Healthy Communities — January 28, 2011

Interesting and Fun

Taco Bell “beef” contains less than 35% beef. So what’s in it? Water, wheat, oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent and modified corn starch. Taco Bell is now being sued to quit calling their meat mixture “beef.”

School district bans all sweets Much to the chagrin of thousands of students — and even some parents and school administrators — all public schools in the St. Paul district will be declared “sweet-free zones” by the end of this school year.


Designing Social Media Policy for Government
This document looks at the subtle and shifting boundaries between personal and professional use of social media and implications for agencies developing social media strategies. The brief draws on research by the Center for Technology in Government at the University of Albany and was published by the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings as part of a series to seek and analyze public policy developments in technology innovation.

2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new estimates.   Further, an estimated 79 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be  considered diabetes.  Prediabetes raises a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Reports & Articles

2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans The new Dietary Guidelines will be released Monday, January 31, 2011 (7 am pacific).  You can watch the event live at of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be available online immediately following the press conference.

Food and beverage industry launches Nutrition Keys front-of-package labeling Starting in the next few months, the front of many food packages will prominently display important nutrition information, including calorie, fat and sugar content. The program was announced Monday by food makers and grocers.

Read more about this at from the New York Times and from nutrition expert Marion Nestle And check out Prevention Institute’s new study, Claiming Health, that showed that 84% of the food industry’s ‘better for you’ products containing front of package labels fail to meet basic nutrition standards.

WHO Releases Physical Activity Recommendations
The World Health Organization has released its recommendations on the frequency, duration, intensity, type, and total amount of physical activity needed in three age groups, including 5-17 year olds.

South Los Angeles Fast Food Ban, New York Times, January 16, 2011
The Los Angeles City Council has banned new fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles. Proponents of the new regulations say that the regulations will encourage better choices, better nutrition and eating habits, more sit-down restaurants, and new grocery stores in the current food desert.

US Heart Disease Costs Expected to Soar, Health Day, January 24, 2011         The cost of treating heart disease and stroke in the United States is expected to triple in the next 20 years, to $818 billion, according to a new policy statement from the American Heart Association.

First Lady Sees Military as Model for Fitness Effort, USA Today, January 28, 2011
By the time many of the young soldiers-in-training get to this Army post, they’ve been plumped up by fast food and soda and sedentary teenage years spent indoors playing video games. The Army makes sure that by the time they leave after 10 weeks of basic training, they are considerably slimmer and fitter.

The Cost of Obesity to U.S. Cities, Gallup Management JournalJanuary 27, 2011                                                                                                                                                            City leaders across the country face tight budgets, decreasing revenues, and unemployment challenges. And, as Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data reveal, they also face another looming problem: high obesity rates that are accompanied with astronomical healthcare costs.


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