Healthy Communities – August 11, 2016

wellness_guide_full_versionAugust is the National Breastfeeding Month!

Use CDC resources for promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices toward the ultimate goal of improving the public’s health.

breastfeedingPhysical Activity 2016: Progress and Challenges

In 2012, The Lancet published its first Series on physical activity, which concluded that physical inactivity is as important a modifiable risk factor for chronic diseases as obesity and tobacco. Four years later, the second Series presents an update of the field, including progress in epidemiological research, global surveillance, intervention strategies, and policy actions. The papers will also feature the largest harmonized meta-analysis on the joint health effects of sedentary behavior and physical activity, and the first global estimate of the economic burden of physical inactivity. The Series encourages policy makers to take physical activity more seriously and to provide sufficient capacity and funding to implement national policies. Without a rapid increase in action, the WHO target of a 10% reduction in physical inactivity by 2025 will not be reached. We must continue to strive towards the longer term goal: the integration of physical activity into our daily lives.

Collaborating to Advance Cancer Control in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

AI_The Planning Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2016 Cancer Summit released a report Looking Back and Looking Ahead: The State of Cancer Control in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities. The report describes efforts to reduce the burden of cancer in the communities by maintaining and supporting strong, statewide (or jurisdiction-wide) coalitions of cancer prevention and control stakeholders; and implementing statewide (or jurisdiction-wide) cancer control plans that emphasize the primary prevention of cancer; support people who have been diagnosed with cancer through treatment and beyond; and increase access to quality health care for all people, including those in communities with a higher burden of cancer.

Strategies to improve rural health

This year the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps found that rural areas are lagging behind urban places. While rates of premature death are improving in urban areas, they are getting worse for rural populations. So what can rural areas do to reverse this trend? This new report, prepared by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, outlines evidence-informed and innovative strategies to improve health for rural populations. With more than 65 policy, systems, and environmental changes that can be made in rural areas, “What Works? Strategies to Improve Rural Health” can help rural communities take action to address their local challenges.

Salt sensitivity of blood pressure

The American Heart Association released a Scientific Statement on Salt Sensitivity of Blood Pressure (SSBP).  The statement includes the historical perspective of SSBP and development in animal models, management of SSBP in humans, including the variability, reproducibility, assessment, and treatment options, and implications of SSBP for public health.

A guide for school-level implementation of wellness policies and practices

Maryland Public Schools released this this guide to enhance opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity for Maryland students by helping schools and school systems create and implement strong and comprehensive written wellness policies. Based on research in Maryland and across the nation, these recommendations were developed to support the implementation of wellness policies within school systems and schools.

Associations between cardiovascular health and health-related quality of life

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for about 1 in 3 deaths annually. The economic burden of CVD accounts for over $120 billion per year in lost productivity costs from premature illness and death. The American Heart Association established seven cardiovascular health metrics as targets for promoting healthier lives. These seven metrics are normal blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, not having diabetes, not smoking, being physically active, and having adequate fruit or vegetable intake. Read more about this CDC study here.


Searchable library for Million Hearts tools and resources

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials expanded and improved the virtual resource library for the Million Hearts State Learning Collaborative, Tools for Change, which provides tools and resources from states, national organizations, and federal agencies to drive the work of states and territories toward improving hypertension identification and control. On the new website, users can search for resources by category (e.g. community-clinical linkages, data-driven action, financing and policy, etc.), by resource type (e.g. workflows and protocols or data systems tools), or state.

Rural Obesity Prevention Toolkit

The Rural Health Information Hub released a Rural Obesity Prevention Toolkit designed to help communities pinpoint factors that promote obesity, convene partners to address those issues, and apply evidence-based solutions. The toolkit offers seven modules that look at factors such as environmental characteristics, transportation options, availability of healthy foods, availability of public health funding, and access to healthcare.

Rules on smart snacks, wellness policies, school meal program reviews, and community eligibility provision

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released four final rules on Smart Snacks, local school wellness policies, school meal program reviews, and the Community Eligibility Provision. These rules finalize changes initiated with the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act and strengthen the commitment to creating healthier school environments.

Aging & Health: Active Life Expectancy In The Older US Population, 1982–2011: Differences Between Blacks And Whites Persisted

Understanding long-range trends in longevity and disability is useful for projecting the likely impact of the baby-boom generation on long-term care utilization and spending. This study examined changes in active life expectancy in the United States from 1982 to 2011 for white and black adults ages sixty-five and older. For whites, longevity increased, disability was postponed to older ages, the locus of care shifted from nursing facilities to community settings, and the proportion of life at older ages spent without disability increased. In contrast, for blacks, longevity increases were accompanied by smaller postponements in disability, and the percentage of remaining life spent active remained stable and well below that of whites. Older black women were especially disadvantaged in 2011 in terms of the proportion of years expected to be lived without disability. Public health measures directed at older black adults—particularly women—are needed to offset impending pressures on the long-term care delivery system as the result of population aging.


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