Healthy Communities – March 15, 2013

healthy foods


Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts™ initiative released several educational resources to help Spanish speakers take control of their heart health. The new products include “How to Control Your Hypertension/Learning to Control Your Sodium Intake,” an illustrated fotonovela that offers multigenerational advice on getting high blood pressure under control by reducing sodium. Million Hearts Releases New Spanish-Language Resources on Heart Health

Not all screenings are good for you and even the good ones are not right for everyone. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so you may be reading and hearing a lot about the importance of screening. You may even get to walk through the eight-foot-high inflatable simulated colon that makes appearances around the country — and see what polyps look like from the inside. But you may not hear much about when colon cancer screening should stop.

American Public Health Week is April 1st – 7th.  This year’s theme is Public Health is ROI –  Saves Lives, Saves MoneyFor more information from the American Public Health Association.

New Resource: Sodium Intake for Adults and Children
For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended limits on children’s daily consumption of sodium, advising that its recommended maximum level of 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day for adults should be adjusted downward for children. WHO advised its 194 member states that high sodium levels were a factor contributing to elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. WHO recommended that adults consume less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day and at least 3,510 milligrams of potassium per day. Click here to access resource.

Food and Nutrition Service Updates Eat Smart, Live Strong Education Program
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) nutrition education resource, Eat Smart, Live Strong, has been updated. Originally released in 2008 and targeted to 60-74 year olds participating in or eligible for FNS nutrition assistance program, the program is now consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. Educators can access the updated Eat Smart, Live Strong Activity Kit by downloading materials from the SNAP-Ed Connection Web site.

Reports and Articles

Safe FoodCancer Gaps Remain for African Americans
Many improvements have been made in cancer treatments and care for African Americans within the last decade but the latest figures show cancer death rates for both African American men and women are still higher than whites.

Diet Soda May Cause Diabetes Risk
New research shows a link between the consumption of diet soda and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Healthier Menus; Healthier Profits
Healthier meal options may start popping up on more restaurant menus with the latest research showing healthy food items meaning healthier profits for the restaurant industry.

Judge Cans Soda Ban
The Wall Street Journal 3.11.13
Ruling on Sugary Drinks Marks Rare Defeat on Health Policy for Bloomberg

Hard Math: Adding Up Just How Little We Actually Move
The Wall Street Journal, 3/11/13
Working out at the gym might not be enough to stay fit if you spend much of the rest of the day sitting down.

Obese Patients With Osteoarthritis May Be Prevented, Treated By Weight Loss
Medical News Today, 3/12/13
Weight loss may prevent and significantly alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis, a progressive disease of the joints known as “wear and tear” arthritis, according to a literature review appearing in the March 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).

Sacrificing Sleep Makes For Run-Down Teens — And Parents
NPR, Allison Aubrey, 03/01/2013
When NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health asked parents and caregivers in our new poll whether getting a good night’s sleep is important, families overwhelmingly told us that sleep is a high priority.

Health Law’s Rules Help Hospitals Cut Patient Readmission Rate
Washington Post, N.C. Aizenman, 02/27/2013
Over the past several months, America’s hospitals have achieved a feat that long seemed beyond reach: substantially reducing the share of patients who must return for treatment almost as soon as they are discharged.

Social Network Could Revolutionize Disease Treatment
Wired, Ryan Tate, 02/26/2013
No one is excited to give up privacy to Facebook or Foursquare. But more and more people are sharing sensitive medical records, hoping to improve treatment, and a new system announced today will help connect their information with researchers

Your Child’s Fat, Mine’s Fine: Rose-Colored Glasses and The Obesity Epidemic
NPR, Shankar Vedantam, 03/04/2013
About 69 percent of American adults are overweight or obese, and more than four in five people say they are worried about obesity as a public health problem.

Selling Kids on Veggies When Rules Like ‘Clean Your Plate’ Fail
NPR, Patti Neighmond, 03/04/2013
If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard remarks like this during dinner: “I don’t like milk! My toast is burnt! I hate vegetables! I took a bite already! What’s for dessert?”

Campaign to Fight Unneeded Tests Targets “More is Better Mindset”
American Medical News, Kevin B. O’Reilly, 03/04/2013
There are now 135 tests, procedures and other medical interventions that specialty societies are urging physicians to think twice about before ordering, as part of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation’s Choosing Wisely initiative.

Our Children Have More to Lose if We Don’t Change the Way We Eat
Ebony, Dream Hampton, 03/01/2013
My fighter of a father survived a massive stroke but lost his life to a heart attack.

Health Care Spending is Transferred out of ICU
USA Today, Dennis Cauchon, 03/04/2013
Health care spending last year rose at one of the lowest rates in a half-century, partly the result of cost-saving measures put in place by the 2009 health care law, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Study: Not Quick Savings from Workplace Wellness
Associated Press, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, 03/04/2013
Your bosses want you to eat your broccoli, hit the treadmill and pledge you’ll never puff on a cigarette.

For Too Many Teens, Dating Violence is Part of the Landscape
Washington Post, Petula Dvorak, 03/04/2013
“She got what she deserved,” declared the 16-year-old from Montgomery County.

BPA exposure may raise child’s asthma risk
CBS News, Ryan Jaslow, 03/01/2013
Asthma rates climb in the United States every year, and a new study suggests exposure to the chemical BPA may be a reason.

Construction That Focuses on Health of Residents
New York Times, Joe Gose, 03/05/2013
Doctors, social agencies and community groups that have long been frustrated by the inability to alleviate environmental conditions that contribute to ailments like heart disease and obesity are promoting the idea that a shift in land-use planning and design can stanch some of the harmful influences.

Factors Behind Some Women’s Falling Life Span: Q&A
Wall Street Journal, Megan Buerger, 03/06/2013
A study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs suggests life span for women in some parts of the country is actually falling, a finding that generated a lively discussion among Wall Street Journal readers.
Note: Viewing this article may require a subscription.

Diabetes Costs Nation $245 Billion Annually, Study Says
USA Today, Cathy Payne, 03/06/2013
The growing toll of diabetes cost the nation a record high $245 billion in 2012, a 41% increase from $174 billion in 2007, according to new research released today.

Hospital Fare Getting a Nutrition Makeover
USA Today, Nanci Hellmich, 03/06/2013
Forget mystery meat and green Jell-O.

U.S. Childhood Obesity Fight Sees Some Success, Group Says
Reuters, Susan Heavey, 03/07/2013
U.S. companies and other groups that have made attempts to reverse the nation’s rising childhood obesity rate are starting to see results as more American kids exercise and have better access to healthy foods, they said on Thursday.

Workers’ Share of Health Costs Is Likely to Continue Rising
New York Times (Blog), Ann Carrns, 03/07/2013
Workers are paying a greater share of their health care costs, and that trend is likely to continue over the next several years, a new report on employer-based health plans finds.

If you have been searching for a new tool to advance health equity in your community, take a look at the new report Promoting Equity through the Practice of Health Impact Assessment, co-authored by PolicyLink and three partner organizations.

Fighting Fat
Tulsa World, Nour Habib, 03/11/2013
Since he began seeing a dietitian at the University of Oklahoma’s Schusterman Center Clinic about two months ago, 14-year-old Pablo Leos says he’s been feeling healthier.

Research Ties Economic Inequality to Gap in Life Expectancy
Washington Post, Michael A. Fletcher, 03/10/2013
This prosperous community is the picture of the good and ever longer life — just what policymakers have in mind when they say that raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare is a fair way to rein in the nation’s troublesome debt.

Consumers Don’t View Curbing Costs As Their Job When Choosing Treatments, Study Finds
Kaiser Health News, Michelle Andrews, 03/12/2013
In recent years, consumers have increasingly been encouraged by employers and insurers to help control rising health care costs by avoiding unnecessary tests, buying generic drugs and reducing visits to the emergency room, among other things

Judge Blocks New York City’s Limits on Big Sugary Drinks
New York Times, Michael M. Grynbaum, 03/11/2013
A judge struck down New York’s limits on large sugary drinks on Monday, one day before they were to take effect, in a significant blow to one of the most ambitious and divisive initiatives of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure.

FDA Head Says Menu Labeling ‘Thorny’ Issue
Associated Press, Mary Clare Jalonick, 03/12/2013
Diners will have to wait a little longer to find calorie counts on most restaurant chain menus, in supermarkets and on vending machines.

Miss. Governor Reviews ‘Anti-Bloomberg’ Bill, Joe Sutton and Dana Ford, 03/12/2013
Super size?

Food and Beverage Companies Ranked by Nutrition
USA Today, Nanci Hellmich, 03/12/2013
Danone, Unilever and Nestlé — companies that produce everything from frozen dinners to iced tea to baby food and ice cream — are the three best large firms worldwide when it comes to offering products that address both the problems of obesity and poor nutrition, says a new report, out today.

Difference In What Medicare Spends On Cancer Care May Not Affect Survival Rates
Kaiser Health News, Alvin Tran, 03/12/2013
Although Medicare spending for patients with advance cancers varies regionally, a new study suggests that those differences are not related to survival rates.

America’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model Newsletter

A new study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension found that a gradual decrease in salt consumption over a decade-culminating in a 40% reduction of salt intake-would prolong the lives of between 280,000 and 500,000 people by decreasing the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. The study is the first of its kind, in which three groups of researchers using different methodologies have come to the same conclusion. Cutting Salt Slowly Could Prolong Half a Million Lives

Even mummies get clogged arteries
The Washington Post, March 11, 2013
Heart disease is often thought to be a malady of the modern era, the product of lifestyles heavy on eating and light on exercise.


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