Healthy Communities — April 20, 2012

Did you know?  Fast food in the United States has more salt!  The McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets in the United States have more than twice as much salt as their sister nuggets in the United Kingdom.

Resources

The American Heart Association is offering the Fit-Friendly Companies program to recognize employers who champion the health of their employees and work to create a culture of physical activity and health in the workplace and provide resources to help workplaces improve.

The National Farm to School Network, which works to connect schools and local farms to help ensure healthy meals being served in school cafeterias, recently celebrated the launch its Farm to Preschool Subcommittee’s new website: www.farmtopreschool.org.

The theme for Older Americans Month 2012, Never Too Old to Play, encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities.  Check out www.OlderAmericansMonth.org  for resources and tools to help plan and promote events and activities.

The Physical Activity Counseling Toolkit from the University of Alberta Centre for Active Living offers ten plain language resources for practitioners to help facilitate the physical activity counseling process in talking with clients.  Materials are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Punjabi and French.

New County Level Data

2011 Living Well County Data Fact Sheets are now available online.  In 2011, workshops were held in Gilliam, Lake and Tillamook counties for the first time!

2009 County-level estimates of diagnosed diabetes, obesity, and leisure time physical inactivity are now available from the CDC.  This data can be used to identify high risk areas, maximize resources to prevent and manage diabetes, and more.

Access to Healthy Food provides modified retail food environment indicators (mRFEI) – census tract data that evaluates the availability of quality, nutritious food in your community.  (Registration is required to use the site, but it is free).

Reports and Articles

Studies Question the Pairing of Food Deserts and Obesity, New York Times, 4/17/12
“It is always easy to advocate for more grocery stores,” said Kelly D. Brownell, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. “But if you are looking for what you hope will change obesity, healthy food access is probably just wishful thinking.”

Can a Healthy Recess Prevent Bullying and Increase Time for Learning? Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, April 2012
The randomized control trial compared schools using the Playworks program to a control group of similar schools without the program during the 2010-2011 school year in five cities across the country.

New Poll Shows Strong Voter Support for Nutrition Standards for Foods and Beverages Sold in School Vending Machines and A La Carte Lines, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, April 2012
80% of American voters favor national standards that would limit calories, fat, and sodium in snack and a la carte food sold in U.S. schools and encourage the consumption of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy items.

Poverty and Obesity: Breaking The Link Huffington Post,  04/11/2012
Targeting only one aspect of the problem will not be effective in fighting the obesity epidemic, since many of its causes stem from broad social and environmental factors.

Obesity Linked to Neighborhood Features: Do You Live in a Fat Neighborhood? ABC News, 04/10/2012
In a special issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom used geographic information systems to look at how features of neighborhoods children live and play in affect their health.

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