Healthy Communities — December 16, 2011

The Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section is STILL eager to hear from you about your data needs. We are working with an independent contractor to collect your opinions about our reports and your preferences for future changes. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey now. The link will be active until Wednesday, December 21, 2011.

Interested in what’s happening around the state with health system transformation and the upcoming Coordinated Care Organizations? Here’s a pretty clear explanation.

SNAP to Health is a virtual townhall for discussion of the current state of nutrition, obesity, and food insecurity in the United States. Their goal is to improve the nutrition and health of Americans enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs.

News from Washington is a NACCHO e-newsletter that provides up-to-date information about activities in Congress and the Administration that affect local health departments.

NCOA has launched its Restart Living site! This site is intended for the public – visitors will find two promotional videos about self-management programs, as well as strong participant testimonials and a map that directs people to the appropriate contacts to find a local program.

A new brief from Ohio State University Center for Farmland Policy Innovation offers best practices for establishing and operating healthy corner stores.

Articles and Reports

Can Fast-Food Toy Bans Really Help Kids Eat Better?Time “Healthland”, December 8, 2011
In 2010, a California county became the first in the nation to ban toys from fast-food children’s meals that were high in calories, salt, fat and sugar, with the idea being that eliminating the toys would make the meals less enticing to kids. And researchers say that the ordinance seems to be having an effect — at least on the way the fast-food chains advertise their goods.

Multnomah County Enlists Faith Leaders for Healthy Food Plan, The Skanner, December 14, 2011 Last Thursday, Multnomah County faith leaders gathered at the Life Change Christian Center to sign a new food and beverage policy, promising to promote healthy eating, water consumption and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.

Recess and PE Policies Mean More Activity for Kids Reuters, December 5, 2011
According to a new nationwide survey of elementary school principals, kids are more likely to get the recommended amount of recess and physical education if they live in states or districts with policies that call for more of those types of activity.

What Really Works to Prevent Obesity in Kids?Boston Globe, December 8, 2011
Australian researchers reviewed 55 studies mostly targeting children ages 6 to 12 and found that overall, obesity prevention programs led to less excess body fat but that some programs were far more effective than others.

Number of the Week: The Economics of ObesityWall Street Journal, December 3, 2011
This year, 29.5% of the U.S. population over 20 was obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up from 21.8% in 2000. That’s creating not just a big health problem for the country, but a big economics one.

How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch [Opinion] New York Times, December 4, 2011 Each day, 32 million children in the United States get lunch at schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program, which uses agricultural surplus to feed children.

Lines Grow Long for Free School Meals, Thanks to Economy, New York Times November 29, 2011 Millions of American schoolchildren are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many one solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades old safety-net program.

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