Healthy Communities — December 2, 2011

When San Francisco’s so-called Happy Meal Ban takes effect on December 1, it won’t actually mean McNugget-loving children will have to go toy-less.

McDonald’s has figured out a way around the ban: the boxed kiddie meals will come without a toy, but parents can choose to add one for an extra ten cent donation to the Ronald McDonald House.

Resources

Diabetes and the Flu — people with diabetes are three times more likely to be hospitalized or to die from the flu and its complications than other people.  New CDC resources include:

Coyote and the Turtle’s Dream is the first in a series of three books written for middle schoolers in American Indian and Alaska Native communities that combine mystery with health promotion messages about preventing type 2 diabetes.

Free copies of the book are available through the CDC’s Native Diabetes Wellness Program.

CDC’s health literacy website has a new section to help health and other professionals develop materials that will communicate more effectively with older adults and their caregivers.

The National Cancer Institute has a new database on state and local nutrition and physical education policies, called Classification of Laws Associated with School Students (CLASS).

A Transportation Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Toolkit is now available from CDC Healthy Places.  This toolkit provides a framework for public health departments, city planners, project managers, and other stakeholders to conduct HIAs on proposed transportation plans and policies.

Articles and Reports

U.S. Food Lobby Fighting Hard to Defend Kid Ads Reuters, November 7, 2011
The Federal Trade Commission signaled in mid-October it would likely drop a plan for voluntary guidelines banning junk food ads to children 17 and under, instead lowering the age limit to 11 and under. Food companies have waged a powerful campaign to avoid any restrictions.

Where Children Discover Their Inner Child New York Times, November 10, 2011
Increasing news reports of childhood obesity prompted the Children’s Museum of Manhattan to connect with the National Institutes of Health and develop a $2.3 million initiative to combat childhood obesity, which included adapting a We Can! curriculum for children as young as 2.

A Hard Turn: Better Health on the Highway The New York Times, November 21, 2011

It’s a long haul, so to speak. Eighty-six percent of the estimated 3.2 million truck drivers in the United States are overweight or obese, according to a 2007 study in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Many Kindergarteners Already on Road to Obesity, Study Finds HealthDay, November 23, 2011  Today’s kindergarteners are heavier than kids brought up in the 1970s and 1980s and appear to be on the road to becoming overweight and obese in the years to come.

Do All Children Have Places to Be Active? Disparities in Access to Physical Activity Environments in Racial and Ethnic Minority and Lower-Income Communities, November 2011

Fuel Up to Play for 60

Kindergarteners participate in the Fuel Up to Play program

This new research synthesis from Active Living Research summarizes information on racial, ethnic and economic disparities in obesity and physical activity rates among children and highlights policy recommendations for decision-markers who can support physical activity among people in lower income communities and communities of color.

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