Healthy Communities – 2/22/13

Exercise to help arthritis? Let Eddy the sea otter inspire you


walkablestreetAn App That Tells You How Walkable a Street Really Is
Walkonomics looks at small things — sidewalk quality, hilliness — that make a real difference to walkers. Full article »

Using the Diabetes Risk Test
Encourage employees, customers, clients, friends and family to take test at  All of the American Diabetes Association Alert Day® materials such as posters, and printed materials, web banners, including English and Spanish versions, are provided on our web site at

Collaborate for Healthy Weight is a project of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) funded by the Affordable Care Act Prevention and Public Health Fund.  The Collaborative for Healthy Weight has numerous resources and tools for communities to adapt and implement.  Click here for more information.

Reports and Articles

The Tell-Tale Heart Risk
Know the risks. If you are inactive, or have high blood pressure, or if you smoke, your risk for heart disease increases. If you have high cholesterol or diabetes, your risk for heart disease increases. On the other hand, if you know these facts, you can act now.


Menu Labels May Sway Those Who Need Them Most
Showing diners how many calories are in restaurant foods items may influence how much they eat – especially among the least health-conscious people, a new study suggests.

Did you know that CDC has an online digital repository of CDC supported publications? Our collections include full-text peer reviewed articles, guidelines and recommendations, and many more documents. This resource already contains about 10,000 entries and documents are added on an ongoing basis. It even offers a historical perspective on public health with the MMWR Collection, which holds the first thirty years of MMWR, NIOSH mining documents dating from the early 1940s, and Influenza Surveillance Reports which started with the Asian influenza pandemic of 1957, and continued until 1981. For more information on this repository, go to:

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces the February 13 issue of the Health Care Innovations Exchange (

  • The featured Innovations describe three programs that used innovative strategies to increase colorectal, cervical, and skin cancer screening rates among specific target populations.
  • The featured QualityTools include a toolkit to help health care professionals improve cancer screening rates in their practice and resources for health care consumers and communities to promote screening.
  • Read more innovation profiles and tools related to cancer screening on the Innovations Exchange Web site, which contains more than 750 searchable innovations and 1,500 QualityTools.

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food
New York Times, 2/20/13
A chemist by training with a doctoral degree in food science, Behnke became Pillsbury’s chief technical officer in 1979 and was instrumental in creating a long line of hit products, including microwaveable popcorn. He deeply admired Pillsbury but in recent years had grown troubled by pictures of obese children suffering from diabetes and the earliest signs of hypertension and heart disease.

Children in U.S. Are Eating Fewer Calories, Study Finds
New York Times, 2/21/13
American children consumed fewer calories in 2010 than they did a decade before, a new federal analysis shows. Health experts said the findings offered an encouraging sign that the epidemic of obesity might be easing, but cautioned that the magnitude of the decline was too small to move the needle much.

What Food Desert Maps Get Wrong About How People Eat
Our understanding of food access seldom takes into account a key factor: mobility. Full article »

Tomei Wants Tobacco Money Spent on Prevention
The Lund Report, 2/20/13
The state has received $1 billion from the tobacco master settlement agreement, but thus far that money has not gone to tobacco prevention

  • On Tuesday, President Obama addressed the potential impact of sequester in a White House speech.   The President cautioned that “hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.”  He further urged a balanced approach to budget cutting, calling for a solution “that combines tax reform with some additional spending reforms, done in a smart, thoughtful way.”

NIH study shows big improvement in diabetes control over past decades
02/19/2013 03:55 PM EST
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy (especially during the third trimester of pregnancy). It is defined as carbohydrate intolerance, which is the inability of the body to adequately process carbohydrates (sugars and starches) into energy for the body, that develops or is first recognized during pregnancy.

Should Your Zip Code Determine How Long You Live?
The Huffington Post, 2/14/2013
Deborah Lewis is a licensed social worker serving court-referred elderly clients in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Her work takes her to two hospitals, each in different zip codes in the city. She recently sat in the outpatient waiting area in the two different hospitals within a 48-hour period. She was shocked and dismayed by the stark contrasts in the “health” of the populations at each location.

Changing neighborhoods can change your life
Marketplace, 2/13/2013
Chicago’s recent spike in gun violence has economic effects — and causes — that can feed on each other in a vicious cycle. Playing a central role in that cycle is, of all things, housing policy. Chicago’s policies have a long, racially charged history that has lead to segregation and high concentrations of poverty in pockets across the city. One side effect is that now, certain neighborhoods face much higher rates of violence than others.

Study Links Levels of Air Pollution and Ozone to Cardiac Arrest
Based on a massive data set unique to Houston, a newly published study from scientists at Rice University has found a direct correlation between out-of-hospital heart attacks and levels of air pollution and ozone.

Mississippi Lawmakers Move to Ban Food Regulations across State 
Last week, the Mississippi House of Representatives passed a bill that would prohibit counties and cities across the state from instituting local food regulations, such as requiring menu labeling at restaurants or taxing sugar-sweetened beverages. A similar bill passed the Mississippi Senate earlier this month; the two would have to be reconciled before a bill reached the desk of Governor Phil Bryant (R). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mississippi has the highest rates of both childhood and adult obesity in the nation.


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