Healthy Communities — February 25, 2011

Interesting & Fun

When Man’s Best Friend is Obese: Pets are getting fatter – owners find it tricky to count kitty calories, cut kibble.

The USDA breaks down where our food dollars go

Slimming the Future: What Should We Do About Childhood Obesity?
Slate wants you to design a plan for tackling childhood obesity, drawing on everything you know about food, physical activity, medicine, policy, psychology, and parenting. They’ll publish your ideas on Slate, and other readers will vote and comment on their favorites. Then a panel of expert judges will narrow the field down to the most original and intriguing user-generated ideas.

Resources

KFF Childhood Obesity State Legislation Chart
The Kaiser Family Foundation  State Health Facts has updated its database tracking state action on childhood obesity. The database is interactive and users can sort by a national map, region, or legislative issue areas including school nutrition, physical activity, and task force or committee.

Guide to Healthier Government Purchasing
Whether it’s for hospital cafeterias, homebound seniors, or vending machines in city buildings, state and local government agencies often buy food in large quantities – and the more they purchase, the greater the impact on community health. This new guide shows how government agencies can use their high-volume purchasing power to bring healthier food to employees and residents.

Getting Your Voice Heard: Commenting on Federal Regulations
Federal agencies regularly issue new regulations with the same force as laws passed by Congress. How can advocates get their input under consideration?

Heart Disease and Stroke in Oregon – 2010 Update Together heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death in Oregon, as well as major contributors to costly hospitalizations and disabilities. The heart disease death rate is lower in Oregon than in the United States, but the stroke death rate is higher in Oregon than in the US>

Reports & Articles

White House Report on Reconnecting Youth with the Outdoors
Last week the White House released a new report on the importance of reconnecting children, youth, and families with nature. The report, America’s Great Outdoors highlights, among other things, the health benefits of outdoor recreation and unstructured outdoor play. The report also discusses barriers many Americans face to spending more time outdoors including lack of access, safety, and transportation issues. Watch the video and read the Outdoors Alliance for Kids statement to learn more.

Tackling Care as Chronic Ailments Pile Up, New York Times, February 21, 2011  Anyone seriously interested in improving the health of Americans and reducing the costs of health care must be willing to tackle a growing and underappreciated problem: the vast number of patients with more than one chronic illness.

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