Healthy Communities — February 10, 2012

In this illustrated video, Daniel Pink talks about how workplace well-being can be improved through several key changes – the single greatest being motivation.

The Oregonian’s new column: Diary of a Diabetic Chef, by Ken Gorden launched this week.


New Toolkits from Public Health Law & Policy focus on healthy eating:

  • Putting Health on the Menu – create a program that gives restaurant owners plenty of incentives to upgrade the nutritional quality of their food.
  • Green for Greens – identify and tap the best public financing programs for healthy food retail projects like farmers’ markets, grocery stores and corner store initiatives.

Where’s the Sodium? CDC Vital Signs, February 2012 9 in 10 Americans eat too much sodium – which can raise high blood pressure and increase risk for heart disease and stroke.  44% of the sodium we eat comes from just 10 types of foods.

Beyond Urban Centers, The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 2012.  This report finds that active transportation is a part of life for people of all ages even in rural areas.  The site also includes a tool that allows you to reveal bicycle infrastructure, stories of active transportation, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and more for local areas.

Articles and Reports

Bending the Obesity Cost Curve, Trust for America’s Health, January 2012 This new analysis found that America could save $29.8 billion in 10 years and $611 billion in 20 years in health care costs, if obesity rates were reduced by five percent.

Chronic Conditions Toll Tallied  The Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2012
The Institute of Medicine on Tuesday put a dollar figure on the cost of caring for chronic illness in the United States–$1.5 trillion yearly, fully three-fourths of annual healthcare spending.

Get Kids to Eat Their Veggies Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 2, 2012
Want kids to eat their vegetables? Try pictures, not words. Using a Richfield elementary school as their lab, researchers from the University of Minnesota placed images of green beans and carrots on the cafeteria food trays for one day.

Walmart to Label Healthier Food as “Great for You” Chicago Tribune, February 6, 2012 Eggs are among the foods getting a new “Great For You” icon from the world’s largest retailer as it tries to convince shoppers that they can make healthy, low-cost choices when picking out food at its U.S. stores.

Nearly Half of Nation’s Youngest Students Can Buy Junk Food at Schools, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, February 6, 2012  Cookies, cakes and other junk foods were available to nearly half of U.S. elementary school students in vending machines, à la carte lines and school stores during the 2009–10 school year.  Unhealthy snack foods were strikingly more prevalent in schools in the South, where obesity rates are the highest in the nation.

Elementary Schools Improving Nutrition Practices, Making No Progress on Physical Activity, Bridging the Gap, January 2012 Since the 2006–07 school year, more elementary schools are offering whole grains and low-fat milks for lunch, and allowing only healthy beverages to be sold outside school meals.  But schools have reported virtually no changes to physical education, recess or after-school programs that encourage physical activity.


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