Healthy Communities – November 10, 2010

Interesting and fun:

What’s 1800 calories among friends?  Just in time for Thanksgiving, the “Pumpple Cake”

Resources

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Fact Sheets
The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity has developed and released new materials to inform the national discussion on sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes. They are designed to address the inclusion of beverages in addition to soda in the definition of SSBs. The resources focus on sports drinks, enhanced water, and energy drinks and include definitions, a synopsis of research, position statements from national organizations when applicable, and talking points for use in campaigns to reduce SSB consumption.

Discuss Planning Healthy Communities

The American Planning Association’s Planning and Community Health Research Center has launched a new online forum for discussion among planning and public health practitioners and other stakeholders on creating sustainable, healthy communities. This resource was developed to share information, have a networking place for thought leaders, and to share local and state initiatives in this area.

Reports & Articles

Healthy Life Could Prevent 23 Percent of Colon Cancers, Reuters, October 26, 2010

Getting people to eat a healthy diet, not smoke, cut down on alcohol and exercise more could prevent almost a quarter of the some 1.2 million cases of colon cancer diagnosed each year. Researchers from Denmark found that following recommendations on physical activity, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol intake and diet could reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer by as much as 23 percent.

San Francisco Bans Happy Meals, LA Times, November 3, 2010

The city’s board of supervisors votes to forbid restaurants from giving away toys with meals that have high levels of calories, sugar and fat. The law makes San Francisco the first major city in the country to require restaurants to meet set levels of calories, sugar, and fat, and provide a serving of fruits or vegetables when offering meals accompanied by toys.

High-Calorie Drinks Still Widely Available in U.S. Elementary Schools, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, November 2010

Almost half of the nation’s public elementary school students could purchase unhealthy beverages such as sodas, sports drinks and higher-fat milk during the 2008–09 school year. The authors point to the increased number of elementary schools selling these drinks in their stores and à la carte cafeteria lines as a likely reason. Few schools limited beverage sales to just healthy choices.

After a Study, Healthy Changes Block by Block, New York Times, November 4, 2010
Knowing that a problem exists, of course, is only one step. The challenge for underserved communities like Humboldt Park is to keep it from getting worse. “You can get a patient the exams they need for their diabetes, but in order to bring things under control, they have to exercise and eat the right food,” said Romana Hasnain-Wynia, director of the Center for Healthcare Equity at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “They need to feel safe walking outside, and they need grocery stores where they can buy fruits and vegetables.”

Obesity Programs Little Help for Black Girls Reuters, November 2, 2010
Two large initiatives designed to prevent African-American girls from becoming obese are not very successful at it, according to two new studies. The two-year programs consisted of either practical advice and goals for staying fit and healthy, or regular dance classes along with an intervention to reduce the amount of time girls spent playing video games, watching TV, or on the computer. However, over the course of two years, 8- to 10-year-old girls who were enrolled in either program were just as likely to gain weight as girls who did not participate in the interventions.

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