Healthy Communities- July 11, 2014


kisplaying Joint Use/Shared Use: Great New Resources and Best Practices to Increase Physical Activity throughout Communities
School districts and municipal organizations increasingly see shared use agreements as one of the most promising strategies to create opportunities for physical activity within a neighborhood or community. It’s also a great equalizer for access to opportunities to be active, since nearly all neighborhoods, whether rich or poor, have schools and other public buildings.

Easy access to up-to-date information and resources is key to ensuring that shared use agreements become an indispensable part of any community’s toolkit to improve public health and increase physical activity. Two leading organizations have released vital resources to support this movement:

1) The Safe Routes to School National Partnership launched the Shared Use Clearinghouse, a website designed to improve access to shared use resources that will aid communities and school districts in developing successful shared use agreement. With hundreds of resources already categorized for easy searchability and new resources being added as they are developed, the clearinghouse will provide a space for existing shared use efforts to connect to each other and help elevate the national discourse around shared use.

2) ChangeLab Solutions has launched a whole new area of their web site devoted to shared use, with plenty of nuts and bolts, samples, history, and state-by-state successes highlighted. They have also recently posted on Edutopia, Working It Out: How Shared Use Can Create Opportunities for Physical Activity, walking readers through the steps toward a successful shared use agreement, and how to overcome challenges that may arise along the way.

HHS launches challenge to improve hypertension through health IT
ONC and Million Hearts challenge looks to develop new clinical decision support tools
In an effort to help clinical practices use health information technology (health IT) like electronic health records (EHRs) to reduce high blood pressure, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today launched a new challenge asking health care professionals and other caregivers to submit the tools they use to improve patient care.

The EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge, launched by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), is part of Million Hearts®, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies including ONC, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.

Million Hearts encourages clinicians across the country to improve the quality of care through the ABCS – Aspirin when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation. ONC is at the forefront of Million Hearts by identifying how providers and practices can leverage health IT to prevent heart disease and stroke.

The direct link to the challenge is
The Federal Register Notice can be found here:

 Reports and Articles 

Hand-in-hand toward better health
The World: June 19, 2014
“It’s amazing how many big, big contributors collaborated on this,” said Jennifer Stephens, health programs coordinator for the Coquille Indian Tribe.
Amazing things happen when we all work together.
Goodness knows, collaboration and cooperation must be difficult to accomplish. Look at Congress.
But we were beneficiaries of a large-scale collaborative effort recently when 14 public and nonprofit agencies came together to mount the “Rethink Your Drink” campaign.

Thanks for health program effort
The World: June 19, 2014
Bravo to the many organizations that united to sponsor “Rethink Your Drink Coos County,” spotlighting how sugary drinks contribute to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.

The average American consumes more than 150 pounds of sugar each year. One reason is the popularity of sugary drinks: pop, sports drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, and even fruit juice. Throughout May, Rethink Your Drink promoted healthier choices, such as water and unsweetened tea or coffee.

Living with arthritis pain? Exercise is a proven pain reliever

The World: July 9, 2014
Coos County is a hot spot for arthritis in Oregon; Walk With Ease and other programs can ease pain, improve mobility

MYRTLE POINT — Summer’s here and the weather is perfect for Coos County residents with arthritis to pick up a new habit that can ease their pain: exercise.
More than 30 percent of Coos County residents have arthritis, compared to a state average of 25 percent, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
But getting your heart rate up and keeping it up, at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week (for a total of 2.5 hours a week), can reduce the pain, fatigue and stiffness from arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That could mean walking briskly, biking, swimming, dancing or yard work. Whatever you choose, most people who stick with a program of regular physical activity begin to feel better within four to six weeks, and can even reduce their risk for falls.

Severe Obesity Cuts Up to 14 Years Off Life: Study
As weight climbs, so do related deaths from heart disease, diabetes and cancer, researchers say
HealthDay: July 8, 2014
People who are severely obese may lose as many as 14 years off their life, a new study suggests.
U.S. researchers pooled data from 20 previous studies and found that a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 — considered severe obesity — raises the odds of dying early from heart disease, cancer and diabetes compared to people of normal weight.
Video to follow article: Obesity and Mortality

Hey, Congress, Oregon Has Your Long-Term Highway Funding Solution Right Here
From The Atlantic Cities Blog:
We’ve seen this movie before, where Congress heads straight toward a transportation funding cliff it totally saw coming, so we know that lawmakers will find some awkward-and-unnecessarily-dramatic way to stop at the edge. That’s great for all the jobs spared in the short term, but bad for the hope of learning any long-term lessons. Because the real danger is not this fiscal cliff, but the massive funding sinkhole coming to take car and cliff alike…[read more].

????????????????????? Less Salt, Same Taste? Food Companies Quietly Change Recipes
Wall Street Journal
Food and restaurant companies are under increasing pressure to make products healthier, but sometimes they do not want customers to know when they have cut the salt or fat. Companies have employed the “stealth health” tactic in tweaking well-known products. The decision on whether and when to tell consumers about product changes depends partly on the type of product. Companies tout nutritional improvements in foods aimed at health-conscious consumers but may not do so for items that are considered indulgences. For example, after General Mills reduced sodium levels in a line of Progresso soups in 2006, it highlighted the change on the cans. However, over a 6-year period, General Mills cut sodium per serving by 10% to 50% in more than 27 varieties of Hamburger Helper by adding ingredients such as garlic, onion, tomato, spices, and herbs, but the company did not advertise the cuts to consumers.

Salt Still High on Restaurant Menus
USA Today
Salt is quietly, gradually fading from restaurant food, concludes a new report from consumer advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The group applauds Subway, McDonald’s, and Burger King for sodium reduction from 2009 to 2013 but criticizes KFC, Jack in the Box, and Red Lobster, which it says have actually increased sodium in meals over that period. The advocacy group’s review of 136 meals from 17 top restaurant chains found that the companies reduced sodium an average 6% over the 4-year period. McDonald’s scored well in part because it has reduced the amount of fries in its Happy Meals and added apple slices; the survey showed that 100% of McDonald’s meals had reduced sodium, and its overall reduction during the 4-year period was 17%. – USA Today

Helping the Food Industry Shake Its Salt Habit
Huffington Post
Humans need sodium, but at the levels at which Americans currently consume it, sodium could be the single most dangerous substance in the food supply, according to CSPI. Café and catering services company Bon Appetit Management has learned a lot about sodium reduction, thanks to a joint campaign conducted with CSPI in 2013 to reduce salt use in the kitchens of its more than 500 cafés, according to Vice President of Strategy Maisie Ganzler. For example, the company realized that its deli and pizza stations were full of salty items. To attain its goal of a less salty turkey and Swiss sandwich, the company found lower sodium turkey and switched to it. They also added a smaller-portioned option to reduce salt; started offering cheese as an option instead of a given; pushed the lettuce, tomato, onions, and other condiments low in salt; and even introduced open-faced sandwiches, thereby cutting out 50% of the salty components.

Why Kids and Nutritionists Reject New School Lunches
Chicago Tribune
Good nutrition for school children is a priority that everyone can support, but not everyone can agree on the best way to achieve it. Recent changes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture require schools to alter their programs drastically in ways that are hard to meet, some critics claim. The School Nutrition Association, which represents more than 50,000 school nutritionists and cafeteria professionals, has called on Congress to relax the new standards specifically with regard to (1) the amount of whole grains offered, (2) sodium reduction targets that they consider unachievable and not based on science, and (3) mandatory fruit and vegetable servings.


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