Healthy Communities- November 15, 2013


HHS HealthBeat (November 14, 2013)
Eating what you watch
Researchers are concerned about kids eating what they watch. Researchers at Michigan State University examined data on online video games called “advergames,” targeting children ages 2 to 11 years, by food marketers. Listen to the Podcast 

Reports and Articles



How Early Should Obesity Prevention Start?
NEJM: November 13, 2013
Obesity has pervaded the United States and is spreading throughout the world. Following in its wake is type 2 diabetes, which will affect at least half a billion people worldwide by 2030. A majority of U.S. women of childbearing age are overweight or obese (as defined by a body-mass index [BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters] >25). These women are likely to gain excessive weight when they’re pregnant, making it harder for them to return to their prepregnancy weight after delivery. Postpartum weight retention not only portends increased lifelong risks for obesity-related complications but also an increased BMI at the inception of future pregnancies. During pregnancy, excessive weight gain, along with other risk factors such as gestational diabetes, can alter fetal growth and metabolism, leading to higher adiposity in the offspring. If the child is female, grows up obese, and becomes pregnant, the cycle begins again. It is time to interrupt this vicious cycle to prevent obesity and chronic diseases in mothers and children.

New policy statements address paid sick leave, access to nature, solitary confinement and more
The American Public Health Association adopted 17 new policy statements at its 141st Annual Meeting in Boston covering topics ranging from social security to noise pollution to extending paid sick leave policies.

Worldwide diabetes rates hit new record, expected to grow further
Worldwide diabetes cases hit a new record at 382 million in 2013, compared with 371 million cases last year, according to the latest estimate by the International Diabetes Federation. Researchers also said the number of people living with diabetes may rise to 592 million by 2035. The disease currently accounts for $548 billion in annual health care spending, and that figure is likely to reach $627 billion by 2035, researchers added.

Health Department Launches Free Site that Provides an Easy Way to Assess the Nutritional Content of Foods and Beverages at National Chain Restaurants
NYC Health Department just launched MenuStat, a public database of 35,000 restaurant foods and beverages from 66 of the top U.S. restaurant chains.  MenuStat allows users to analyze nutrition trends across restaurants, food categories, and over time.  The idea was born out of our experience building the National Salt Reduction Initiative databases, and our interest in sharing the information with the public.  We believe that MenuStat will be an important and unique resource for public health organizations, food industry professionals, researchers, and consumers.  Here is the press release if you’d like to read more.

Panel Unveils Shake-up in Strategy to Cut Heart Risk
The Wall Street Journal: November 12, 2013
The current strategy of reducing a person’s heart-attack risk by lowering cholesterol to specific targets is being jettisoned under new clinical guidelines unveiled Tuesday that mark the biggest shift in cardiovascular-disease prevention in nearly three decades.
The change could more than double the number of Americans who qualify for treatment with the cholesterol-cutting drugs known as statins.

Too much of too little
A diet fueled by food stamps is making South Texans obese but leaving them hungry

The Washington Post
They were already running late for a doctor’s appointment, but first the Salas family hurried into their kitchen for another breakfast paid for by the federal government. The 4-year-old grabbed a bag of cheddar-flavored potato chips and a granola bar. The 9-year-old filled a bowl with sugary cereal and then gulped down chocolate milk. Their mother, Blanca, arrived at the refrigerator and reached into the drawer where she stored the insulin needed to treat her diabetes. She filled a needle with fluid and injected it into her stomach with a practiced jab.
“Let’s go,” she told the children, rushing them out of the kitchen and into the car. “We can stop for snacks on our way home.”

New guideline for assessing cardiovascular risk in adults released by ACC/AHA
MNT: November 14, 2013
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have released a new clinical practice guideline to help primary care clinicians better identify adults who may be at high risk for developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, potentially serious cardiovascular conditions caused byatherosclerosis, and who thus may benefit from lifestyle changes or drug therapy to help prevent it.

Being overweight or obese are risk factors for heart disease regardless of metabolic syndrome
MNT: November 12, 2013
Being overweight or obese are risk factors for myocardial infarction (heart attack) and ischemic heart disease (IHD) regardless of whether individuals also have the cluster of cardiovascular risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar, according to a study published byJAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Director’s Corner: Collaborative Partnership Model Results in New Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Guidelines
In June, the NHLBI announced in an essay published in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that the Institute was focusing its efforts on knowledge generation and evidence synthesis by implementing a new collaborative partnership model to develop new cardiovascular clinical practice guidelines based upon NHLBI-sponsored systematic evidence reviews. In the short time since that announcement, four of the five Expert Panels/Working Groups embraced the collaborative model and worked successfully with the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and other professional societies to develop new cardiovascular disease (CVD) clinical practice guidelines for lifestyle, risk assessment, cholesterol, and obesity.

These new guidelines led by the AHA and ACC and endorsed by other professional societies provide a valuable updated roadmap to help clinicians and patients manage prevention and treatment challenges. There are many significant points in the new guidelines, and below are several items of note:

  • Lifestyle: Recommendations include reducing saturated fat, trans fat and sodium intakes below current population levels and engaging in physical activity an average of 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, 3-4 times a week.
  • Risk Assessment: The guideline has been broadened to include assessment for risk of stroke as well as heart attack and provide new sex- and race-specific formulas for predicting risk in African-American and white women and men.
  • Cholesterol: The guideline identifies four major groups of patients for whom cholesterol-lowering HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins, have the greatest chance of preventing stroke and heart attacks.
  • Overweight & Obesity: The report summarizes knowledge on diets for weight loss, the efficacy and effectiveness of comprehensive lifestyle interventions on weight loss and weight loss maintenance, and the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery.

“Did You Know?” is a weekly feature from the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support to inform your prevention activities. We invite you to read, share, and take action!



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