Healthy Communities – January 18, 2013

Spotted! Healthy Vending at the Coeur D’ Alene tribal health clinic.



For the first time during the 2010-11 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that all Americans ages 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine.  Earlier, the CDC declared the flu a national epidemic, with deaths caused by the flu rising to 7.3 percent.  CDC has a number of excellent resources, including What You Should Know for the 2012-2013 Influenza Season.

Reports and Articles

Does a little excess weight help you live longer?
Harvard School of Public Health, January 2013
Being a little overweight may be associated with a longer life, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). But some researchers, including Harvard School of Public Health’s Walter Willett, disagree.

Obesity Prevalence Among Low-Income, Preschool-Aged Children — New York City and Los Angeles County, 2003–2011
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 1/18/13
Comparisons of obesity prevalence data among cities and states might suggest interventions and policies to help reverse childhood obesity increases in some populations.

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages — Polling Results
The New England Journal of Medicine, 1/17/13
Unlike other food items that have at least some small nutritional value, sugar-sweetened beverages do not have any true nutritional value. A fast-food hamburger may have high levels of saturated fat and sodium, but it also contains nutritionally beneficial protein and iron. A soft drink contains only sugar and water.

Public Health Essential to Reducing Healthcare Costs
The Lund Report, 1/16/13
Smoking cessation, maternity care and mental health services are focus of coordinated care organizations working alongside public health

In Ads, Coke Confronts Soda’s Link to Obesity
The New York Times, 1/14/13
It is the first time the company has gone on the offensive to tackle widespread criticism that sugary sodas are one of the biggest contributors to the obesity epidemic, and the ads drew criticism even before they were shown.

Pedestrian Safety Program Prevents Student Injuries
Reuters, 1/14/13
Fewer kids were injured during early morning and after school hours once new traffic lights, pedestrian signals and speed bumps were put around New York City schools, according to a new study.

Stable Jobs = Healthier Lives
NewPublicHealth, 1/14/13
The NewPublicHealth National Prevention Strategy series is underway, including interviews with Cabinet Secretaries and their National Prevention Council designees, exploring the impact of jobs, transportation and more on health. “Stable Jobs = Healthier Lives” tells a visual story on the role of employment in the health of our communities.

A Snapshot of Influenza Activity in all 50 States
Associated Press, 1/14/13
Here is a snapshot of flu activity in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For Americans Under 50, Stark Findings on Health
New York Times, 1/9/13
Younger Americans die earlier and live in poorer health than their counterparts in other developed countries, with far higher rates of death from guns, car accidents and drug addiction, according to a new analysis of health and longevity in the United States.

New Year’s Resolution REVOLUTION!
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, 1/4/13
When you boil it down, having a healthier lifestyle is about two simple things (in addition to not smoking): eating better and being active.

Three of the National Diabetes Education Program’s (NDEP) most popular publications have undergone a health literacy and brand review, which has resulted in improvements in how NDEP creates easy-to-read print materials. Order or download your free copy: Choose More than 50 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, Did You Have Gestational Diabetes When You Were Pregnant?, and Take Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime. Many other diabetes-related materials and resources are available on the NDEP website.

FDA Expected to Release Final Menu Labeling Rule in April 
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it plans to finalize two proposed rules that would establish requirements for menu labeling in restaurants and on vending machines. Per a provision in the Affordable Care Act, the proposed regulations would require chain restaurants and other food retailers with at least 20 establishments or vending machines to disclose calorie information on menus and menu boards, while having other nutritional information on hand—such as total fat, sugar, or sodium—to be provided upon customers’ request. The proposed rules—first published in April 2011 and subjected to a 90-day public comment period—would also allow non-chain establishments not covered under the rule’s scope to “opt-in” to the labeling requirements voluntarily.

Enactment Date for NYC Soda Size Limitation Postponed
A representative from the New York City Board of Health announced that the city’s new 16-ounce limit on certain sugar-sweetened beverages—originally scheduled to take effect on March 12—will be postponed at least 90 days. The delay comes on the heels of a hearing scheduled for January 23 in New York State Supreme Court over a lawsuit filed by a number of organizations, led by the National Restaurant Association and American Beverage Association, in response to the new policy.

AAP: Recess Should Complement, Not Replace, Physical Education
In a policy statement released last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) voiced its support for recess in schools, citing the “crucial role” it plays in children’s overall cognitive, academic, social and physical development. The AAP statement added that unstructured recess should complement rather than replace physical education, and that it “should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons.”

Screening For Critical Congential Heart Disease
Oregon CD Summary, 1/1/13
Congenital heart disease (CHD) describes a variety of structural defects
that are present at birth. These defects change the normal flow of blood
through the heart, and may result in hypoxemia (low blood oxygen saturation)
during the neonatal period.


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