Healthy Communities- October 17, 2014

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

breast cancer

Today sees the publication of our new report on breast cancer survivors. Published as part of the Continuous Update Project – our ongoing programme to analyse global research on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight affect cancer risk and survival – the report is the most rigorous, systematic, global analysis of the scientific research currently available on breast cancer survivors, and how certain lifestyle factors affect how likely it is that a person will survive after developing the disease.

The report, which specifically focuses on female breast cancer survivors, concluded that because of limitations in either the design or execution of much of the research that exists, the evidence is not strong enough to make specific recommendations for breast cancer survivors. However, there are indications of links between better survival after breast cancer and:

  • a healthy body weight
  • being physically active
  • eating foods containing fibre
  • eating foods containing soy
  • a lower intake of total fat and, in particular, saturated fat.

But other factors may explain these links, so further research is needed to investigate the reason for the associations.
A more detailed overview of the findings is available in the Executive Summary of the report which can be found here.


Please join OPHI at the Oregon Healthiest State kickoff event on November 13th.
OPHI is committed to reducing inequities and disparities to create an Oregon where the places we live, learn, work and play support vibrant communities of health. Oregon Healthiest State will add more tools to our toolkit and provide an opportunity to learn how together we can make the healthy choice the easy choice for all Oregonians.
Here is a link to their information/registration page and we look forward to seeing you on November 13th. Bring a group from your community and see what ideas might percolate. And scholarships are available – contact Sarah Foster at


Congratulations to Sisters, Oregon for becoming America’s 50th “Walk Friendly Community”
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) announced three new Walk Friendly Communities, bringing the total to 50.  Bellevue, WA received silver level and Portsmouth, VA and Sisters, OR received bronze level. The “Walk Friendly Communities” program recognizes and celebrates the successes of towns and cities working to improve a wide range of walking-related conditions such as safety, mobility, access, and comfort. the core of the WFC program is a comprehensive assessment tool that evaluates community walkability and pedestrian safety through questions related to engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning. The assessment tool questions are intended to both evaluate conditions for walking and provide communities with feedback and ideas for promoting pedestrian safety and activity.

Modeled after the League of American Bicyclists’ “Bicycle Friendly Communities,” WFC distinguishes cities and towns that are leading the way in walkability. WFC is the first program to highlight communities for their walkability initiatives and programs, while also offering feedback to assist communities in improving walkability.

This national program is led by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Since its inception in 1999, PBIC’s mission has been to improve the quality of life in communities through the increase of safe walking and bicycling as a viable means of transportation and physical activity. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is maintained by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.


Sedentary Time and Obesity Findings
National guidelines recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day for children and teens, but the majority of young people do not meet that goal. Spending excessive time engaging in sedentary behaviors, such as watching TV, playing video games, and other screen time activities, contributes to the problem. This infographic features evidence on trends in sedentary behaviors among youth and their impact on obesity. Findings presented in this infographic come from a related ALR research review.


ASTHO Launches Blog
ASTHO has launched a new blog to communicate credible, timely information on issues important to state and territorial health agencies and public health professionals. The blog went live on Oct. 7, and will be updated weekly with features, state stories, and public health news. The first post features an interview with ASTHO President Jewel Mullen (CT) on her motivation and vision for the 2015 ASTHO President’s Challenge on Healthy Aging. Please send any questions or feedback about to the ASTHO communications team.


New U.S. Department of Transportation Initiative Offers a Primer to Make Biking Safer
Safety is often referred to as the gateway to getting more Americans active through walking and biking for everyday trips. U.S. DOT has released a guide called “BikeSafe” that, while intended for planners, looks to be a great resource for public health professionals. According to a review on StreetsBlog, it “includes a primer on how land use decisions affect bicycling safety, how complete streets serve to improve safety, and other big-picture elements of sound bike planning. Another component is supposed to help agencies identify the proper intervention for specific safety problems they encountered.” The guide also refers to 46 recommended countermeasures – useful to know exactly what kind of infrastructure is most likely to improve safety and get more people moving.


Breast Cancer Social Media Toolkit
The GW Cancer Institute is pleased to announce the publication of a Breast Cancer Awareness Social Media Toolkit for October 2014. This toolkit is designed to help public health professionals understand the functions and benefits of social media, establish a Breast Cancer Awareness Month social media strategy, manage social media accounts, implement Facebook and Twitter best practices, disseminate Breast Cancer Awareness Month messaging and evaluate their social media efforts.

Reports and Articles
aaron motsoaledi He Fixed South Africa’s AIDS Policy, and Now He Is Out to Fight Salt
Aaron Motsoaledi became the South African minister of health in 2009, taking over a national health system attempting to tackle the worst HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world, with nearly 30 million cases. Motsoaledi says South Africa also is facing what he calls “exploding pandemics” of noncommunicable diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung disease. To cut rates of high blood pressure, Motsoaledi has been trying to force South African food companies to reduce the amount of salt in bread, soups, snacks, and other processed foods, but he has met fierce resistance from industry and the public. – NPR

Latino child

White children struggle most in southern Oregon, while Multnomah County is toughest place to grow up black or Latino, study says
The Oregonian: October 8, 2014
Black, Latino and Native American children face tougher circumstances growing up in Oregon than white children do, no matter what part of the state they live in.

But for white children, rural Southern Oregon, with its lack of preschools, high poverty rates and low levels of college education, is the toughest place to grow up, according to new statistics compiled by Children First for Oregon, while life in Washington and Multnomah counties is the sweetest.

For black and Latino children, however, Multnomah County is hands-down the roughest place to grow up, mostly due to poor schools and high dropout rates, the statistics show. Yet half the state’s black children live there.

Those are among the findings of the 18th annual Status of Oregon’s Children County Data Book, released Wednesday.


RWJF: Too poor to be covered In states that opted not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, more than six million remain uninsured. Their incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid—but too low to qualify for tax credits in the health insurance marketplaces. Who gets coverage? Who doesn’t? 

RWJF: The go-to source for health policy info Our health policy topic area provides expert research on key health policy issues including heath insurance and the uninsured, health care costs, public health and prevention, and childhood obesity. Get the inside view on health policy >

?????????????????????Salt Overload—It Is Time to Get Tough on the Food Industry
Although other nations have successfully reduced their sodium intake, Australians are still eating too much salt, according to Jacqui Webster, head of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Population Salt Reduction at the George Institute for Global Health. Reducing Australians’ daily salt intake by around 30% (from 9 grams to 6 grams) could save about 7,000 lives each year by reducing blood pressure levels and heart attacks. For countries where the majority of salt is in processed foods already, the most effective way to achieve reductions in salt intake is for the food industry to take salt out of processed foods gradually. But some controversy exists about whether this requires legislation (and penalties for companies that do not comply) or whether voluntary agreements are enough to get the food industry to act. – The Conversation


Low Sodium Meat Attracts Health Industry
In August 2014, Ada Valley Meat Company announced it had finalized a supplier agreement with Premier, Inc., a group-purchasing organization that buys for tens of thousands of commercial kitchen facilities in the United States, including about 3,000 health care facilities. Ada Valley says it perfected its low sodium cooking process for beef about 6 years ago. Products it provides to the health care industry include pot roast, roast beef, prime rib, corned beef, and raw meat items. Government regulations on the amount of sodium in meat products are “getting to be stiffer and stiffer,” said Ada Valley president Walter Rozeboom. – Grand Rapids Business Journal

Blacks with diabetes show higher leg amputation risk
A report by the Dartmouth Atlas Project revealed black Medicare beneficiaries were up to three times as likely as other patient populations to suffer leg amputation due to diabetes and peripheral arterial disease complications. Researchers also found the rate of leg amputation was up to seven times higher in black patients residing in the rural Southeast compared with other regions. U.S. News & World Report/Data Mine blog (10/14)

Could grapefruit juice curb the effects of a high-fat diet?
MNT: October 9, 2014
The research team, led by Joseph Napoli and Andreas Stahl, both of the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the university, publish their findings in the journal PLOS ONE.
Grapefruit has been hailed for its weight-loss effects since the 1930s, forming a part of the famous Hollywood Diet. Studies claimed that grapefruit consists of a fat-burning enzyme that promotes rapid weight loss.
But Napoli and Stahl say the validity of such studies can be questioned. “Relatively few human studies have examined the effects of grapefruit or grapefruit juice consumption per se on metabolism in well-controlled experiments, and these have produced intriguing but contradictory results,” they note.
In this study, the team set out to improve understanding of the metabolic effects of grapefruit juice consumption.

Healthy lifestyle may cut stroke risk in half for women
Science Daily:  October 8, 2014
Women with a healthy diet and lifestyle may be less likely to have a stroke by more than half, according to a study. The study looked at five factors that make up a healthy lifestyle: healthy diet; moderate alcohol consumption; never smoking; physically active; and healthy body mass index (BMI). Compared with women with none of the five healthy factors, women with all five factors had a 54-percent lower risk of stroke.

Bacterial protein implicated in eating disorders
MNT: October 9, 2014
Eating disorders (ED) such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating disorder affect approximately 5-10% of the general population, but the biological mechanisms involved are unknown.
Researchers at Inserm Unit 1073, “Nutrition, inflammation and dysfunction of the gut-brain axis” (Inserm/University of Rouen) have demonstrated the involvement of a protein produced by some intestinal bacteria that may be the source of these disorders. Antibodies produced by the body against this protein also react with the main satiety hormone, which is similar in structure. According to the researchers, it may ultimately be possible to correct this mechanism that causes variations in food intake.

Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 11th Annual Report on Adult Obesity
Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the 11th annual report of annual rates and rankings of adult obesity, The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America. New this year the report includes a study of racial and ethnic disparities in obesity rates. It also reviews existing policies and issues high-priority recommendations for making affordable health foods and safe places for physical activity available to all Americans.


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