Healthy Communities- September 19, 2014

Healthy Communities

Place Matters Bikes
Register now for the 2014 Place Matters Conference!

The Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division invites you!
Join others working to create conditions and environments for tobacco free living, healthy eating and active living.
Date:  Wednesday, November 19 – Friday, November 21, 2014
Place: Hilton Portland, 921 SW Sixth Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Registration Fee*: $50; $25 students and seniors
Take action now: Get registered**View the full and printable agendas for conference opportunities at;


Calling All Oregon Charities!
On October 19, PacificSource Healthy Life will kick off its fourth annual Healthy Life Civil War Challenge, encouraging Beaver and Duck fans to make a pledge to a Healthy Life activity during the weeks leading up to the Oregon State vs. Oregon Civil War football game on November 29. Pledge participants will also be given the opportunity to select one of four nonprofit organizations to receive a $1 donation on their behalf.
How does it work?
Pledge participants will pledge to do one of the following

Get Moving: Add 30 minutes of fun physical activity to their day
Eat Healthy: Eat at least five servings of fruit and veggies  per day
Kick the Habit: Go smoke and tobacco free
Relax:Reduce stress by getting eight hours of sleep a night or take a few minutes out of each day to practice deep breathing or other relaxation techniques.Pledge participants will then select one of four 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organizations that provide prevention and wellness programs to communities within Oregon. For every pledge that is made, PacificSource Healthy Life will donate $1 toward the participant’s organization of choice.

PacificSource will commit a baseline donation of $1,500 toward each organization, regardless of the number of pledges. If an organization receives more than 1,500 pledges, they will receive the equal amount of dollars, up to $10,000 across the four organizations.


The Challenge will begin October 19 and conclude on November 26, 2014. The university with the greatest number of pledges will be recognized during the Civil War football game on Saturday, November 29.


How to submit your charity

We’re searching for charitable 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organizations to benefit from this challenge. To qualify, the organization must focus on improving the health of Oregon communities in the areas of physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco prevention, or stress management.  Four charities from throughout the state of Oregon will be selected to participate in the Challenge.


Write a description of your charitable organization (up to 500 words), including why you should be selected as a 2014 PacificSource Healthy Life Civil War Challenge charity of choice, how you plan to use the pledge funds you receive, and how you will communicate the campaign to your advocates (the more pledges you get, the more your charity gets). Email your description to Alexa Shook, Healthy Life Director, at by Wednesday, September 24, 2014.
We will notify the chosen charities by email no later than Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
For more about the upcoming Civil War Challenge, click here:


Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit
How healthy is your workplace? This new resource will help you improve the food environment and promote a culture of health. It provides practical action steps and suggestions that are easy to understand and apply. Get the toolkit now.

Poll: Parents Support Healthier School Food Policies by 3-to-1 Margin
The vast majority of parents of school-age children support strong national nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students during school, according to a poll released yesterday by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the American Heart Association (AHA). Among the findings:
72 percent favor national standards for school meals.
72 percent support standards for school snacks.
91 percent support requiring schools to include a serving of fruits or vegetables with every meal.
75 percent think salt should be limited in meals

Reports and Articles




Vending Study
A new study of healthier vending in Chicago parks found nearly 90 percent of Chicago park-goers like the healthier options and healthier snacks boosted average monthly per-machine sales from $84 to $371. This study demonstrates more good reasons to push for healthier food choices for state and local property and programs. For more information on how to work to improve options in your state, county, or city, give me a call or visit
The positive results reported by the Chicago Tribune show once again that healthier vending can and should be the norm on all public property. People liked the healthier options (though some wanted even healthier choices) and sales increased (so vendors have no reason to oppose healthy vending initiatives). To find out how to get healthier vending in your city or state, visit



How Infant Feeding Practices Affect Children at Age Six: A follow up to the Infant Feeding Practices Study II
On Tuesday September 2nd, the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity released a Pediatrics supplement describing associations between infant feeding practices and dietary outcomes at age 6 years using data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II and the Year Six Follow up.  The findings reinforce the importance of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on breastfeeding and early feeding and the importance of establishing healthy feeding practices in infancy.The following is a  direct link to the supplement  The studies included in this issue present new data from a follow-up study of children at 6 years of age who previously participated in the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS-II), which followed infants almost monthly from the third trimester of pregnancy to the age of 12 months.

Weighty Subject
The Register-Guard
The University of Oregon wants to join the national rush to discover why so many American kids are so fat, and what to do about it. Researchers at the UO’s Preventive Science Institute hope to figure out how to help those children avoid excessive eating, maintain a healthy weight and roll back a trend that’s ushered into elementary schools the chronic illnesses historically brought on by aging. The article ties into PMO by stating, “The increase in obesity has been fueled by a complex interplay of environmental, social, economic and behavioral factors – all acting on a background of genetic susceptibility, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Artificial Sweeteners Alter Metabolism, Study Finds
The New York Times
Artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, causing metabolic changes that can be a precursor to diabetes, researchers are reporting

A Gradual Retreat from Diabetes
The New York Times
Avoid extremes when trying to improve diet and exercise.
THIS YEAR NEARLY two million American adults and more than 5,000 children and adolescents will learn they have a potentially devastating, life-shortening, yet largely preventable disease: Type 2 diabetes. They will join 29.1 million Americans who already have diabetes.

Dietary self-monitoring aided by smartphone apps
Smartphones have seen wide adoption among Americans in recent years because of their ease of use and adaptability. With that in mind, researchers from Arizona State University examined how smartphone use affected weight loss goals and determined that smartphones may offer users an advantage over traditional methods when tracking diet data.
Roughly 83% of Americans now own a mobile phone and 45% own smartphones with Internet access. For this study, researchers recruited healthy, weight-stable adults and semirandomly divided them into groups based on their diet-tracking method. The groups consisted of those who used the “Lose It!” app, those who recorded dietary intake using the memo function of their smartphone, and those who used traditional paper and pencil to record their diet. Although smartphone use did not affect total weight loss among the 47 participants who completed the study, the researchers observed better diet tracking results among those in the smartphone-use groups.

A new “Walk with Ease” class in Corvallis for those with arthritis and other chronic illnesses is hoping to expand if enough people can be signed on as leaders: Corvallis Gazette-Times:


Salt Studies Present Conundrums for Food Industry
The food industry is so far treading carefully on the recent batch of sodium-related articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine. There are two reasons for that: first, because at this point it is impossible for food producers to know what to do with these new data; second, because over the years, the food industry has created a thriving market for “low sodium” products. Any kind of sweeping statement on salt would hurt one part of the industry or another. So what do food manufacturers do when research shows that both too much and too little salt might be harmful? Taking a “Goldilocks” approach—claiming that their products contain the “just right” amount of salt—would be difficult to convey on a label, especially with little agreement on how much is “just right.” More research is needed, but none of the recent research counters the overwhelming scientific consensus: in general, people consume too much salt and doing so poses health risks, particularly hypertension. – Fortune


Dash of Salt Does No Harm; Extremes Are the Enemy
A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed what people have known for years: diets high in salt can have negative health consequences for people with high blood pressure. The researchers monitored more than 100,000 people in 18 countries and found that people who consumed more sodium generally had significantly higher blood pressures than those who did not. Another manuscript in the same journal looking at the same study population found that people who consumed more than 7 grams of sodium per day had a significantly higher chance of death, and higher rates of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke, than people who ate 3 to 6 grams per day. These results confirm that people who eat too much salt should cut back. The problem with the way people respond to such information, however, is that they often run too far and too fast in the other direction; a diet too low in sodium also is correlated with higher mortality from cardiovascular causes. – New York Times


U.S. Diet Quality Improves, But Gap Widens Between Rich and Poor
A new study of Americans’ eating habits, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that people are generally choosing to eat more healthy foods, and consumption of trans fats has plummeted in the past decade. However, sodium intake was on the rise for Americans, and diet quality improved mainly among more educated and well-off Americans, resulting in a gap between rich and poor that was wider in 2010 than in 1999. Using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 1999 through 2010, the researchers scored the quality of people’s diets according to an index based on established links between specific foods and disease, in which health foods receive higher scores. The average American diet quality score increased from 39.9 in the 1999–2000 survey to 46.8 in 2009–2010. Lower consumption of trans fats accounted for more than half of the score increase, whereas rising sodium intake dropped the national score by about half a point. – Reuters


ECHOES Success Stories
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy & Leadership (APPEAL)
APPEAL’s Empowering Communities for Health Opportunity, Equity, and Sustainability (ECHOES) program has brought together a collection of success stories about how communities have been empowered on issues related to tobacco-free living, healthy eating and active lifestyles.  Check out all the success stories HERE!


It’s Not Just a Day: How One Small Step to School Can Lead to One Giant Leap for your Community
Walking plays a central role in our lives, from our first tiny baby steps, to the seemingly huge “steps” we take to become adults. Walking to school helps us master the art of walking, giving parents a chance to spend quality time with children, helping reinforce the rules of the road, and creating a fun opportunity for kids to explore their world. Beyond friendship and fun, ditching the daily drive in favor of the walk to school can have a lasting impact on the health of a community. [Read more of this blog post…]

This October 8th, honor your health and the health of your community by participating in International Walk to School day, along with millions of families across the country and around the world. Check out Oregon’s Fire up your Feet web page for all you need to know to help public health and education partners grow this movement. Here’s the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Top Five List of reasons to sign up schools to participate in Walk+Bike to School Day (October 8th) and The Fire Up Your Feet Challenge (the entire month of October):

When I ask kids what they love about biking, they say “the wind.” (Kids are awesome.)
Walking and biking to school is way more fun because it is social; you get to chat with all sorts of neighbors along the way.
You get to order your choice of free goodies: Posters, Stickers, Ribbons, and Temporary Tattoos. (You do not need to pay as long as you stay under the ordering limits for incentives.)
60% of kids don’t get any exercise outside of school. (What?! That’s outrageous!)
More kids walking and biking means a better future for ALL of us.

As an added incentive to participate, since Oregon is in in a sponsored Fire Up Your Feet region, Fire Up Your Feet will offer $12,000 in awards to schools that track walking activity anytime during the month. Schools tracking 25 or more walkers will be entered into a drawing that offers over $9,000 in awards, while an additional $3,000 will be awarded to schools with the most walkers during the second weekly breakout challenge.


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