Healthy Communities- October 18, 2013

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Ditch the candy dish! And other workplace wellness advice
The Affordable Care Act isn’t just about treating illness. It also contains provisions to promote wellness in the workplace.
Additionally, there are a bunch of free or low-cost strategies employers can use to improve their employees’ health. We’ll get to those in a minute.
Dawn Robbins, program manager for the Oregon Public Health Institute’s Wellness@Work program, said she has noticed more interest than ever in employee wellness. It’s no wonder. At a time when many businesses are feeling squeezed from all sides, one way to hold down costs — in the form of insurance premiums — and increase productivity is to improve the health of employees.

Resources

The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance
“new Affordable Care Act requirements state that the country’s 2,900+ nonprofit hospitals must assess community health needs and implement strategies to address them.”  Further, “With overweight and obesity affecting nearly 70% of the U.S. population, what impact may these requirements have on addressing obesity?”  A panel has been scheduled to address this topic on Thursday, October 31st at The George Washington University.  For more details and to register.

Minnesota’s PSE Approaches and Resources
Minnesota is one of 13 funded programs for the PSE pilot demonstration grants from CDC NCCCP. Our program works in collaboration with the Minnesota Cancer Alliance (Alliance) to implement the following PSE change agenda.
      Reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages: The Alliance has been providing evidence-based information to key stakeholders and policy leaders interested in reducing consumption of sugary drinks, particularly health care leaders. Resources include an Obesity and Cancer fact sheet and policy brief on SSB’s, Obesity, and Cancer. The Alliance also endorsed the Commons Health Hospital Challenge (CHHC), which supports the voluntary phase-out of hospital sugar-sweetened beverage sales. The Alliance supported the challenge by contracting with the Public Health Law Center to develop the Minnesota Healthy Beverages in Healthcare Toolkit. Read the Commissioner of the Health’s comments in the Duluth News Tribune praising the work and leadership of area hospitals accepting the CHHC regarding sugar-sweetened beverages.

Reports and Articles

McDonald’s to Serve More Fruits, Vegetables
At the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, McDonald’s announced a new commitment to serve more vegetables and fruits in most of its major markets by expanding options in its meals for adults and children. McDonald’s chief executive Don Thompson said the restaurant chain would provide the choice of a side salad, fruit, or vegetable as a substitute for French fries in its Extra Value Meals. Although more fruits and vegetables in McDonald’s meals was “good news for children and adults,” according to Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, she called on McDonald’s to further reduce sodium in its food. – Nation’s Restaurant News

Participation in Cardiac Rehab Program Improves Recovery in Stroke Patients:
Oct. 16, 2013
Stroke patients who participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program for six months make rapid gains in how far and fast they can walk, the use of weakened limbs and their ability to sit and stand, according to a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

Doctors Should Routinely Evaluate Patients’ Physical Activity Habits
Oct. 14, 2013
Doctors should evaluate your physical activity habits as routinely as checking your blood pressure and other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, the American Heart Association recommends in a scientific statement published in its journal Circulation

Stroke Hospitals More Likely to Provide Guideline-Recommended Treatment
Oct. 14, 2013
Award-winning Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke hospitals are more likely than Primary Stroke Center certified hospitals to provide all the recommended guideline-based care for patients.

Deaths and cardiovascular events in heart disease patients halved by psychological interventions:
Psychological interventions halve deaths and cardiovascular events in heart diseasepatients, according to research from Athens, Greece, presented at the Acute Cardiac Care Congress 2013.
The Acute Cardiac Care Congress 2013 is the annual meeting of the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association (ACCA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). It took place 12-14 October in Madrid, Spain

Outdoor Air Pollution Causes Lung Cancer, WHO Says
October 17, 2013
W.H.O. declares air pollution a carcinogen
Outdoor air pollution can cause lung cancer, a World Health Organization agency said, ranking it as a carcinogen for the first time.
Pollution was also linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, based in Lyon, France, said in a statement on its Web site today, citing a review of studies.
Air pollution, which has also been linked to heart disease, caused about 223,000 deaths from lung cancer globally in 2010, according to the IARC. Particulate matter, which comes from vehicles, power plants, other industrial sites and biomass burning and is a major component of the pollution, was evaluated separately and also found to cause cancer.
“This report should send a strong signal to the international community to take action,” said IARC Director Christopher Wild. “We can’t treat our way out of this cancer problem. The first step is identifying the causes.”

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