Healthy Communities — January 27, 2012

What to Watch

HBO will be premeiring a new four-part documentary series in May: “The Weight of the Nation”, featuring case studies, interviews with leading experts and individuals and their families struggling with obesity.

And coming soon to public television, a new 4-hour series: “Designing Healthy Communities”, in which host Richard Jackson, MD, MPH looks at the impact our built environment has on key public health measures – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer and depression.


The Northwest Health Foundation is introducing a new series of communications around important topics called “Points of View” – the first edition is titled “Perspectives on Equity” and features three short videos, resources, and talking points, or “how we talk about equity (pdf).”

New Health Assessment Tool! This online calculator looks at the economic benefits of increased walking and cycling, as well as cost effectiveness of these interventions.

A New Year, A New You – Staying Active with Asthma is a checklist from the American Lung Association for those with asthma who want to get and stay fit in 2012.  The checklist offers an easy-to-understand explanation of exercise-induced asthma and will help guide conversations between patients and health care providers.

The National Farmers Market Directory has made some significant enhancements to its system. Users can now search for a market anywhere in the United States based on  nutrition assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC),and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).

The U.S.D.A’s Food and Nutrition Service is providing a series of communication tools designed to help advocates engage teachers, principals, parents, food service managers, and students in school wellness efforts.

 Articles and Reports

The U.S.D.A has released updated nutrition standards for school meals – the first update in more than 15 years!  The new standards will ensure that meals include more fruits and vegetables, more whole-grain bread and pastas, and more low- and non-fat milk.

Only 1 in 4 Young Teens Uses Sunscreen Regularly, HealthDay News, January 23, 2012
Despite the fact that sunburn in childhood greatly raises a person’s lifelong risk for skin cancer, a new study found that just 25 percent of 14-year-olds said they used sunscreen regularly .

And speaking of skin cancer, the Video of the Week is Canadian PSA:  Dear 16-Year-Old Me.

CDC’s new report, State Initiatives Supporting Healthier Food Retail: An Overview of the National Landscape, provides readers with useful information about the rationale for and characteristics of healthier food retail legislation enacted in the last decade, as well as potential action steps for public health practictioners.

Cancer Screening in the United States – 2010, CDC MMWR, January 27, 2012 The percentage of Americans screened for cancer remains below national targets, with significant disparities among racial and ethnic populations

Learning to Be Lean: The Health Sector Takes on Childhood Obesity, New York Times, January 16, 2012 As one of the many outgrowths of the sweeping federal health care law, health insurers and employers must now pay the cost of screening children for obesity and providing them with appropriate counseling.

Big-City Mayors Dig In To Food Policy NPR “The Salt”, January 19, 2012
Food policy can sound like a dreary enterprise best left to Washington, D.C. But big city mayors are starting to see local food policy as a key step in getting healthy, affordable food to their constituents..


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