Healthy Communities- May 24, 2013


State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2013 Now Available
This report provides national and state-specific information on fruit and vegetable consumption and policy and environmental supports. The data in this report can be used to illustrate how states support the consumption of fruits and vegetables, monitor progress and celebrate state successes and identify opportunities for improvement in fruit and vegetable access.
Exciting! Oregon leads the nation in adult self-reported vegetable consumption by two measures:

  • Percentage who report consuming vegetables less than one time daily (lower is better):  15.3% (U.S.: 22.6%)
  • Median intake of vegetables (times per day; higher is better): 1.9 (U.S.: 1.6)
  • Our results are not quite as impressive for fruits, but we are not slackers in that regard either

USDA’s Team Nutrition Releases Updated Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Provider Handbook
Just in time for Food Allergy Awareness Week and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, this popular new tool for child care providers is now even better! This revised version includes minor clarifications and improvements based upon
feedback from program stakeholders.
The handbook, a joint effort from USDA’s Team Nutrition and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), helps child care providers create healthier environments for the 2 though 5 year-old children in their care.
Along with the nutrition, physical activity, and screen time tip sheets, the handbook’s supplements cover additional important topics: choking prevention and food allergies. Supplement B, “Care for Children With Food Allergies,” is even more comprehensive in this newly revised version and is a vital tool for all child care facilities. The helpful “Resources” section of the handbook has also been updated and expanded.
Click here to view the handbook now available for download now from the Team Nutrition Resource Library. Print copies will be made available for ordering in the summer of 2013.

Reports and Articles
obesity09233Americans Still Making Unhealthy Choices: CDC
HealthDay News: May 21, 2013The overall health of Americans isn’t improving much, with about six in 10 people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or not exercising, a new government report shows.
Released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report found Americans continuing to make many of the lifestyle choices that have led to soaring rates of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, including the following:

  • About six of 10 adults drink, including an increase in those who reported episodic heavy drinking of five or more drinks in one day during the previous year.
  • Twenty percent of adults smoke, and less than one-half of smokers attempted to quit in the past year.
  • Only one in five adults met federal guidelines for both aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercise. One in three was completely inactive when it came to any leisure-time aerobic activity.

People choose larger portions of ‘healthy’ foods
Reuters Health: May 21, 2013
People will choose larger portions of food if they are labeled as being “healthier,” even if they have the same number of calories, according to a new study.”People think (healthier food) is lower in calories,” said Pierre Chandon, a marketing professor at the INSEAD Social Science Research Center in France, and they “tend to consume more of it.” That misconception can lead to people eating larger portion sizes of so-called healthy foods, and therefore more calories.

Long-Term View of Youth-Obesity-Prevention Policies Urged
Certain types of obesity-prevention policies involving children could result in more than $40 billion in lifetime federal savings, suggests a new report from the Campaign to End Obesity. Author Alex Brill, the CEO of an economic-policy consulting firm called Matrix Global Advisors, urges the Congressional Budget Office to develop the capacity to estimate the cost of obesity-prevention policies over a 75-year period. Click here for more information.

Health Care Quality Slowly Improving, While Some Americans Still Lack Access
The quality of U.S. health care is slowly improving, while access to health care remains a great challenge for some Americans, especially racial and ethnic minorities and low-income people, according to AHRQ’s 2012 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. The new reports call for “urgent attention” on continuing improvements in the quality of diabetes care, maternal and child health care, and treatment for conditions such as pressure ulcers and blood clots. Included in this year’s reports are new measures on early and adequate prenatal care, colorectal cancer screening, national rate of hospital-acquired conditions, standardized infection ratios at the state level for central line-associated bloodstream infections, and patient safety culture hospital survey findings. Quality and access data predate passage of the Affordable Care Act, which is addressing many of these issues. To order a print copy, email or call 1-800-358-9295

Americans Aren’t Getting Enough Exercise
Study reveals nearly 80 percent of adults do not get the recommended amount of exercise each week.

Exercise Reduces Breast Cancer: New Evidence
New research shows regular aerobic activity appears to protect young women from breast cancer by changing the way women’s bodies metabolize estrogen.

Age Amplifies Damage From Obesity, Study Finds
HealthDay News
: May 17, 2013
After age 50, excess body fat hardens the arteries, potentially increasing the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.
The blood vessels of young people can adapt to the effects of obesity, but this ability is lost after middle age, British researchers found. As body fat accumulates, arteries become stiffer, they cautioned, suggesting years of being overweight could lead to irreversible damage.
“The effects of having more fat seem to be different depending on your age. It looks like young people may be able to adapt to excess body fat, but by middle age the cumulative exposure to years of obesity may start to cause permanent damage to the arteries,” said study leader Dr. Declan O’Regan, of the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Center at Imperial College London.
One implication of the study, published in the June print issue of the journal Hypertension, is that the potential benefits of weight loss may depend on your age and how long you have been overweight, he added.

Research Shows Latino Students Have High Exposure to Unhealthy Snacks at School
NBC Latino, Amelie G. Ramirez, 05/16/2013
Latino students are widely exposed to high-fat, high-sugar snacks and drinks sold in schools, but implementing stronger nutritional standards can yield healthier school snacks for this growing population at high risk of obesity, according to a new package of research materials released today by Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children.

Michele Simon and the Center for Food Safety have just come out with a new report: Best Public Relations Money Can Buy: A Guide to Food Industry Front Groups

Food Ads Fire Up the Teenage Brain
Futurity: Research News, Staff Writer, 05/09/2013
Watching TV commercials of people munching on French fries or cereal resonates more with teens than advertisements about cell phones or the latest car.

Work Conditions Can Predict Development of Diabetes Over the Long Term, Research Finds
News-Medical, Staff Writer, 05/10/2013
Cases of type 2 diabetes continue to rise in the US. 

Check Up: Food Companies’ Idea of Healthy Draws New Heat
Philadelphia Inquirer, Marie McCullough, 05/12/2013
The nation’s largest food and beverage companies are under renewed attack for what critics see as misleading ads for obesity-promoting foods, especially ads aimed at kids.

Oregon’s Medicaid Lottery: A Participant’s View
Kaiser Health News/Washington Post, Jordan Rau, 05/10/2013
A study of Oregonians who won a 2008 state lottery to get Medicaid benefits has sparked an intense debate about the value of expanding health care to the poor and about the benefits of health insurance in general.

Poverty as a Childhood Disease
New York Times (Blog), Perri Klass, M.D., 05/13/2013
Poverty is an exam room familiar.

Grocers Object to Obama Calorie-Labeling Rules
USA Today, David Jackson, 05/13/2013
Another group is objecting to another part of President Obama’s new health care law: Grocers.

Doctors Transform How They Practice Medicine
Kaiser Health News, Ankita Rao, 05/15/2013
Dr. Thomas Bellavia transformed his traditional medical practice in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., into a so-called medical home where patients are seen by teams of doctors and nurses.

Health Law Could Penalize Some Native Americans
Associated Press, Garance Burke, 05/14/2013
When Liz DeRouen needs any kind of health care services, from diabetes counseling to a dental cleaning, she checks into a government-funded clinic in Northern California’s wine country that covers all her medical needs.

New Study: Does Better Recess Equal a Better School Day in Portland?
The Lund Report, Staff Writer, 05/14/2013
A new study released today from Mathematica Policy Research and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University suggests that there may be more to recess than just a break in the school day.

In Defense of Prevention, and the Prevention Fund
The Hill (Blog), Larry Cohen, 05/14/2013
Three years ago, when the Affordable Care Act was passed, the bill set up something that was unusually far-thinking by Washington standards: an ongoing funding source dedicated to preventing illness before it occurs.

Working to Improve Nutrition in Schools
Washington Post (Blog), Tom Fox, 05/15/2013
First lady Michelle Obama visited the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier this month and praised the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, the 2010 law designed to make school lunches more nutritious.

Structured Recess Boosts Students’ Physical Activity—a Little
Education Week, Nirvi Shah, 05/15/2013
Parents and teachers often find themselves fighting to preserve recess, and physicians say it’s a critical part of students’ daily life. But can these short play breaks, already deemed invaluable, be made even more so with a little more organized activity? Perhaps. New research shows that children whose recess time is accompanied by coaches directing their play are a little more active than kids with comparatively unstructured recess. The research released Tuesday about Playworks, a nonprofit that provides recess coaches to low-income schools, shows that children at schools with Playworks coaches spend a little more time engaged in vigorous physical activity than peers at schools without these coaches.
Editor’s Note: Playworks is an RWJF grantee.

Getting Serious About the Social Determinants of Health
Institute of Medicine, James R. Knickman, 05/09/2013
We have long known that factors outside of medical care — race, education, housing, income, and other social determinants — are the most important drivers of how healthy or sick we are. It is not new information that people of color get unequal health care and have poorer health outcomes than their white counterparts; what is new is how solid the evidence is becoming that race and discrimination alone, regardless of income or education, have a direct negative effect on health.

Consider city violence a disease, prevent it?
Smart Planet, Charlie Osborne, 05/11/2013
If violence is a virus, can you monitor “sufferers” to prevent further infection? The idea of tackling violent behavior like it is a health problem centers around the Cure Violence program, where “violence interrupters” attempt to stop the old phrase “violence breeds violence” from taking form. Gary Slutkin runs the organization, now entering its 13th year, in cities around the world. After tracking the “patterns” of violent behavior — which areas, where it is likely to strike next and who are the most ‘contagious,’ the epidemiologist’s Cure Violence scheme has been able to reduce the rate of crimes including shootings and homicides.
Editor’s Note: Cure Violence is an RWJF grantee.

What if we treated violence like a contagious disease?
TEDMED, 05/2013
Does violence spread like a disease? Epidemiologist Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says the issue has been misdiagnosed, and instead created science-based strategies that aim to stop violence before it erupts.
Editor’s Note: Cure Violence is an RWJF grantee.

Poverty as a Childhood Disease
The New York Times, Perri Klass, M.D., 05/14/2013
Poverty is an exam room familiar. From Bellevue Hospital in New York to the neighborhood health center in Boston where I used to work, poverty has filtered through many of my interactions with parents and their children.

How a Foundation’s Winning Programs Are Creating a Culture of Community Health
Governing, Mark Funkhouser, 05/13/2013
Karen DeSalvo, New Orleans’ health commissioner, is thrilled, of course, that her city was one of the six winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s inaugural Roadmaps to Health Prizes. But even if New Orleans hadn’t received one of the foundation’s $25,000 no-strings-attached grants, she says, the city still would have been a winner. That’s because the site visit by the RWJF team generated even more momentum for what the city was trying to accomplish. “Those two days,” she says, “were a validation of the fact that we have strong civic and community involvement. It was a real motivator to keep going no matter what.”


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