Healthy Communities- July 3, 2014

appleandbooks New Resource: Promoting Health Through Local School Wellness Policies
Local school wellness policies (wellness policies) provide an opportunity to create a healthy school environment where students are ready to learn.

CDC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-supported Bridging the Gap (BTG) research program developed a series of seven briefs highlighting opportunities to support wellness policies through evidence-based strategies. These briefs provide an assessment of policies across school districts nationwide, related to seven wellness policy components.

State agencies, school districts, and schools can use these briefs to identify areas of opportunity to strengthen wellness policy components.

Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Resource Center Now Available
Million Hearts® and Eating – Well Magazine recently launched the Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Resource Center, an interactive website featuring recipes, meal plans, and articles related to heart healthy living. The Meal Plan includes 4 weeks of healthful meals, recipes, printable shopping lists, and customized calorie levels to meet weight goals. Additionally, all meals contain less than 1,500 mg of sodium.

Reports and Articles

energy drinks Documents Link More Deaths to Energy Drinks
CSPI: June 25, 2014
CSPI just released the latest data from our FOIA request on deaths and injuries linked to energy drinks.
In their letter to FDA, they ask the agency to:

  • Issue a public health warning to discourage people, especially those under 18, from consuming energy drinks and suggest to state and localities that they bar the sale of energy drinks to people under 18.
  • Initiate a rulemaking to require that all beverages consumed in a soda-like manner, including energy drinks, comply with the same regulations that limit caffeine in “cola-type beverages” (0.02%, or 71 milligrams per 12 ounces, see21 C.F.R. § 182.1180).
  • Initiate a rulemaking to require warning labels on energy drinks to alert consumers of the possible risk of heart attack, convulsion, and other adverse reactions.
  •  Initiate a thorough and independent study of the safety of these ingredients, both alone and in combination with each other in formulations typical of energy drinks.

Reducing Population Sodium Intake
The NYC Department of Health and the American Heart Association co-released a Consensus Statement on Sodium, bringing together 34 of the world’s leading scientists to reaffirm the benefits of reducing population sodium intake to heart disease. Log in to the Sodium Reduction Leaders Community to read the full press release and the names and affiliations of the scientists who have signed on to the statement.

Report: Food Sodium Levels at Many Top Chains Continue to Be Unhealthily High
From 2009 to 2013, the nation’s top restaurant chains reduced the sodium in their foods by an average of only 1.5 percent annually, according to a new report from the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). In a review of 136 meals from 17 chains, researchers determined that approximately 79 percent of the 81 adult meals contained more than 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium—or one mg more than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends as a full day’s limit. The study also found efforts to reduce sodium to be inconsistent, with some chains actually increasing the amounts over the studied time period. CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson said the findings indicate that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “wait-and-see” approach to sodium in packaged and restaurant food doesn’t work and that a new approach is needed. Read more on nutrition.

CDC: Antibiotic-resistant Foodborne Germs Remain a Serious Public Health Issue
New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates both positive and negative trends in the ongoing public health fight against antibiotic-resistant foodborne germs, which contribute to an estimated 430,000 U.S. illnesses every year. According to the data, multi-drug resistant Salmonella—which causes approximately 100,000 U.S. illnesses annually—decreased over the past decade, but Salmonella typhi resistance to certain drugs increased by 68 percent in 2012, meaning one of the common treatments for typhoid fever may not be effective. “Our latest data show some progress in reducing resistance among some germs that make people sick but unfortunately we’re also seeing greater resistance in some pathogens, like certain types of Salmonella,” said Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, deputy director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases. “Infections with antibiotic-resistant germs are often more severe. These data will help doctors prescribe treatments that work and to help CDC and our public health partners identify and stop outbreaks caused by resistant germs faster and protect people’s health.” Read more on food safety.

Couch potatoes pay attention! Sitting too much can cause cancer

The Washington Post: June 30, 2014
THE QUESTION Spending too much time sitting — in front of a TV or computer, in the car or at a desk at work, for instance — has been linked to increasing rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Might being sedentary also lead to cancer?

THIS STUDY analyzed data from 14 studies that assessed the time people spent being sedentary, whether due to their job or as part of their recreation. The studies involved 4,068,437 people, including 68,936 with cancer diagnoses. Those who were the most sedentary were 24 percent more likely to have colon cancer than the least sedentary people. The most sedentary women, compared with the least sedentary, had a 32 percent increased risk for endometrial cancer.
Michael Bloomberg

NYC’s big-soda ban is dead
New York Post: June 26, 2014
Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when it approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling, but determined that the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.


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