Healthy Communities – October 6, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same with this social media toolkit.

breast-cancer-awareness-month

Rigged, Supermarket Shelves for Sale

Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 28, 2016

This report examines how food companies get their products featured in particular locations in supermarkets. Written by investigative journalist Gary Rivlin.

Download the full report here.

foodisleWalking and Biking: Stories from Small Towns, 2nd Edition (includes Molalla, Oregon!)

The National Physical Activity Society released the 2nd edition of Stories from Small Towns, which highlights eight U.S. towns that have made changes so people can walk and bike more freely. The stories demonstrate that structural changes to make walking easier can be carried out in America’s thousands of small towns and not just its big cities. The project aims to inspire town leaders across the country to see such infrastructure as possible and worthy.

walkingEach one-page community description includes photos and advice to other small towns. Towns must have populations under 25,000 to be included. In this second edition, populations ranged from 1,500 to more than 15,000 people.

Towns featured in the second edition are Eufaula, Alabama; Canton, Connecticut; Sergeant Bluff, Iowa; Hebron, Nebraska; Davidson, North Carolina; Molalla, Oregon; Sulphur Springs, Texas; and Soap Lake, Washington. The first edition was released in 2015.

Rural Walking: Deliberate Steps Needed?

The National Physical Activity Society has additional resources on small towns and rural areas. See a post by South Dakota member Nikki Prosch offering some ideas on walking in a rural area. Hint: Active transportation from one place to another might not be as easy when home and destination are 25 miles apart.

CDC Releases New Built Environment Assessment Tool

built-environment-assessment-toolThe Built Environment Assessment Tool (BE Tool) (an adaptation of MAPS) was designed to alleviate some of the challenges posed by the significant number of narrowly focused tools aimed at only one activity (walking), one subpopulation (older adults), or one public health area (inactivity). It was created as a collaborative enterprise across multiple areas of public health – health promotion, injury prevention, environmental health, etc.

The BE Tool is a direct systematic observation data collection instrument for measuring the core features and quality of the built environment related to behaviors that affect health, especially behaviors such as walking, biking, and other types of physical activity.

The core features assessed in the BE Tool include: built environment infrastructure (e.g., road type, curb cuts/ramps, intersections/crosswalks, traffic control, transportation), walkability (e.g. sidewalk/path features, walking safety, aesthetics & amenities), bikeability (e.g., bicycle lane/path features), recreational sites and structures, and the food environment (e.g., access to grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, etc.). Additional questions or modules could be added by users if more detail about an aspect of the built environment, such as the nutrition environment or pedestrian environment, is desired.

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