Healthy Communities- October 31, 2014

candySlick ways tobacco companies are targeting youth

The local newspaper just called me saying that the American Lung Association sent her a sample of candy flavored tobacco products to show how Big Tobacco is targeting kids. The reporter is going to do a newspaper article about Halloween safety with the caution to parents to check their kids’ Halloween candy to make sure flavored tobacco products don’t make their way in. This will also serve as a lead-in to our tobacco retail environment assessment and future policies for banning flavors.
Not sure if the ALA sent your local media outlets similar stuff, but you might make the Halloween connection too and contact your local media. Or if ALA didn’t send it, this is an opportune time to send out the “candy jar” from the Cookbook on HPCDP.
Just wanted to throw it out there
Jennifer Little, MPH
Program Manager, Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention
Klamath County Public Health
3314 Vandenberg, Klamath Falls, OR 97603
541.882.8846 Extn 3507

Reports and Articles
U.S. Ebola czar to visit CDC headquarters Thursday: official
Reuters: October 29, 2014
U.S. Ebola czar Ron Klain will visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta on Thursday for meetings with Director Tom Frieden and other officials, a White House official said.
“Mr. Klain has been in daily contact with Dr. Frieden and other CDC officials, but this will be his first opportunity to visit the headquarters of the men and women of the CDC, who have been a critical component of our international and domestic response since the onset of this outbreak,” the official said.

New Home Test Could Help in Colon Cancer Battle
Starting Monday, millions of people who have avoided colon cancer screening can get a new home test that’s noninvasive and doesn’t require the icky preparation most other methods do
The test is the first to look for cancer-related DNA in stool. But deciding whether to get it is a more complex choice than ads for “the breakthrough test … that’s as easy as going to the bathroom” make it seem.

U.S. trans-fat intake dips, but improvements still needed
Trans-fat intake has fallen by about one-third over the past three decades but still accounts for 1.9% of daily calories in men and about 1.7% in women, a study on the website of the Journal of the American Heart Association says. Saturated-fat intake also dropped, but omega-3 fat consumption held steady and is still below recommended levels, researchers said.

Junk foods, soda dominate options in checkout aisles
A report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest says 90% of food options in checkout aisles of stores in the Washington, D.C., area were sweets and junk food, while 60% of beverage options were soda and other sugar-laden drinks. Researchers said easy access to such foods contributes to the obesity epidemic in the U.S.

CDC National Health Report: Leading Causes of Morbidity and Mortality and Associated Behavioral Risk and Protective Factors—United States, 2005–2013
MMWR: October 31, 2014
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today published CDC National Health Report: Leading Sources of Morbidity, Mortality, and Associated Behavioral Risk and Protective Factors—United States, 2005–2013 as a Supplement to its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).  Using multiple surveillance systems, this report provides a concise review of the health of the U.S. population, with indicators that give a quick assessment on how well the United States is succeeding in addressing high-priority health issues.
The report provides data on the 10 leading causes of death in the United States and discusses associated risk and protective factors. Information is derived from 17 CDC and three non- CDC data systems. Trend data are included from 2005 to the most recent data available.
Key findings include:

  • Since 2005, life expectancy at birth in the United States has increased by 1 year; however, the number of people who died prematurely was relatively consistent. The years of potential life lost declined for 8 of the 10 leading causes of death.
  • Age-adjusted rates declined among all leading causes except deaths attributable to Alzheimer’s disease and suicide, although the numbers of deaths increased for most causes.
  • Heart disease, stroke, and deaths attributed to motor-vehicle injuries all showed notable declines since 2005.
  • Current smoking among adults remained stable at approximately 25% while smoking among youth declined to a record low of 16%. Obesity rates remained level at 35% for adults and 17% for youth. Approximately 21% of adults met recommended levels of physical activity, consistent with results recorded in the 3 previous years.
  • During the 2012–13 influenza season, vaccination rates reached highs of 72% for health care personnel, 57% for children 17 years of age and younger, 51% for pregnant women, and 42% for people aged >18 years.


Livability Fact Sheets Make Land Use and Transportation Concepts Easy to Understand
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) partnered with the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute to create 11 Livability Fact Sheets.  Each fact sheet takes a concept – like density, road diets, traffic calming and several others – and explains what it is, how it works, what myths you hear about it, how to get it right, and where to look for success stories. References on the fact sheets list resources.
The package of comprehensive fact sheets can be used by community leaders, policy makers, activists, and other interested citizens to learn more about creating livable communities for all ages.


How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground
The New York Times
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act became law in 2010, with overwhelming support in Congress. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a revised meal pattern for school breakfasts and lunches that included mandates to reduce the average salt content of a high school lunch by roughly half over a decade. Schwan Food Company, which manufactures a reported 70% of all pizza sold in American schools, raised objections: “Many of the products made with tomato paste appeal to children and help sustain participation in the school-meal program,” the company warned, while also arguing that the sodium reductions would be “impossible to achieve without significant technological advances.” Moreover, if sodium were aggressively reduced in school lunches without corresponding changes in home and restaurant meals, Schwan suggested, students would find their school lunches bland and tasteless. However, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, among others, agree with the USDA’s salt assessment.

Can Science Make Low-Sodium Foods Without Sacrificing Flavor?
Americans eat twice as much salt as recommended, according to CDC. Although the health risks associated with high sodium intake are widely known, many Americans will not sacrifice taste to eat healthily. What causes these cravings, and how can they be limited? Journalist Hari Sreenivasan attempts to address these questions as he covers some of the science behind taste perception and sodium. He discusses the latest research with Devin Peterson, director of the Flavor Research and Education Center at the University of Minnesota. Sreenivasan also takes a trip to the grocery store and calls for smarter sodium reformulation within the processed food industry. – PBS Newshour

The Many Hidden Sources of Salt
People watching their sodium intake often make the obvious choices, such as switching to unsalted nuts and chips, substituting herbs and spices for salt, and cutting back on processed items. However, many people are unaware of some surprising sources of sodium, such as cheese. For example, an ounce of blue cheese contains 395 milligrams of sodium, almost three times the amount found in the same weight of salted potato chips (136 milligrams per ounce). Condiments also provide more sodium than one might assume: Ketchup and mustard have about 150 milligrams per tablespoon, whereas soy sauce contains an average of 879 milligrams per tablespoon. Instead of using store-bought condiments, pair snack foods with homemade salsa, dips made with unsalted canned beans, or a sprinkling of fruity vinegar instead of mustard or soy sauce. – Southern Illinoisan

New Data Brief from Rhode Island: Dental Safety Net Report, 2013
This report provides baseline data on the dental safety net at the end of 2013, prior to the expanded Medicaid coverage and additional dental insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act beginning January 2014. Rhode Island’s decision to implement Medicaid expansion has played a valuable role in allowing more low-income Rhode Islanders to gain access to dental care. In addition, more than 9,000 individuals purchased dental coverage through HealthSource RI, the state health benefits exchange. Dental safety net providers will continue to play a critical role responding to a likely rising community demand for preventive and primary healthcare services, including oral health, in the era of the Affordable Care Act. The purpose of this report is to provide baseline measurements before the Affordable Care Act implementation and identify additional service needs in a new healthcare environment. The report is available at:

Obese children and teenagers already show hints of future cardiovascular problems, new research has found: New York Times:

Opinion piece regarding Cascades Elementary’s recent tighter restrictions on the types of foods sold to students on campus: Albany-Democrat-Herald:


Association Between Serious Psychological Distress and Health Care Use and Expenditures by Cancer History
Han X, Lin CC, Li C, de Moor JS, Rodriguez JL, Kent EE, Forsythe LP Cancer. 2014 Oct 23. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29102. [Epub ahead of print]
Click link to access:

Impact of Safe Routes to School Programs on Walking and Bicycling? A 31% Increase!
study published in this quarter’s Journal of the American Planning Association found that over time, SRTS programs produce significant increases in the share of children who walk or bike to school — an effect that grows more pronounced over time. The average increase in walking and biking rates attributable to SRTS programs over a five-year period was 31 percent, the researchers concluded.

The authors examined 801 schools in Florida, Oregon, Texas, and the District of Columbia, using data collected by the National Center for Safe Routes to School from 2007 to 2012 – yielding data from 378 schools with SRTS programs and 423 without. They say the study is the first SRTS research based on such a large geographic sample of schools, enabling them to isolate the effect of different types of Safe Routes to School strategies.

The effect of “education and encouragement” programs grew over time, with SRTS schools seeing progressively larger differences in each successive year. Over five years, the researchers found, this tactic led to a 25 percent increase in walking and biking to school, controlling for demographic differences, neighborhood characteristics, and other factors. Meanwhile, infrastructure investments like safer sidewalks or bike lanes led to a one-time 18 percent increase.


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