Healthy Communities- August 1, 2014

Strengthen Planning and Enhance Grant Proposals
Community Commons has a new online tool that lets communities visualize data down to the block level. By using the various reports, maps and tools available on the Community Commons web site, you can strengthen your planning and grant applications to help improve community outcomes. In addition to clearly defining your target community, the mapping tools also allow you to identify the populations in your area who are most vulnerable. Additional emphasis in these areas can advance health equity and improve health outcomes overall.

The ONC Hypertension Challenge has officially launched.
Please share with your providers and consider a submission: Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in collaboration with the CDC, launched the EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge to accelerate improvement on the Million Hearts® “B” strategy – Blood Pressure Control. The goal is to show how professionals are using health IT to improve patients’ cardiovascular health. Evidence-based treatment protocols are an essential tool for providers to use in improving blood pressure control.

NEW Community Guide Task Force Finding:
Combined Diet and Physical Activity Promotion Programs to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes among People at Increased Risk

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends combined diet and physical activity promotion programs for people at increased risk of type 2 diabetes based on strong evidence of effectiveness in reducing new-onset diabetes. Combined diet and physical activity promotion programs also increase the likelihood of reverting to normoglycemia (normal blood sugar) and improve diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors, including overweight, high blood glucose, high blood pressure, and abnormal lipid profile.

Based on the evidence, combined diet and physical activity promotion programs are effective across a range of counseling intensity, settings, and implementers. Programs commonly include a weight loss goal, individual or group sessions (or both) about diet and exercise, meetings with a trained diet or exercise counselor (or both), or individually tailored diet or exercise plans (or both). Higher intensity programs lead to greater weight loss and reduction in new-onset diabetes.

Economic evidence indicates that combined diet and physical activity promotion programs to prevent type 2 diabetes among people at increased risk are cost-effective.

The new Community Guide Task Force finding provides further support for states, CDC, and other partners working to promote and scale the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Reports and Articles
soda and obesity
Governor’s Task Force on the Future of Public Health Ponders Regionalization
But not all counties are on board, and Douglas County in southern Oregon plans to relinquish its responsibilities to the state in October.

India introduces ‘healthy tax’ on fizzy drinks
India is now the latest country, after Mexico, to pass a national soda tax. This is a 3-minute video story by the BBC on the new tax; there are some familiar themes here, such as opposing statements by the “Indian Beverage Association.”

Families with preschoolers purchasing fewer high-calorie beverages
Families with young children are purchasing fewer high-calorie drinks, a behavior that may explain, in part, the recent stalling and potential reversal of childhood obesity trends in the U.S.
This is among the findings of a new study, “Are food and beverage purchases in households with preschoolers changing?,” led by Christopher Ford, MPH, doctoral candidate in nutrition at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The study was published online July 18 in American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM).
“Somewhere between 2003 and 2010, the upward trend in childhood obesity started to stall, leveling off around 2007,” Ford said. “Between 2000 and 2011, total calories from foods and beverages declined by 182 calories per capita among households with preschool children, as well.” Add to this the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spanning almost the same period, that showed a decline in obesity among children ages two to five years had dropped nearly 31 percent overall.

Amount of People Residing in Poverty Areas Increases
The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Data states that one in four U.S. residents lived in poverty areas from 2008 to 2012. These numbers were one in five residents in 2000. A poverty area refers to a census tract with a poverty rate of 20% or more. In 2000, the number of people living in poverty areas was 49.5 million (18 %) and that number has drastically increased to 77.4 million (25.7%)  in 2008-2012. The five-year estimates by the 2012 American Community Survey shows a U.S poverty rate of 14.9 percent. The American Community Survey Report, Changes in Areas with Concentrated Poverty: 2000 to 2010, takes data from the previous Census and American Community Survey to analyze changes in the spatial distribution and socio-economic characteristics of people living in poverty areas.

Just for Fun: America’s Most Famous NBA Player – A Bike Commuter!
Well, the Decision Part II is official, and northeast Ohio’s prodigal son LeBron James is heading back to Cleveland. The most immediate result is that the Cavaliers are going to get much, much better. Aside from his phenomenal basketball skills, LeBron has moonlighted as a bit of a bike advocate. For years, he’s held a charitable bike ride in his hometown of Akron. He and teammate Dwyane Wade crashed a Critical Mass bike ride in Miami. He also took to bike commuting to AmericanAirlines Arena during his time with the Heat. Read more on StreetsBlog about what LeBron can do to promote biking.

Toward More Comprehensive Food Labeling
NEJM: July 23, 2014
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to revise the Nutrition Facts label that must appear on virtually all packaged foods in the United States. The agency’s proposals are strong, urgently needed, and likely to make an important contribution to consumer behavior.
Opinion piece by Dr. David Kessler, former FDA commissioner

NYC Reports Decline in Severe Childhood Obesity
Rates of severe obesity among K-8 students in New York City decreased nearly ten percent between the 2006–07 and 2010–11 school years, according to a report from the city’s health department. Health officials issued a series of recommendations to further reduce obesity rates, including at least 60 minutes of physical activity for both children and adults, eating more fruits and vegetables, and avoiding sugary beverages.

Extreme Obesity Shortens Lifespan More Than Smoking
Extremely obese individuals—defined as those with those with of a body mass index of at least 40—live 6.5 to 13.7 fewer years than their healthy weight peers, according to a study published last week in PLoS Medicine. The research review of more than 20 studies conducted in the United States, Australia and Sweden concluded that those with the highest levels of extreme obesity have shorter lifespans than smokers.

Bike Boxes, Bike Signals, Contraflow Bike Lanes…All Get Official Nod From U.S. Engineering Establishment
As public health advocates, it can be helpful to know just what is and what is not accepted as common practice in the transportation world. Check out this piece posted in Streetsblog.
Buffered bike lanes have been used in some American cities for decades now, and an increasing number of cities are implementing contraflow bike lanes. But only just now are these street designs getting official recognition from powerful standard-setters inside the U.S. engineering establishment. Late last month, the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices gave its approval to 11 treatments, including these two bike lane configurations. Committee members also, as anticipated, approved bike boxes and bike signals, which had been considered “experimental,” as well as bike lane markings that continue through intersections.

Cancer Prevetion and Worksite Health Promtion: Time to Join Foreces
An essay titled, “Cancer Prevention and Worksite Health Promotion: Time to Join Forces” was published today in Preventing Chronic Disease:  Ideas presented in the essay stem from discussions held during the Cancer prevention across the lifespan (CPAL)-hosted meeting on “Opportunities for Cancer Prevention in the Workplace” (held July 2013).  The essay draws attention to a wide variety of available CDC resources on workplace health promotion and protection and provides ideas for new efforts to advance primary cancer prevention among working adults.  The essay was written by the Cancer Prevention in the Workplace Writing Group, which includes individuals from across our Center, as well as individuals from NIOSH, CDC’s Worklife Wellness Office, CDC’s Community Guide Branch, Emory University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Study: People Living Near Bicycle / Pedestrian Paths Get More Exercise
According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, over time, people who live near bicycle and walking paths become more active than those who do not. The report authors suggest that new, traffic-free routes generate more new trips in the long-term and support the potential for walking and cycling infrastructure to promote physical activity.
New York Times : Introducing the National Soda Tax
Get this: Rosa DeLauro, the brave and beloved 12-term congresswoman from New Haven, will be introducing a bill in the House of Representatives Wednesday that would require a national tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. And it’s about time. You know the big picture, even if you’ve forgotten the details, so I’m going to spare you the stats about obesity and diabetes that have been reiterated here and elsewhere ad infinitum. (If you want a refresher course, see this.) Suffice it to say that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to obesity and diabetes, and that some form of control is needed.

With coalition-building (the American Public Health Association and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, among others, are supporting the SWEET Act), education and continuing research and revelations about the damage wrought by high sugar consumption, we should see increased support for regulation of the marketing and sales of what’s sometimes called “liquid candy.”

Obesity risk reduced by high physical activity and less sitting in leisure time
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) suggests that both higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sitting in leisure time may be required to substantially reduce the risk of obesity

High-salt diet doubles threat of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes People with Type 2 diabetes who eat a diet high in salt face twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as those who consume less sodium, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’sJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

 Monitoring pulse after stroke may prevent a second stroke
New research suggests that regularly monitoring your pulse after a stroke or the pulse of a loved one who has experienced a stroke may be a simple and effective first step in detecting irregular heartbeat, a major cause of having a second stroke. The study is published in the July 23, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.


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