efficiently implement sustainable, waste-reduction practices. The Zero Waste Alliance Sustainable Oregon Schools Initiative (SOSI) and the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program began jointly offering statewide services to schools and communities in order to increase opportunities to walk and bike to school. SOSI places a focus on integrating concepts that promote economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable practices into K-12 educational activities. To learn more, visit and

Fostering Physical Activity for Children and Youth: Opportunities for a Lifetime of Health.

The Prevention Institute has issued a report that provides background research about the current state of physical activity in the nation and highlights organizational practices and public policies to improve physical activity among children and youth.  The report serves as a launching pad for action for practitioners and advocates who are interested in engaging in systems and environmental change four key arenas: schools, early childcare and education settings, out-of-school-time programs, and communities.  Commissioned by the Healthy Eating Active Living Convergence Partnership, a national collaborative of health funders in the U.S., the report was informed by research and key informant interviews. Reflecting the Convergence Partnership’s vision, the report’s analysis of policy opportunities at the federal, state and local level emphasizes ways to ensure that health equity is at the forefront of collaborative efforts.

Reports & Articles

In national politics:

CDC Chief Picks 6 ‘Winnable Battles’ in Health Associated Press, September 30, 2010 Where would you start if you were charged with keeping the nation healthy? Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has chosen six priorities — winnable battles, he calls them.

New York City says no to using Food Stamps for sodas Food Politics, October 7, 2010                                                                                                                                                              New York City is serious about trying to reduce rates of obesity and the expensive and debilitating conditions for which obesity raises risks.  Its latest move?  It is asking the USDA for a Food Stamp waiver for two years during which recipients would not be allowed to use their benefit cards to buy sodas.

Junk Food Nearly Half of Kids’ Calorie Intake, ABC News, October 1, 2010            Researchers from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that nearly 40 percent of calories consumed by children ages 2 to 18 were empty calories, the unhealthiest kind of calories.

Schools Struggle to Feed Kids Healthy Food CNN, September 29, 2010
The No. 1 meal served to children in U.S. schools is chicken fingers and French fries. A 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that 94 percent of school lunches failed to meet the U.S. Agriculture Department’s regulatory standards.

In Fight Against Childhood Obesity, Even Playground Games Get a Grade Los Angeles Times blog, September 28, 2010
Scientists from Children’s Hospital Boston and the University of Massachusetts recently tracked the energy expenditures and enjoyment levels of 28 third-graders as they played 30 common playground games. When the numbers were crunched, the “tag-type games” ranked highest in both calories burned and enjoyment, according to the study published last month in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Public health advocates worry that dietary advice will get lost in translation, The Washington Post, October 2, 2010                                                                                          Every five years the federal government updates its dietary guidelines for Americans. This year, with most Americans overweight or obese and at risk of high blood pressure, policymakers are working to reinvent the familiar food pyramid and develop advice that is simple and blunt enough to help turn the tide.

Adding Recess To The Workday Gains Backers HealthDay News, September 28, 2010                                                                                                                                                Think recess, and you’ll probably smile. What wasn’t to like about a break in the school day set aside for running and playing, for friends and fun?  Now fast-forward to your adult life. What if your workplace started offering recess on the job?  Some medical experts think it’s not only a good idea but possibly one of the most solid tactics dreamed up for getting an increasingly out-of-shape America up and moving.

Counting Calories And Exercise Alongside Digital PetsWashington Post, October 1, 2010                                                                                                                             Boulder the Bear wants to get stronger because you want to get stronger. Jaunty the jackalope wants to get leaner because you want to get leaner.  Trainer, a new online computer game, matches you with a virtual forest creature that shares your daily caloric needs and fitness goals based on your answers to a short survey.


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