Healthy Communities- December 13, 2013


AHRQ Infographic and Animated Video Essay on Multiple Chronic Conditions
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has a new video and infographic on multiple chronic conditions. Multiple Chronic Conditions: A Day in the Life is a short animated video that centers around the experiences of Mae, a woman with multiple chronic conditions, providnig insight into what it’s like to be one of the growing number of Americans of all ages with multiple chronic conditions. The accompanying infographic presents key information about why research and care for people with multiple chronic conditions is important.  Watch the video and view the infographic.

Reports and Articles
culdesacs Why Cul-de-Sacs Are Bad for Your Health
Award-winning Canadian journalist Charles Montgomery’s fascinating new book Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design examines how lessons from psychology, neuroscience, and design can help us fix broken cities and improve our quality of life in an increasingly urban-centered world. Here at the Eye, Montgomery shares an excerpt from the book.
Of every 100 American commuters, five take public transit, three walk, and only one rides a bicycle to work or school. If walking and cycling are so pleasurable, why don’t more people choose to cycle or walk to work? Why do most people fail to walk even the 10,000 daily steps needed to stay healthy? Why do we avoid public transit?

biking Bicycle, pedestrian projects vie for biggest chunk of Connect Oregon money
The Oregonian: December 4, 2013
Bicycle and pedestrian improvements top the list of proposals to spend $42 million Oregon lawmakers approved this year for transportation projects beyond the usual highway and bridge work.
In all, the Oregon Department of Transportation received 108 proposals totaling $129 million – about three times the money available. Of that, the biggest chunk, $47.5 million, is for bike and pedestrian infrastructure, said transportation spokeswoman Shelley Snow.
This is the first year that bike and pedestrian projects can qualify for the special pot of money, dubbed Connect Oregon. In the past, the money paid for rail upgrades, airport expansion, ports and public transit.

How Early Should Obesity Prevention Start?
N Engl J Med: Published Online 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.

Walkable Shopping Areas are Good for Business
A recent report released by Active Living Research found that walkable shopping areas are good for business. Dr. Gary Hack and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania conducted a review examining the potential economic benefits to businesses located in walkable communities.

Women with healthiest diets show better survival after diabetes diagnosis
Data presented at the American Heart Association meeting showed that women in the top quintile for healthy eating following diabetes diagnosis had a 52% lower risk of all-cause mortality than did those in the lowest quintile. Researchers also found that patients in the top quintile had a 49% lower risk of cardiovascular death and a 28% reduced risk of cancer-related death compared with those in the lowest quintile. Clinical Endocrinology News

As noted in the Transportation, Land Use, and Community Design sector of the NPAP, factors such as community design, development patterns, and transportation systems can have a profound effect on physical activity. Two recent reports released by the Urban Land Institute highlight the importance of health and place and align with several NPAP strategies.

Wallack, Merkley Urge Focus on Root Causes of Health Problems
The Lund Report
Focusing on prenatal health is just the beginning

In order to improve public health, policymakers need to pay attention to the social determinants of health: housing, education, location and employment status. That was the overriding theme of last week’s Human Services Coalition meeting at Portland State University.
Larry Wallack, who recently left his position as the dean of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University to work as a senior fellow at the Moore Institute of Public Health at Oregon Health & Science University, introduced his talk on the social determinants of health with quote from Frederick Douglass: “It’s better to build strong children than repair broken men.”

Survey: Many diabetes patients do not make dietary, exercise changes
Data from the international “Time 2 Do More” survey showed that 60% of type 2 diabetes patients examined did not increase their exercise levels, while 50% did not make dietary changes. Researchers also found that 75% of patients said they were not concerned about potential complications from diabetes. (U.K.)

Ten Principles for Building Healthy Places
Identifies 10 important principles that can be used when building healthy communities. Conclusions from the report were drawn from panel held by ULI in Spring 2013 as well as multidisciplinary workshops. Principles outlined in the reports are hoped to improve a communities health and lead citizens to experience longer lives with better quality of life.

Intersections: Health and Built Environment
Explores the trends in health and built environment and highlights the link between the two concepts. The report examines the relationship between health and the functionality of businesses and communities. Topics discussed in the report include global health trends, better health through community design, active transportation, healthy buildings, access to healthy foods, and clear air and clean water.


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