Healthy Communities- June 10th, 2015

safeschool Voices for Healthy Kids® Releases New Toolkits on Complete Streets, Safe Routes to School, and Food Marketing in Schools
Voices for Healthy Kids® a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and American Heart Association (AHA) works to help all young people eat healthier foods and be more active. 
The initiative has just released a toolkit on complete streets entitled “Streets Built to Share.”  In this toolkit, you will find tactics to advocate for state, regional, and local public policies requiring that all road construction and reconstruction create complete streets that are safe and convenient for all people who are walking, bicycling, using a wheelchair, or traveling by public transit.  This toolkit is a compilation of facts, sample materials, and guidance on how to build, engage, and mobilize a social change movement in your state or community on this critical issue.  The toolkit is wrapped together by a unique theme designed to maximize interest and action to create and support a healthy learning environment for kids. 
Together with a collection of parallel toolkits on other proven social change strategies to help kids live more active, healthful lives, we want to help focus and energize advocates around the country. To receive access to the toolkits, click here.

Health Department Launches New Ad Campaign Highlighting the Health Risks of Children Consuming Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks remain a leading contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemics
Forty-nine percent of high school students in the South Bronx, East and Central Harlem, and North and Central Brooklyn reported consuming an average of one or more sugary drinks per day, compared to 40 percent of public high school students citywide
The Health Department today announced a new ad campaign educating New Yorkers on the health risks of children consuming sugary drinks. The ads explain that even though a child may not be overweight or obese, sugary drinks can lead to increased visceral fat, a fat that builds up in and around their organs. Visceral fat can lead to the child developing diabetes, heart disease, or a fatty liver. The ads end by encouraging parents to choose water or fruit for their children instead of sugary drinks. The TV, radio and social media ads are running through the end of this month.
Read more

13 “Tools” for Making a Community More Livable, Safe and Walkable
Compared to many infrastructure efforts, these placemaking solutions can be implemented quickly and affordably.

Three Cancer Screenings Adults Should Get
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that  many adults in the United

States are not getting the recommended screening tests for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancers.

  • One in five women ages 21 to 65 reported not being up-to-date with cervical cancer screening.
  • Nearly one in four women ages 50 to 74 say they are missing out on recommended mammograms, which can detect breast cancer.
  • Two in five adults ages 50 to 75 reported not following clinical recommendations for colorectal cancer screening.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is an independent body that thoroughly and systematically examines the medical evidence and periodically produces screening recommendations to help clinicians determine which screening tests to perform, when, to whom, and how frequently.

Reports and Articles
Developing a Diabetes Game Plan
US News
As a nurse I often hear, “I know what needs to be done, I just don’t know how to do it,” or “I won’t be able to do it.” The “it” is behavior change – a major component of controlling diabetes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists seven behaviors – healthy eatingphysical activity, monitoring blood sugar, taking medications as prescribed, good problem-solving skills, healthy coping skills and risk-reduction behaviors – which result in good blood sugar control, reduce complications and improve quality of life. If you’re asking, “How do I do it?” let’s get started!

Do you have a game plan? Is it the right plan for your unique needs? Does it include things you like? Write your plan down, and put it somewhere visible as a reminder.

Discovery promises new treatments to thwart colon cancer
Giving patients ‘good’ gut bacteria could help prevent or slow progression of colorectal cancer
Science Daily
Scientists have discovered how an immune system protein, called AIM2 (Absent in Melanoma 2), plays a role in determining the aggressiveness of colon cancer. They found that AIM2 deficiency causes uncontrolled proliferation of intestinal cells. Surprisingly, they also discovered that AIM2 influences the microbiota — the population of gut bacteria — apparently fostering the proliferation of ‘good’ bacteria that can protect against colon cancer.

Cocktail of chemicals trigger cancer – Global taskforce calls for research into how everyday chemicals in our environment cause cancer
A deadly list of 50 chemicals the public is exposed to on a daily basis may trigger cancer when combined, according to new research published today.
A global taskforce of 174 scientists from leading research centres across 28 countries studied the link between mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals and the development of cancer. The study selected 85 chemicals not considered carcinogenic to humans and found 50 supported key cancer-related mechanisms at exposures found in the environment today.

When Does Workplace Wellness Become Coercive?
Christine White pays $300 a year more for her health care because she refused to join her former employer’s wellness program, which would have required that she fill out a health questionnaire and join activities like Weight Watchers.
“If I didn’t have the money … I’d have to” participate, says White, 63, a retired groundskeeper from a Portland, Ore., community college.

Are supermarkets leaving money on the table?
Although supermarkets are gaining the majority of their food and beverage sales growth from lower-calorie products, they are not fully capitalizing on the growing demand. Especially when it comes to kids.

Any Added Sugar Is Bad Sugar, Some Experts Contend
Medline Plus
FRIDAY, June 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) — High-fructose corn syrup has long been portrayed as a major villain in the American diet.

But a new school of thought contends that plain old table sugar or even all-natural honey can be just as harmful to a person’s health.

Any source of excess sugar contributes to obesity and diabetes, and singling out high-fructose corn syrup might distract consumers from the real health hazards posed by any and all added sugars, many dietitians now say.

For example, people swigging all-natural sodas sweetened with pure cane sugar are still doing themselves harm, just as if the sodas had been loaded instead with high-fructose corn syrup, said Mario Kratz, a research associate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle.

U.S. adults lack awareness about their prediabetes, study finds
A U.S. study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that only 288 people out of 2,694 adults with elevated A1C were aware of the problem. Researchers also found that adults who were aware of their condition were 30% more likely to exercise and engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, and almost 80% more likely to try losing weight and to have at least a 7% reduction in their body weight in the past year. Reuters (6/29)

Read the research about what roles sports play over the course of the lifespan >



“A gutsy move” to measure community health programs
The food and beverage industry spends millions of dollars each year investing in community health programs that target hunger and obesity. Do they work? The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation is taking on an ambitious effort to find out.

Sodium Intake Among U.S. Adults — 26 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, 2013
Jing Fang, MD, Mary E. Cogswell, DrPH, Soyoun Park, PhD, et al.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2015;64:695-8

Announcement: Recommendation Regarding Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control — Community Preventive Services Task Force
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2015;64:726
The Community Preventive Services Task Force recently posted new information on its website, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control: Interventions Engaging Community Health Workers. The information is available at

MMWR: Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations — United States, 2013
Latetia V. Moore, PhD, Frances E. Thompson, PhD.

Childhood Obesity Declines and Disparities–A Complicated Relationship
This webinar will give you the chance to hear from internationally renowned researchers on why disparities persist despite declines in some communities, and how the design and impact of interventions can lead to more equitable opportunities for healthy choices and environments. Register.


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