Healthy Communities – February 15, 2013

A fun video on hidden calories, with the Calorie Detectives


Public Comment Opportunity: Behavioral Counseling to Promote a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Persons With Known Risk Factors. 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. Click here to review the draft Research Plan and submit comments.


The National Association of County and City Health Officials joins our partners in the Million Hearts™ initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the United States by 2016. Additional information on Million Hearts™ is available here:

Chronic Disease Prevention Toolkit Sodium Reduction Tools
The Public Health Law Program (PHLP) provides resources on state governments’ laws and policies related to dietary sodium and sodium intake in various populations. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP), excess dietary sodium raises the risk for high blood pressure and its cardiovascular health consequences, including heart disease and stroke, the 1st and 4th leading causes of death in the US.  Click here to access tools.

Many working American adults struggle to stay fit and active.  Because many of us spend most of the day at work, the workplace is a logical place to encourage physical activity. CDC’s new tool kit, Steps to Wellness: A Guide to Implementing the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in the Workplace  provides employers with easy and understandable steps on how to get employees moving.

CDC releases an infographic that focuses on the connection between our busy lives and eating food away from home: Go Light When You Grab a Bite.

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched a multicultural outreach initiative to raise awareness about the availability of NIH and other Federal resources to help people with diseases and conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin. The initiative also aims to emphasize research as the foundation for progress, and to support and involve organizations in multicultural outreach. Additionally, to support your organization’s outreach efforts, the NIAMS has created an electronic toolkit to help you and your organization prepare your planner distribution strategies.

Reports and Articles

A new study published in Health Affairs by Weill Cornell Medical College in collaboration with the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) shows evidence that high levels of technical assistance and longer use of an electronic health record (EHR) are key for improving quality measures. Click here for temporary access to the full article.

The groundbreaking Oregon Health Insurance Experiment is the 2013 winner of the prestigious Health Services Research (HSR) Impact Award, presented by AcademyHealth. Read the brief.

Health Officials Urge F.D.A. to Limit Sweeteners in Sodas
The New York Times, 2/13/13
A group of health advocates and public health officials from major cities around the country are asking the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the amount of caloric sweeteners in sodas and other beverages, arguing that the scientific consensus is that the level of added sugars in those products is unsafe.


Outdoor Fast-Food Ads Linked to Obesity, Study Suggests
MedLine Plus, 2/13/13
Living in an area with many outdoor fast-food ads may be linked to weight gain, according to a new study.

Reducing sodium in U.S. may save hundreds of thousands of lives over 10 years
Less sodium in the U.S. diet could save 280,000 to 500,000 lives over 10 years, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

New Partners for Smart Growth Q&A: Paul Zykofsky
NewPublicHealth, 02/07/2013
NewPublicHealth spoke with Paul Zykofsky, associate executive director at the Local Government Commission, which assists local governments in establishing and developing the key elements of livable communities, and organizes the conference.

Gyrate Your Way to Work
Mac’s List, 2/6/13
When I worry about money, I stop whatever I’m doing and swing my hips.

The Geometry of Transit-Friendly Neighborhoods
The Atlantic Cities, Emily Badger, 02/11/2013
“Transit-oriented development” sounds like a tidy solution to myriad urban ills. If cities enabled more people to live and work within strolling distance of a train or bus stop, families could save money on gas, residents without cars could more easily get to work, neighborhoods could cut down on congestion and pollution, and economic development might ensue.

Medical Xpress – Physical activity cuts mortality in colorectal cancer survivors
For patients with invasive, non-metastatic colorectal cancer, increased recreational physical activity is associated with reduced all-cause mortality, while prolonged sedentary time correlates with increased all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The latest Oregon CD Summary is devoted to Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Oregon. You can download today’s issue at:

Helping Patients Help Themselves Saves Money, Report Shows
NBC News,  2/4/13
Dr. Andrea Anderson would cringe whenever she saw the patient’s name come up on her list for the day. He had heart disease, a pacemaker, and other conditions, but never seemed to understand what he needed to do to take care of himself.

Read an article from Richmond County, NC, a subgrant from the $7.4 million Community Transformation Grant (CTG) administered by the state’s Department of Public Health.  Overall, the project “expects counties to implement prevention strategies proven to have a positive impact on health and health disparities with a focus on reducing exposure to secondhand smoke in both indoor and outdoor locations, promoting healthier food and beverage options at convenience stores, establishing and enhancing local farmers’ markets, mobile markets and farm stands and developing joint-use agreements with community organizations to increase access to physical activity opportunities.”

CDC Releases Analysis of State Competitive Food Policies
According to a recent analysis conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 39 states had adopted policies related to the sale or availability of competitive foods (snack foods) and beverages as of October 2010.  However, none of them fully aligned with 2007 Institute of Medicine recommendations with respect to nutritional content. The analysis came on the heels of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent proposed rule for updated nutrition standards for competitive foods and beverages nationwide.


How to Build a Better Bike Lane (and Get More People Out on Bikes)
More and more city planners are seeing bike lanes as “a rational part of the mobility picture.” Full article »


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