Healthy Communities — April 27th, 2012

This week, in ridiculous food:  if last week’s hot dog stuffed pizza crust didn’t appeal to you, we’ve found a cheeseburger stuffed pizza crust!


Video of the Week: Atul Gawande gives a fantastic presentation: How Do We Heal Medicine? “Our medical systems are broken. Doctors are capable of extraordinary (and expensive) treatments, but they are losing their core focus: actually treating people.”

Hunger Hits Home is a new documentary from Share Our Strength and the Food Network that takes a first-hand look at the crisis of childhood hunger through the stories of three families, anti-hunger activists, educators, and policymakers.

The CDC is seeking nominations for local initiatives to improve nutrition and increase physical activity.  They are especially interested in initiatives that address low-income populations and ethnic groups suffering from higher rates of obesity.  Nominations are due May 7th.

Are you familiar with the “life course” framework?  Life course suggests that a complex interplay of biological, behavioral, psychological and social protective and risk factors contribute to health.  Learn more with these resources:

Use the 2012 County Health Calculator to demonstrate how education and income affect rates of premature death, diabetes, and the cost of diabetes care.  You can customize the app for your county to help advocates and decision makers prioritize options to improve education and economic opportunities.

Reports and Articles

The State of the AIR 2012, The American Lung Association, April 2012
This report takes a close look at air quality across the country and ranks cities and counties for two of the most widespread types of air pollution – ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot).  Find out how polluted your air is here.

Building a Healthy America: A Profile of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), United States Department of Agriculture, April 2012
This new SNAP report shows that the diets of SNAP participants are similar to that of higher-income Americans, and that there is little evidence of a connection between SNAP participation and obesity.  However, diet quality varies.

A Child’s Helping Hand on Portions, New York times, 4/25/2012
He said, “Mom, let’s do the opposite of ‘Super Size Me’ ” — Morgan Spurlock’s documentary about a McDonald’s-only diet for 30 days — “and be healthy for a month. I’m tired of this.”

How to Finance Health Care? With a Tax on Unhealthy Foods [Editorial], The Oregonian, 4/23/2012
What if people stop supporting the manufacturers of unhealthy food? I think we call that “free market,” and if the market isn’t supported, it will change for the better.

Think Carrots, Not Candy as School Snack Reuters,  04/19/2012
With childhood obesity rising, a survey found most people agreed the chips, soda and candy bars students buy from vending machines or school stores in addition to breakfast and lunch are not nutritious, and they support a national standard for foods sold at schools.

How Money Factors Into The War On Obesity,  04/17/2012
The Medicare program recently announced it is now covering obesity screening and counseling by primary care providers – doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Many herald the move as a paradigm shift. Until eight years ago, Medicare said obesity was not a disease.

Do We Need More Advice About Eating Well? [Opinion] New York Times,  04/15/2012
Does the American public need more information about healthy eating? Or do we pretty much know what we need to about food — and still eat poorly for other reasons, like living in a “food desert” or being too busy for “slow food”?


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