Healthy Communities – February 8, 2013


Governor Kitzhaber has submitted his recommended budget and details of the recommendations for the Oregon Health Authority. A video of this presentation of the plan is available here.

The National Education Association has launched a new website, “The Healthier School Food Advocacy project is a national initiative to improve the nutritional quality of snack foods and beverages sold in school vending machines, cafeteria à la carte lines, school stores and fundraisers. These foods and beverages are collectively known as ‘competitive foods’ because they compete with school meals for students’ spending. ”


View a Model Bicycle Parking Ordinance and bicycle parking materials

The Healthy Futures Fund will create a $100 million investment fund that is designed to expand access to health care and affordable housing for low-income residents and fund critical social services that help link the two in impoverished neighborhoods. It is in part response to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the 20 million new health care consumers that the legislation is likely to create.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force posted for public comment its draft Research Plan on behavioral counseling to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in persons with known risk factors. The draft Research Plan is available for review and public comment from January 29 through February 25, 2013.

 Reports and Articles


A new report from the Greenlining Institute and Prevention Institute, Health, Equity, and the Bottom Line: Workplace Wellness and California Small Businesses, explores the risks and benefits that could emerge as California’s small businesses begin to implement workplace wellness programs. The findings and recommendations have relevance for public and private sector decision makers and workplace wellness policy across the country. We also wrote about this in a column for the Hill published last week.

Prevention Institute has issued a new report, How Can We Pay for a Healthy Population? Innovative New Ways to Redirect Funds to Community Prevention. The report is aimed at encouraging innovation and highlights pioneers “that have found surprising new ways to capture funds already in the healthcare system and redirect them to pay for population health measures that prioritize community prevention.”

NIH scientists identify molecular link between metabolism and breast cancer
Nature Communications, 02/5/2013
A protein associated with conditions of metabolic imbalance, such as diabetes and obesity, may play a role in the development of aggressive forms of breast cancer, according to new findings by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues. Metabolic imbalance is often caused by elevated carbohydrate intake, which can lead to over-activating a molecule called C-terminal binding protein (CtBP). This over-activation, in turn, can increase the risk of breast cancer.

NIH urges women to protect their heart health and to encourage others to do the same
National Institutes of Health, 02/01/13
During American Heart Month in February 2013, The Heart Truth campaign of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will celebrate the stories of women taking action to protect their hearts and who are inspiring and motivating others to make heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

Soda-size cap is a public health issue
San Fransisco Gate, 2/1/13
You may not care whether sodas are bad for health, but plenty of other people do. These include, among others, officials who must spend taxpayer dollars to care for the health of people with obesity-related chronic illnesses, employers dealing with a chronically ill workforce, the parents and teachers of overweight children, dentists who treat tooth decay, and a military desperate for recruits who can meet fitness standards.

Certain Jobs May Still Pose Risk for Asthma
HealthDay, 1/30/13
Exposure to chemicals at work causes many cases of asthma, especially for plumbers, spray painters and hair stylists, a new study finds.

How Poverty Influences a Child’s Brain Development
The Globe and Mail
A key feature of the emerging connection between brain and poverty is stress. While economic status does not necessarily spell bad news for a given child’s development, it tends to dovetail with parental stress and family stability in a way that can strongly shape how a young brain experiences the world.

‘Low-Income Housing’ Doesn’t Actually Exist
Bad terminology can create bad policy. Nowhere is this more evident than in housing.

Why We Need More Research Into Cycling and Brain Science
Riding a bike may have special benefits that other exercise modes don’t, but we just don’t know enough about it.



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