Healthy Communities — September 15, 2011

From the very talented folks at Visual Economics comes a graphic of what the average American eats in a year. All told, that includes 1,922 pounds of food and only one-third comes from fruits and vegetables.


Most Americans aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables.  This month, the CDC encourages everyone to take steps to eat more fruits and vegetables.

To help get started, check out CDC’s 30 Ways in 30 Days (pdf) for tips on eating more fruits and vegetables without breaking your budget.


Also from the CDC: School children eat more fruits and vegetables when they have a variety of choices such as those provided in a salad bar.

To accelerate this trend, the “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools” program is offering incentives to help school lunch rooms become better equipped to provide tasty fruits and vegetables. Any school, public or private, participating in the National School Lunch Program can apply for a start-up award to help pay for salad bar equipment. Learn more at

If you want to work on improving school meals, Marion Nestle has compiled a reading list at

Million Hearts is a new Department of Health and Human Services initiative that aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. Learn more at

Resources include Frequently Asked Questions, a PowerPoint presentation, and social media tools.



Articles and Reports

Podcast: What Role Can Child-Care Settings Play in Obesity Prevention? A Review of the Evidence and Call for Research Efforts  Dr. Nicole Larson and Dr. Dianne S. Ward discuss the results of the incisive review concerning how child-care settings can play an important role in establishing healthy eating and exercise habits in preschool children. Duration: 12 min / 10.9 MB  Listen now

Implementing Strong Nutrition Standards for Schools: Financial Implications Fact Sheet (pdf), CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health, 2011.  This new fact sheet summarizes the existing evidence of the financial impact on schools that have implemented strong nutrition standards.

49 Million Americans Struggle to Put Food on the Table WebMD Health News, September 7, 2011 The number of Americans struggling to put adequate food on the table remains at an all-time high, according to a new report from the USDA that finds that 49 million Americans, or one in six, lacked the resources to eat sufficient, regular meals in 2010.

Boston Launches Ad Campaign Against Sugary Beverages Boston Globe, September 7, 2011
Hoping to blunt the pervasive reach of sugary drinks, Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston and public health authorities unveiled a public awareness campaign yesterday that urges residents to reduce consumption of sweetened beverages, which public health specialists link to rising obesity rates and higher health care costs.

Diabetes “Massive Challenge” as Cases Hit 366 Million Reuters, September 13, 2011
The number of people living with diabetes has soared to 366 million, and the disease kills one person every seven seconds, posing a “massive challenge” to healthcare systems worldwide, experts said on Tuesday.

Primary care referral to a commercial provider for weight loss treatment versus standard care: a randomized controlled trial (full text), The Lancet, September 2011                           This study compared weight loss at 12 months with standard treatment in primary care with that achieved after referral by the primary care team to a Weight Watchers program in the community.

Global Chronic Disease: It’s Not All About the Money for Once, The Atlantic, September 13, 2011 Non-communicable diseases can be reduced with simple, low or no-cost interventions that even the poorest countries can implement

Lifestyle Factors on the Risks of Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke, Archives of Internal Medicine, September 12, 2011 Healthy lifestyle factors – including not smoking, shedding excess pounds, exercising and eating lots of vegetables – were associated with a lower risk of stroke.  Read more at Health Day.


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