Healthy Communities-September 6, 2013

Resourceswheelsrolling Getting the Wheels Rolling
A GUIDE TO USING POLICY TO CREATE BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIESGetting the Wheels Rolling: A Guide to Using Policy to Create Bicycle Friendly Communities provides a roadmap to making all types of communities bicycle friendly. More and more people are getting around by bicycle, but there is still tremendous room for growth in the numbers of people who bicycle. So what can we do? One of the most powerful ways to increase the amount of bicycle travel is the adoption of bicycle friendly laws and policies. Policies can remove obstacles to bicycling, create incentives for bicycling infrastructure, and make it easier and safer to bicycle. This guide helps policymakers figure out where to start, and spells out how to effectively use policy to promote bicycling.

FreshStay offers a list of 100% non-smoking hotels, including smoke-free guest rooms, meeting rooms, restaurants, and other public spaces.

Reports and Articles

How A Change In Gut Microbes Can Affect Weight
NPR: September 5, 2013
The evidence just keeps mounting that the microbes in our digestive systems are a factor in the obesity epidemic.
A team of European researchers recently reported they’d found that obese people appeared to have less diverse microbes in their guts then lean people. The research also showed that people with less diverse communities of gut microbes were more likely to be at risk for health problems associated with being overweight, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Now, U.S. researchers are reporting the results of some intriguing experiments involving mice that got new gut microbes through transplants. The source: obese and lean human twins. (By using twins, the researchers were trying to eliminate any genetic variation that could influence the results.)

200,000 Heart Disease, Stroke Deaths Could Be Prevented: CDC
HealthDay News: Sept 3, 2013
In 2010, more than 200,000 Americans under 75 died from heart disease and stroke that could have been prevented, health officials said Tuesday.
Sadly, more than half of those who died were under 65, according to a new report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: August 2013
U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal 2014 are forecast down from the previous year’s record-high. Exports are expected to fall $5 billion to $135 billion. Imports in fiscal 2014 are expected reach a record $113 billion.

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by School Lunch Participants: Implications for the Success of New Nutrition Standards
In schools already meeting new daily nutrition standards for fruits and vegetables as of 2005, students ate more of these foods than where the standards were not met. But many students did not eat any of the offered fruits and vegetables.

Half of People With High Blood Pressure Don’t Know It
HealthDay News: September 3, 2013
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is common around the world and the leading cause of heart disease, but many people are unaware that they have it, a new study shows.
The international team of researchers noted that this is true for wealthy, developed nations as well as low-income countries. And despite the availability of drugs to control high blood pressure, many people who do know they have the condition are not being properly treated.

Better diet tied to fewer deaths after heart attack
Reuters Health: September 3, 2013
People who changed their eating habits for the better following a heart attack tended to live longer than those who stuck to eating not-so-heart-healthy foods in a new U.S. study
Among some 4,000 men and women, those whose post-heart attack diets improved the most were 30 percent less likely to die from any cause and 40 percent less likely to die of heart disease, compared to those whose diets improved least.

Developing a behavioral model for mobile phone-based diabetes interventions
Behavioral models for mobile phone-based diabetes interventions are lacking. This study explores the potential mechanisms by which a text message-based diabetes program affected self-management among African-Americans.

Using mobile health to support the chronic care model: developing an institutional initiative.
Self-management support and team-based care are essential elements of the Chronic Care Model but are often limited by staff availability and reimbursement. Mobile phones are a promising platform for improving chronic care but there are few examples of successful health system implementation. Program Development. An iterative process of program design was built upon a pilot study and engaged multiple institutional stakeholders. Patients identified having a “human face” to the pilot program as essential. Stakeholders recognized the need to integrate the program with primary and specialty care but voiced concerns about competing demands on clinician time.

School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS)
The School Health Policies and Practices Study* (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels.
SHPPS was most recently conducted in 2012 to answer the following questions:

  • What are the characteristics of each component of school health at the state and district level?
  • Are there persons responsible for coordinating each school health program component, and what are their qualifications and educational backgrounds?
  • What collaboration occurs among staff from each school health program component and with staff from outside agencies and organizations?
  • How have key policies and practices changed over time?

Engaging in physical activity not going to put at greater risk of knee osteoarthritis
News Medical, 8/29/13
Adults age 45 and older who engaged in moderate physical activity up to two and a half hours a week did not increase their risk of developing knee osteoarthritis over a 6-year follow-up period, a new study finds.

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