Healthy Communities- August 30, 2013



The Weight of the Nation for Kids Quickstart Guide
The Weight of the Nation™, a national public health campaign focused on the obesity epidemic in the United States, premiered in May 2012 with the airing of a film series produced by HBO Documentary Films. As part of continued efforts to promote a national conversation about obesity, HBO has released a new three-part film series The Weight of the Nation for Kids. Each film spotlights middle school and high-school-aged youth who are taking the initiative to change the food and physical activity environments in their community as a way to address obesity.
Once again, Kaiser Permanente and Community Initiatives have partnered to create The Weight of the Nation for Kids Screening to Action: Quickstart Guide as a companion to these filmsThis new guide is focused on childhood obesity, its causes and how to address them within school-based settings, youth serving organizations or the broader community.

United States of Aging Resources Kit
The United States of Aging Resource Kit was created by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A), NCOA, and UnitedHealthcare to serve as a catalyst for ongoing discussions about aging preparedness within local communities. Download free materials to plan an event or begin a conversation in your community. The kit includes a presentation with talking points; fact sheets summarizing  national survey results in areas including health, community support, financial security, social media and more; a discussion guide; and ideas to promote your event. The United States of Aging Resource Kit.

Arthritis Toolkit and Community Education
The National Council on Aging and Arthritis Foundation have updated the Put Pain in its Place toolkit and program that helps professionals educate older adults about osteoarthritis and how to prevent pain.  Get details

People with Medicare and the new Health Exchange (Cover Oregon)
This fact sheet from CMS is designed to reassure people with Medicare that the Health Insurance Marketplace won’t affect their Medicare coverage and is not part of Medicare Open Enrollment, which occurs from October 15 to December 7.

Reports and Articles

healthdisparities Health disparities emerge on modern civil rights front
USA Today.
The 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech has brought renewed attention to economic inequalities and health disparities. African-Americans on average don’t live as long as whites. They have less access to private health care and healthy foods and are significantly more likely to suffer from an array of diseases and conditions, ranging from cancer and diabetes to high blood pressure and obesity.

With better health, state workers drive down their own premiums

Just a few years ago, the Oregon Public Employees’ Benefit Board was grappling with explosive growth in health care costs. Board members fully expected to pay for unrelenting annual 10 percent increases in health premiums for the state workers and university employees covered under PEBB’s plans. So it’s no wonder eyebrows shot up when PEBB announced in June that the premium rates for its largest plan – PEBB Statewide, representing 55 percent of lives covered — will actually decrease in 2014 by about half a percent.
What happened to so drastically bend the cost curve? Read the rest of this Portland Business Journal to find out…

Your Gut Bacteria May Predict Your Obesity Risk
HealthDay News: August 28, 2013
Bacteria in people’s digestive systems — gut germs — seem to affect whether they become overweight or obese, and new research sheds more light on why that might be. The findings, from an international team of scientists, also suggest that a diet heavy in fiber could change the makeup of these germs, possibly making it easier for people to shed pounds.

Heart Disease among Near Elderly Americans: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2010
Heart disease, which includes coronary heart disease, angina and heart attacks, is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for almost 1 in every 4 deaths. Among near elderly (ages 50 to 64) adults there were more than 90,000 deaths due to heart disease in 2010, or 21.6 percent of all deaths for this age group.Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women and for most racial/ethnic groups including whites, blacks, and Hispanics. A number of factors including high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight or obese and physical inactivity, increase the risk of heart disease.About 1 in 6 near elderly adults in the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population was diagnosed with heart disease in 2010.

Heart disease risk reduced by early diabetes interventions
Two treatments that slow the development of diabetes also may protect people fromheart disease, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).
Researchers examined the effect that making intensive lifestyle changes or taking the medication metformin had on cholesteroland triglyceride levels. The study, part of the National Institutes of Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program, found that both treatments induced positive changes in the level of particles that carry cholesterol and triglycerides through the blood stream. These changes could lower the chances of plaque building up in blood vessels.

Program may help black women avoid weight gain
Reuters Health: August 26, 2013
A program including self-monitoring, gym access and occasional counseling calls helped black women maintain their weight in a new study.
Black women who are overweight or slightly obese are known to have a lower risk of weight-related health problems than white women at the same weight.

Kids Benefit From Doctors’ Antismoking Counseling: Experts
HealthDay News: August 26, 2013
Whether by phone, one on one or in groups, advice and education can keep kids from starting, panel says
Primary-care doctors need to provide education and counseling to help prevent children and teens from smoking, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
“As a pediatrician, I believe that preventing tobacco use is critical in helping young people live long, healthy lives,” task force member Dr. David Grossman said in a USPSTF news release. “The good news is that we have solid evidence that primary-care clinicians can help their young patients be tobacco free. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Research shows that behavioral counseling can reduce the risk that children and teens will start smoking. Doctors can provide counseling to youths in person or over the phone, and individually or in family or group sessions, according to the task force, which is a government panel of experts.

Good Nutrition Can Boost School Performance, Expert Says
Start the day with grains, fruit and dairy
HealthDay News: August 26th, 2013
A healthy diet can help students excel in school, a registered dietitian says.
One of the best ways to jump-start a successful school day is to provide children with a nutritious morning meal, says Debby Boutwell, a clinical dietitian in the division of nutrition therapy at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Move More to Control Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Study Staying active throughout the day helps prevent obesity-related complications
HealthDay News: Aug. 23
Most pregnant women don’t get enough physical activity throughout the day to prevent excess weight gain, a new study finds.
If a woman gains too much weight during pregnancy, it increases her risk for complications such as preeclampsia (high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine) and for obesity after delivery, and also ups the baby’s risk for childhood obesity.

Depression with diabetes may speed mental decline
Reuters Health: August 23, 2013
In a study of middle-aged and older people with type 2 diabetes, declines in thinking and memory that are often linked to later dementia happened faster in those who were depressed compared to those who were not.

HPV vaccine
Officials Say HPV Vaccine Underutilized
CDC recommending primary care providers administer it in their offices along with standard childhood shots
The Lund Report: August 27, 2013
A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this summer said the HPV vaccine is “grossly underutilized” by families with children in the recommended age groups – and that the lack of uptake has less to do with availability than with lack of good information about who should get the vaccine and why.

Developing school meals with less sodium
Food Business News
Food service directors at schools need to be concerned with sodium reduction now as regulations are requiring gradual decreases in school meal programs over the next several years, Carol Chong, national nutrition adviser for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, told attendees at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference July 16.

Taste perceptions may trump health concerns when it comes to fat and sodium in foods
While Americans may be willing to forgo calories in their soft drinks and desserts, they seem less willing to embrace foods with lower fat and sodium levels. Mandatory nutrition labeling and consumer concerns about fat prompted food manufacturers to offer lower fat versions of high-fat foods in the early and mid-1990s. Products with “low/no fat” claims grew from 9 percent of all new products in 1989 to over 25 percent in 1996. But many consumers found the taste of these new fat-free and low-fat foods disappointing, which may have led companies to limit their use of low/no fat claims. From 1997 to 2001, the percentage of new products with low/no fat claims fell from 22 to 10 percent. Concerns that consumers associate poor taste with reduced-sodium foods may have contributed to fewer low/no sodium claims, as well. Products claiming to be “low/no sodium,” “low/no salt,” or “no salt added” fell from 12 percent of all new products in 1989 to 3 percent in 2001, before rising to 5 percent in 2010. This chart appears in “Obesity and Other Health Concerns Lead Food Companies To Step Up Health and Nutrient Claims” in ERS’s July 2013 Amber Waves magazine.

High cholesterol riskier for middle-aged men than women
High cholesterol levels are much more risky for middle-aged men than middle-aged women when it comes to having a first heart attack, a new study of more than 40,000 Norwegian men and women has shown.
The study, just published in the September issue of Epidemiology, shows that being a middle-aged male and having high cholesterol levels results in a negative synergistic effect that the researchers did not observe in women. However, current clinical guidelines for treating high cholesterol levels do not differentiate between men and women.

Model reveals specific risk factors associated with heart attack
Researchers in India have carried out a data mining exercise to determine which are the most important risk factors in increasing the chances of an individual suffering aheart attack. Writing in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, they confirm that the usual suspects high blood cholesterol, intake of alcohol and passive smoking play the most crucial role in “severe”, “moderate” and “mild” cardiac risks, respectively.
Subhagata Chattopadhyay of the Camellia Institute of Engineering in Kolkata adds that being male aged between 48 and 60 years are exposed to severe and moderate risk by virtue of their age and gender respectively, whereas women over 50 years old are effected by mild risk in the absence of the other factors.

Diabetes: gene variant could explain heart disease risk
Scientists say they have discovered a particular gene variant in patients with type 2 diabetes that is linked to higher risk of heart disease.
The researchers, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, conducted an analysis of five different studies and have published their findings in the journal JAMA.
This included 1,517 people with coronary heart disease (CHD), alongside 2,671 people without CHD. All participants had type 2 diabetes.
These participants were compared with 737 participants who had CHD but no sign of diabetes, and 1,637 people who had neither CHD nor diabetes

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