Healthy Communities- January 17, 2014


New Recommendations from the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America
In a live online event from the Newseum in Washington, the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America issued recommendations calling for action on early childhood, healthy communities, and bridging health and health care.

Videos, charts, and infographics help illustrate the need for action and shine a light on promising programs. Watch a video from the live online release event.

The Foundation created the nonpartisan Commission in 2008. In 2009, the panel issued 10 recommendations for improving the health of all Americans. In 2013, RWJF reconvened the Commission to identify actions that should be taken now, based on progress since 2009.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Published First Newsletter
The first newsletter from NIMHHD at the National Institutes of Health is called Health Disparities Pulse and will be published quarterly. The newsletter includes events, articles, reports, and funding opportunities. To subscribe, email

Ag and Food Statistics – Charting the Essentials, Food Insecurity
While most U.S. households are food secure, a minority experience food insecurity at times during the year, meaning that their access to adequate food for active, healthy living is limited by a lack of money and other resources. Food insecurity was more common in large cities and rural areas than in suburban areas. This chart appears in the Economic Research Service’s (ERS) data product, Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials. Click here to learn more about which American households struggled to put food on the table in 2012.

Presidential Youth Fitness Program Physical Educator Resource Guide
Quality physical education programs are key to helping youth develop an understanding of physical activity and fitness in order to adopt healthy, active behaviors for a lifetime. The Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP), in coordination with its program partners, has released a new document which provides a comprehensive program overview. The Presidential Youth Fitness Program Physical Educator Resource Guide is provided free-of-charge to offer schools, regardless of budget, the information they need to implement the PYFP and help their students reach their fullest potential. The guide includes information for homeschools and non-schools providing physical education.

Resource: Legacy and Partnership for Prevention’s November 21st Warner Series webinar “Community Health Centers – Helping Your Patients Quit Tobacco Use”. The archived webinar is available on the Legacy website, here.

Reports and Articles

Pump it up! Weightlifting ‘cuts diabetes risk in women’
BBC News, January 14, 2014
Women who pump iron in the gym cut their risk of developing diabetes, say researchers.
Women who engaged in at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity and at least an hour a week of muscle-strengthening activities had the most substantial risk reduction compared with inactive women. They cut their odds of developing type 2 diabetes by a third.

Education Matters More to Health than Ever Before
Americans with fewer years of education have poorer health and shorter lives—a fact that has never been more true than today. Since the 1990s, life expectancy has decreased for people without a high school education, especially White women. Now, more than ever before, people with less education face a serious health and economic disadvantage. New issue brief and video explore the links between education and health.

CDC Data Brief on Hypertension Among Adults in the United States
The National Center for Health Statistics released this summary of hypertension data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2011-2012. Some key findings are that there was no change in prevalence, awareness, treatment or control of hypertension since 2009-2010. Among adults with hypertension, only 52% were controlled. ASTHO is leading a Learning Collaborative with ten states to improve blood pressure control; more information is available on ASTHO’s Million Hearts website.

This Is Your Brain On Sugar (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post, January 8, 2014
Being able to make complex dietary choices is an incredibly important skill in this age of crowded supermarkets and high fructose corn syrup. Wading through all of the available information is often half the battle.
Lucky for us, neuroscientist Nicole Avena broke down the effect of sugar on our brains and bodies in TED-Ed‘s latest animated installment.
According to Avena, when we eat sugar a signal is sent from the tongue to the cerebral cortex that activates a “rewards system.” This in turn encourages us to eat more. A huge part of the rewards system is the release of dopamine in our brain, which, when put into overdrive, can be pretty addictive.

Researchers: Parental education, income affect obesity in teens
Obesity rates in U.S. teens whose parents obtained a college education declined between 2003 and 2010-2011, falling to between 7% and 11%, but increased in 2010 to between 26% and 29% among adolescents who came from less-affluent families, data showed. Researchers also found that more teens from higher-income families engaged in physical activity and consumed fewer calories in 2011 compared with their poorer counterparts. The results appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. HealthDay News

Higher prices cut fast food purchases among blacks, less-educated
Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed blacks and people with lower education levels were more likely than other customers to make fewer fast food purchases when prices increase. Rules influencing food prices “might have comparatively greater influence on the groups at highest risk for diet-related chronic diseases,” researchers noted. Reuters

CDC looks back at 2013 health challenges, ahead to 2014 health worries
Top achievements this year, five health threats in 2014
This has been a historic year for the Department of Health & Human Services, and I’d like to share a video highlighting some of the progress we have made thanks to your hard work. Through the Affordable Care Act, we have made quality, affordable health coverage available for millions more Americans. From advancing medical research to protecting public safety, your hard work is making a real difference in the lives of people across this country.  Thank you for your continued commitment to this Department and serving the American people. 2013: The HHS Year in Review

Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer
This recently released report includes information on cancer incidence, death and trends from 1975-2010. The report concludes that overall death rates due to cancer have declined. Read the full report.


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