Healthy Communities

You’ve heard of “greenwashing” – now learn about “leanwashing” — when a company makes exaggerated or misleading health claims through advertising, marketing, or packaging.  Processed food products labeled “all natural,” sugary snacks called “low-calorie,” workout shoes called “toning.”  Check out The Leanwashing Index – a new public service moment to keep advertising more honest.


Playing Smart – a new nuts-and-bolts guide to opening school properties to the public through well-crafted joint use agreements – was produced through a partnership between KaBOOM! and Public Health Law & Policy.

Reports and Articles

The Impact of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity, American Psychological Association
Research has found strong associations between increases in advertising for non-nutritious foods and rates of childhood obesity.

Changes to WIC Program Improve Access to Healthy Foods and Beverages without Increasing Costs, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, March 2012
This study found that changes made in 2009 to the WIC program prompted North Philadelphia corner stores, convenience stores and bodegas that accept WIC vouchers to start offering healthier foods.

Red Meat Linked to Cancer and Heart Disease, New York Times, 3/13/12
Eating red meat is associated with a sharply increased risk of death from cancer and heart disease, and the more of it you eat, the greater the risk.

How to Measure a Project’s Health, The Atlantic, March 2012
In the musical chairs of urban planning, public health often finds itself left standing when the music stops. A great non-technical look at Health Impact Assessments

Casinos and Health Impact Assessments: A Beneficial Pairing  NewPublicHealth, 03/7/12
How does a new casino impact the health of the community where it is being built? That’s the subject of a new health impact assessment by the Kansas Health Institute.

And in school news:

Seven Million Pounds of “Pink Slime” Beef Destined for National School Lunch Program,, 3/8/12
McDonald’s and Taco Bell have banned it, but now the USDA is buying 7 million pounds of beef containing ammonium hydroxide-treated ground connective tissue and meat scraps and serving it up to America’s school kids.

Schools Can Decide if “Pink Slime” will be Served in School Lunch, CBS News, 3/15/12
After the USDA reversed its earlier decision, schools enrolled in the national school lunch program will now have the choice between 95 percent lean beef with “pink slime” or less lean bulk ground beef without it.


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