Healthy Communities- June 28, 2013


Making Strides toward Active Living: The Policy Research Perspective
The Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN) is showcasing the works of its network members in a supplemental edition of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice in May/June 2013. The articles in this issue demonstrate the breadth and scope of research on policies that can influence population-level physical activity. All levels of policy research are represented in this supplement.
Examples include studies related to:

  • The National Physical Activity Plan
  • Assessing state implementation of physical education policies
  • How local coalitions are impacting policy and environmental change for active living.

In addition to the articles in the supplement, 1-page summaries are available for several of the articles. Click here to access these 1-page summaries.
For more information on PAPRN or the supplement, contact Amy Eyler at Click here to access the articles.

Tribal Public Health Law Resource
The Tribal Public Health Law Resource Table lists organizations in categories such as epidemiology centers, academic, non-profit and public or legal services, that have experience in tribal public health law. The table provides contact information and highlights each organization’s focus area. We’ve recently updated this resource to include a number of new organizations.View the resource.

Dig, Eat and Be Healthy: A Guide to Growing Food on Public Property
ChangeLab Solutions introduces this guide that provides users with the tools needed to access public land for growing food. Growing food on public property is not only about having fresh, healthy food on hand, but it is also about working with public agencies, knowing the common types of agreements governing relationships between food-growers and public entities, knowing common provisions to protect liabilities and other issues, and learning about issues specific to growing food on school property. The guide concludes with sample agreements based on real-word applications that users can access and adapt for their own urban agriculture projects on public land. Click here to access guide.

With funding from the CDC, NACCHO has developed a Framework for Building Successful and Sustainable Cancer Coalitions to help LHDs collaborate with state partners to implement CCC activities.  The resources below grow out of the framework, and are designed to help LHDs develop and lead collaborative efforts to prevent cancer in their jurisdiction.  

Action Guide for Building Local Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalitions: Lessons Learned from Local Health Departments
This new action guide to helps local health departments build capacity for implementing local Comprehensive Cancer Control coalitions. Based on the results of NACCHO’s 2011-2012 Cancer Control in Local Health Departments Assessment, the action guide contains lessons learned from local health officials who have successfully implemented local coalitions to reduce the cancer burden in their communities.  Download the action guide here.
Comprehensive Cancer Control Tip Sheet: This tip sheet describes ways LHDs can partner with states to implement Comprehensive Cancer Control activities at the community level.  Download the tip sheet here.

NIH Launches Dietary Supplement Label Database
NIH launches dietary supplement label database searchable collection contains product information and ingredients from labels of dietary supplements sold in U.S.
Researchers, as well as health care providers and consumers, can now see the ingredients listed on the labels of about 17,000 dietary supplements by looking them up on a website. Click here to access the Dietary Supplement Label Database, free of charge and hosted by the National Institutes of Health.
The Dietary Supplement Label Database provides product information in one place that can be searched and organized as desired. “This database will be of great value to many diverse groups of people, including nutrition researchers, healthcare providers, consumers, and others,” said Paul M. Coates, Ph.D., director of the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). “For example, research scientists might use the Dietary Supplement Label Database to determine total nutrient intakes from food and supplements in populations they study.”
For consumers, the My Dietary Supplements (MyDS) app from ODS is already available. The app is an easy way to keep track of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other products you take, and has science-based, reliable information on dietary supplements.Click here to read full update.

Reports and Articles


Easy Way to Stop Knee Arthritis from Progressing
Harvard Medical School, 5/1/13
There is a lot of good science to suggest we can do something positive when we become weak in the knees. Steps to prevent knee osteoarthritis include reducing the weight load on your knee by maintaining an ideal weight; avoiding activities that will overstress your knees, such as running; and beefing up the muscles that support your knee. Working on the quadriceps in the front of the thigh and the hamstrings in the back of the thigh can help absorb some of the stress on your knee.
Now a new Harvard study presented recently at the annual American College of Rheumatology meeting finds that drinking soda may be associated with knee problems in men.

Vietnam vets with PTSD more than twice as likely to have heart disease
NIH-funded study finds PTSD is a risk factor for heart disease among Vietnam vets.

Junk food getting canned in schools
USA Today: June 27, 2013
Government announces new standards for snack foods not part of regular school meals:
Good-bye doughnuts, candy bars, high-fat chips, full-calorie soft drinks and chocolate sandwich cookies. Those kinds of foods and beverages will no longer be allowed to be sold in school a la carte lines, vending machines and snack bars during the school day, beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

Ban Unhealthy Foods In Hospitals To Fight Obesity
MedicalNews Today: June 27, 2013
Experts are working to ban unhealthy foods and drinks, such as crisps, chocolates, and sodas, in hospitals, as an effort to fight obesity, according to a new report.
The motion was put forward at the British Medical Association Conference and will be put into effect if it gains backing from health professionals.

The FDA’s Graphic Tobacco Warnings and the First Amendment
The New England Journal of Medicine: June 26, 2013
In the past, constitutional principle gave the government broad authority to regulate tobacco or pharmaceutical advertising. The state’s power to safeguard the public health was strong, and companies’ freedom to plug their products was weak.

The FDA and Graphic Cigarette-Pack Warnings — Thwarted by the Courts
The New England Journal of Medicine: June 26, 2013
On August 24, 2012, in R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandating the inclusion of graphic warnings on cigarette packs violated the First Amendment: they would compel companies to express antitobacco messages on their own dime. Seven months later, on March 14, 2013, the Department of Justice announced that the government would not appeal that decision to the Supreme Court

Putting Chronic Disease on the Map: Building GIS Capacity in State and Local Health Departments
Techniques based on geographic information systems (GIS) have been widely adopted and applied in the fields of infectious disease and environmental epidemiology; their use in chronic disease programs is relatively new. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention is collaborating with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and the University of Michigan to provide health departments with capacity to integrate GIS into daily operations, which support priorities for surveillance and prevention of chronic diseases.

In 2010, approximately one in three U.S. adults aged ≥20 years (an estimated 79 million persons) had prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose or hemoglobin A1c (A1c) levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Persons with prediabetes are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90%-95% of all cases of diabetes.

Many communities are working with small food retailers, such as corner stores and convenience stores, to increase access to healthy food in neighborhoods without larger grocery stores. Healthy food retailer programs offer small store owners incentives, like free advertising and refrigerators, in exchange for selling fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. While healthy food retailer programs generally start out of concern for health and equity in underserved neighborhoods, they also create new market opportunities for healthy food industries, particularly the fruit and vegetable industry (also known as the specialty crop industry).

The World Health Organization…
 …Developed a training package on strengthening health systems for treating tobacco dependence in primary care. This article describes the new initiative and the training materials are available HERE.

Food labeling: Consistent system to be rolled out
BBC News, 6/18/13
A new consistent system of front-of-pack food labeling is to be introduced in the UK, the government says.

Diet-Exercise Combo Doesn’t Cut Heart Risks in Type 2 Diabetes Patients
HealthDay News: June 24, 2013
Weight loss accomplished from diet and exercise does not appear to cut the risk of heart problems for people with diabetes, a new study finds.

Focus on Health, Not Fat, in Food Talks With Kids
 HealthDay News: June 24, 2013
There’s a right way and a wrong way to persuade your adolescent to eat healthy and help avoid obesity, a new study suggests.

Bike sharing offers big fitness benefits for the little commute
Reuters: June 24, 2013
With bike sharing plans rolling on asphalt from New York City to Budapest, experts say city streets are becoming as fitness-friendly as country trails. Even short cycling jaunts can make a difference in the health of city dwellers.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Highlights New “Smart Snacks in School” Standards; Will Ensure School Vending Machines, Snack Bars Include Healthy Choices
USDA: June 27, 2013
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that under USDA’s new ” Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards, America’s students will be offered healthier food options during the school day.
“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Parents and schools work hard to give our youngsters the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong, and providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts.”


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