Healthy Communities — April 6, 2012

Video of the week:  Coding a Better Government.  In this TED talk, Jennifer Pahlka talks about running government like the Internet and how apps can connect citizens to their governments and neighbors.


This spring, the National Diabetes Education Program will work with partners to increase awareness among people with diabetes about the seriousness of the disease, that complications can be prevented, and that managing diabetes can be easier with goals and a plan.  To help people learn how to live well with diabetes:

Reports and Articles

A recent 60 Minutes, Is Sugar Toxic?,  reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. 

2012 County Health Rankings Highlight Healthiest, Least Healthy Counties in Every State, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, April 2012
More than 3,000 counties and the District of Columbia can compare how healthy their residents are and how long they live with the 2012 County Health Rankings, an annual check-up that highlights the healthiest and least healthy counties in every state.

  • Also new this year, the County Health Roadmaps will help counties to mobilize and take action to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play.

Policies for Healthier Communities: Historical, Legal, and Practical Elements of the Obesity Prevention Movement, Annual Review of Public Health, April 2012
The article explains how government at all levels is empowered to developed obesity prevention policies and explores eight attributes of a promising state or local obesity prevention policy.

Obesity Rate Climbs among Mexican-American Adults USA Today, 03/28/2012
Federal researchers reported Wednesday that obesity and diabetes rates have climbed for Mexican-American adults just as they have for other people in the USA. About 40% of Mexican-American adults were obese in 2010, up from about 35% in 2006 and about 21% in 1984.

U.S. Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall, HealthDay, 3/28/2012
Deaths from cancer in the United States continue to decline, health officials report. However, deaths from some types of cancers are on the increase and racial disparities remain in cancer deaths and diagnosis.

The Right to Sell Kids Junk [Opinion] New York Times, 03/27/2012
The First Amendment to the Constitution, which tops our Bill of Rights, guarantees — theoretically, at least — things we all care about. Yet it’s stealthily and incredibly being invoked to safeguard the nearly unimpeded “right” of a handful of powerful corporations to market junk food to children.

The Effects of Incremental Costs of Smoking and Obesity on Health Care Costs among Adults, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, March 2012
Obesity and smoking have large long-term impacts on health care costs of working-age adults, but obesity adds more to health care costs than smoking.  Read a summary at

In School Health:

Eliminating ‘Candy Bribery’ In Schools Education News Colorado, 03/25/2012

This advertisement was found in a parenting magazine.

As schools across the nation have banned sugar-sweetened sodas and chocolate milk, gotten rid of vending machines and upgraded school lunches to be healthier and more nutritious, candy in the classroom is also getting a critical evaluation.


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