Healthy Communities – July 20, 2012

Ridiculous Food of the Week: Mashed potatoes and gravy from a Slurpee machine at 7-11


Oregon Public Health Institute’s new “HEAL Cities” website is now live.

Applying for a Community Transformation Grant? Community Commons has customizable maps and data that can be saved and displayed in your application.

Take the National Council on Aging’s short quiz on the basics of benefits for seniors and individuals with disabilities. NCOA also has developed a Benefits 101 webinar series to provide further information.

Active Living for All Ages: Creating Neighborhoods Around Transit This six-minute video produced by AARP’s Public Policy Institute in collaboration with Streetfilms highlights how transit-oriented development (TOD) facilitates the independence and mobility of older adults.  The video features conversations with residents, local officials and experts in TOD in Arlington, Virginia—a walkable, mixed-use community with access to a variety of public transit options, entertainment and recreation, and basic services such as shopping and medical services.

New Resource: Complete Streets Policy Workbook

The National Complete Streets Coalition has released the Complete Streets Policy Workbook with existing policies, including ten examples from CPPW grantees, to show how a community can use its unique visions and goals to determine whether a complete streets policy would benefit it, and to examine which components may fit the community’s needs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released the 2012 Food Environment Atlas, an online mapping tool that compares the food environment at the county level across the nation. The Atlas uses 168 indicators to take a comprehensive look at communities’ food environments, including total farmers’ markets, number of fruit orchards or vegetable farms, how many farmers sell their products directly to consumers, and extent of food assistance programs.

Reports and Articles

Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide, CNN, 7/18/12
Harvard researchers say inactivity caused an increase in deaths from coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers and caused more than 5.3 million deaths in 2008 worldwide. If physical inactivity rates were to go down by even 10% to 20% worldwide, they say, it could save between a half-million and 1.3 million lives each year.  Check out the full The Lancet series on physical activity.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Announce Next Chapter of Let’s Move! Cities Towns and Counties, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 7/18/12

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius joined First Lady Michelle Obama and local officials from across the country to announce the next chapter in the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties program, which encourages local elected officials to focus on improving the health of their communities.

It’s Convenience, Not Cost, That Makes Us Fat,, 7/17/12
According to a new CDC study, of the 72 and a half million adults who are obese, 41 percent (about 30 million) make at least $35,000 a year – well above the poverty line. Only 20 percent of obese adults are considered “poor.”

New York Trans Fat Ban Has Cut Consumption, Study Finds, LA Times,  7/16/12                Since the city banned trans fats in restaurant food in 2008, diners have consumed 2.4 fewer grams of trans fats per lunch, which should mean better health, researchers say.

New Strategies for Treating Diabetes Wall Street Journal, 7/9/12
Researchers are trying new approaches to treat Type 2 diabetes amid widespread uncertainty about the most effective therapies and concerns that current strategies might be doing some patients more harm than good.

Americans Need to Try Harder to Eat Fruits, Vegetables USA Today, 7/9/12
The majority of Americans say they’ve been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables over the past year, according to a poll of 1,057 adults for the International Food Information Council Foundation. But most people are consuming less than half of what the government recommends.

Your Kid’s New Lunch: Less Bread, Less Salt Omaha World-Herald, 7/9/12
Food companies that cater to schools are shrinking their buns and breadsticks, removing the breading from chicken nuggets and launching a host of other new products to give the nation’s schools options as they rewrite menus to comply with strict new federal school lunch rules.

Use of Selected Clinical Preventive Services Among Adults – United States, 2007-2010, CDC MMWR, 6/15/12
This MMWR supplement is the first in a periodic series of reports examining the use of selected clinical preventive services.  Improved clinical management of the ABCS – in this case: aspirin, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation – can significantly reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and could save approximately 100,000 lives each year.

Clinical Quality Performance in U.S. Health Centers, Health Services Research, 2012
This article describes clinical quality among the nation’s health centers and examines health center characteristics associated with performance excellence.  The study found that health centers provide quality care at rates comparable to national averages.

Population Shifts and Implications for Walking in the United States, America Walks, July 2012
According to America Walks, the report “finds that major population shifts in the United States point to changes in American attitudes and behaviors regarding walking. These shifts are likely to result in a substantial increase in both recreational and utilitarian walking.”

Influence of Competitive Food and Beverage Policies on Children’s Diets and Childhood Obesity, Healthy Eating Research, July 2012
This research review clearly shows a need for comprehensive policies that govern the sale and consumption of foods and beverages that generally compete with school food programs (e.g., vending machines, school stores).

Consumption of Sports Drinks by Children and Adolescents, Healthy Eating Research, June 2012
Researchers found that between 1989 and 2008, the percentage of American children ages 6 to 11 drinking sports drinks increased from 2 percent to 12 percent. Marketing of sports drinks to young consumers has increased during the same time span; for example, in 2010, Gatorade television ads were among the top five most-advertised products seen by children and adolescents.

Healthy Aging and the Environment: A Pocket Guide (pdf), The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, 2012
This report addresses how the built, food, chemical, psychosocial, and socioeconomic environments, and the practices and policies that promote or impeded health at all ages, influence health across the lifespan.

Oregon’s Medicaid Waiver update: On July 5, 2012 the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) approved Oregon’s 1115 Medicaid Waiver that was necessary to implement health system transformation. Waivers of this size and scope usually take years to negotiate. The ability to finish so rapidly is a testament to both the importance of this waiver and to an effective federal and state partnership.


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