Healthy Communities- August 21, 2015


back to school

Back to School!

It’s back to school time and that means many more people out and about, traveling to and from schools. It’s exciting and fun, but there’s one thing that all families should add to their lists as they prepare for back to school – how are you going to get there?

Walking and biking is often a great option. Walking and biking to and from school is a great way to get some exercise while decreasing traffic congestion and increasing safety around schools.

Practice and discuss these safety tips as a family and be a great example by always practicing how to travel safely:

  • Check your route before school starts. When possible, choose streets with low traffic volumes, slow speeds, few intersections, bicycle lanes and sidewalks with no roadway construction.
  • Before crossing any street at a corner, look “left-right-left-behind” for traffic in all directions. Keep looking for cars as you cross the street. Remember, you can’t hear some cars, so keep looking!
  • Before starting to cross make sure drivers see you and have stopped before starting to cross, make eye contact with the driver, so you know they see you.
  • Walking with friends provides safety in numbers. Ask if there is a Walking School Bus you can join on your route to school, or start one yourself. Check Walking School Bus and Bike Trains for more information and helpful videos.
  • Stay alert, keep your eyes and ears open! Walk and ride predictably in a visible and straight line.
  • If you ride a bike, always wear a helmet that is properly fitted and fastened!

See Back to School section in Resources for other options for back to school newsletters, press release and specific messages for each travel mode.

AARP’s Livable Communities resources
Consider signing up for their e-newsletter here to receive great resources that span from research and data to practical tools for creating walkable communities.

Solutions for Small-Town Main Streets
Three placemaking “photovisions” show how once empty downtowns can become destinations. (You’ll want to see the “before” image of the proposed streetscape at left.)

In a Livable Community…
Communities that include the features pictured in this handout are great for people of all ages. Print one or several copies in a size of your choosing to help spread the word about what makes a city, town or neighborhood livable.

Call for Nominations: 2015 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge!
High blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths each day in the United States. Keeping it under control can reduce these deaths and improve the quality of life for many individuals and families each year.

We know that better blood pressure control is achievable. This year, we want to recognize more Champions through the 2015 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge.

  • Submit your nomination. The Challenge is open August 18 through 11:59 PM on October 31, 2015.
  • Encourage high-performing, small and large practices to enter the 2015 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge at
  • Place the Challenge badge on your website homepage between August 18 and October 31, 2015.

For more information on rules and eligibility requirements, please visit Questions about the Challenge should be directed to with “Challenge” in the subject line.

Newly Released! APHA’s Healthy Outlook: Public Health Resources for Systems Transformation
This is a series of fact sheets, issue briefs, and other resources designed to a) highlight policy issues within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and implications for public health and (b) identify opportunities that promote active engagement of public health in health care systems transformation efforts.

Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Sodium Listserv
The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s has a Sodium Listserv where nutrition and public health advocates and scientists share news, research, and policy updates about reducing sodium consumption. If you are interested in subscribing, e-mail Angela Amico.

Reports and Articles

children food
How Food Marketing Can Help Kids Want What’s Good For Them
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
If we want to ensure that all children are able to grow up at a healthy weight, companies can play a role by continuing to reduce marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages and increase promotion of healthy choices.
When it comes to helping Americans eat healthier, the conversation often focuses on price and access. But, there’s a third, equally consequential, condition: desire. Preference is shaped by myriad factors and the effects of marketing and advertising are of paramount importance. Food and beverage companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to market their products, and their investments produce results: adults and kids are swayed by marketing.

A new report from the UConn Rudd Center for Food, Policy & Obesity reveals that a majority of the largest food and beverage companies are spending a disproportionate amount of money advertising their nutritionally poor products to Black and Hispanic consumers, especially youth. While food marketing is not inherently bad—it appears Sesame Street characters could be great “salespuppets” for fruits and veggies—it becomes a problem when it features unhealthy products known to contribute to obesity and other poor health outcomes. And, with rates of overweight/obesity higher among Black and Hispanic kids and teens, this type of business approach is especially harmful.
Learn more about food marketing trends by downloading the full report >>

The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation just published a new report on the training needs of school nutrition staff. The report summarizes data from a nationally representative survey of school food authorities (SFAs), the local agencies that administer the national school lunch and breakfast programs.

Extremely obese children respond better than extremely obese adolescents to lifestyle interventions

C. Knop, V. Singer, Y. Uysal, A. Schaefer, B. Wolters and T. Reinehr Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition Medicine, Vestische Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Witten, Herdecke, Germany
Summary Background: There are conflicting results of treating extreme obesity in childhood by lifestyle interventions in the literature.
Methods: We analysed the outcome of a 1-year lifestyle intervention in an intention-to-treat approach in 1291 children (mean age 11.0 ± 2.5 years, mean body mass index [BMI] 27.5 ± 4.7 kg m−2 , 55.8% female, 62.4% obese, 37.6% extremely obese (defined by BMI-SDS >2.3) at end of intervention and 1 year later.
Results: The mean BMI-SDS reduction was −0.20 ± 0.32 at end of intervention and −0.14 ± 0.37 1 year after end of intervention compared to baseline (comparing intervention vs. 1 year later P = 0.010). Extremely obese children ≤10 years demonstrated a significantly greater BMI-SDS reduction than obese children ≤10 years (−0.24 ± 0.38 vs. −0.16 ± 0.38, P = 0.021). Extremely obese adolescents >10 years demonstrated a significantly lower BMI-SDS reduction compared to obese adolescents >10 years (−0.05 ± 0.30 vs. −0.15 ± 0.39, P < 0.001). Comparing the BMI-SDS reduction between obese children 10 years revealed no significant difference (P = 0.195) in contrast to the comparison between extremely obese children 10 years (P < 0.001). The same findings were observed in the follow-up period after the end of intervention.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrated an encouraging effect of lifestyle intervention in extremely obese children ≤10 years at the end of intervention and 1 year later, but only a limited effect in extremely obese adolescents >10 years.

Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act
IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2015. Strategies to improve cardiac arrest survival: A time to act. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Each year, cardiac arrest strikes more than half a million people and contributes to avoidable death and disability across the United States; it affects seemingly healthy individuals of all ages, races, and genders, often without warning. Following a cardiac arrest, each minute without treatment decreases the likelihood of survival with good neurologic and functional outcomes. The Institute of Medicine conducted a study on the current status of, and future opportunities to improve, cardiac arrest treatment and outcomes in the United States. This report examines the complete system of response to cardiac arrest in the United States and identifies opportunities within existing and new treatments, strategies, and research that promise to improve survival and recovery of patients.

Guiding Community Health Outcomes through Evidence
In this 2014–2015 Annual Report to Congress, the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) helps to build the evidence base for public health programs, policies, and services. This report includes past accomplishments and lays out future priorities and plans. The report also includes areas where more research and programs are needed to prevent and reduce cancers.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Report: “How Do You Measure Up?
The report summarizes and evaluates state policies designed to prevent cancer related mortality, highlighting state efforts in tobacco prevention and cessation, cancer screenings, tanning restrictions for minors, access to healthy foods, and Medicaid coverage expansion. It also provides guidance on how states can implement federal healthcare laws and discusses strategies to improve access to preventive care.

Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act
The Institute of Medicine conducted a study on the current status of, and future opportunities to improve, cardiac arrest treatment and outcomes in the United States. This report examines the complete system of response to cardiac arrest in the United States and identifies opportunities within existing and new treatments, strategies, and research that promise to improve survival and recovery of patients

Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January–March 2015
The National Center for Health Statistics rapidly releases reports on health insurance coverage each quarter, called “Early Releases.” The latest report shows continued decreases in the proportion of the U.S. population that is uninsured overall, and among all demographic groups:

Protein-packed breakfast prevents body fat gain in overweight teens
High-protein breakfast also improves teens’ glycemic control
Approximately 60 percent of young people habitually skip breakfast up to four times a week, previous research has shown. Although health experts recommend breakfast as a strategy to reduce an individual’s chance of obesity, little research has examined if the actual type of breakfast consumed plays a significant role in one’s health and weight management. University of Missouri researchers compared the benefits of consuming a normal-protein breakfast to a high-protein breakfast and found the high-protein breakfast – which contained 35 grams of protein – prevented gains of body fat, reduced daily food intake and feelings of hunger, and stabilized glucose levels among overweight teens who would normally skip breakfast.

southern diet

Risk of heart disease increased with Southern diet
Eating a southern-style diet rich in fried food, eggs, organ meats – such as liver – and sugar-sweetened beverages could increase the risk of coronary heart disease, according to the findings of a new study.
The study, published in Circulation, explores the relationship between heart disease risk and dietary patterns.
“While individual foods and nutrients (e.g., red meat and saturated fat) have been studied extensively in relation to CHD [coronary heart disease] risk, the relationship between overall diet and CHD risk may be more informative because foods typically are eaten in combination, not in isolation,” the authors write.

ASTHO Releases Issue Brief on Expanding Access for Preventive Services: Key Issues for State Public Health Agencies
This issue brief gives a broad overview of strategies to expand preventive services, and highlights opportunities for state public health departments to influence and lead such efforts in their states.

Arizona Diabetes Program Launches Text-Based Engagement Program
This initiative will target patients with diabetes or diabetes risk factors, as well as at-risk women and children, through the use of automated text messages that reinforce healthy behaviors such as exercise, diet, and care plan adherence. The program will expand to other FQHCs under CDC’s 1305-Public Health in Actions cooperative agreement.

“Flexibility” on School Sodium Targets Not an Option, Says American Heart Association
American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown recently commented on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill that would delay the sodium requirement for school foods under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The dietary recommendations “are evidence based and critical for ensuring the cardiovascular health of our nation,” Brown said. – HealthCanal

Five reasons why sugar is added to food
Science Daily
From a food science and technology perspective, sugar (sucrose) plays several roles when it comes to the functional properties in food. Experts explain the functional properties of sugars and why they are often added to foods.


One thought on “Healthy Communities- August 21, 2015

  1. Michelle, You might like to get on this mailing list. Jim

    J.R. BECRAFT public health & media projects

    consulting, communication, education for change

    office: 503 842 5937 mobile: 503 312 7406

    MPH–public health, BA–communications


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