Category Archives: Physical activity
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools, aimed at reducing the risk of suicide among high school students. The toolkit provides guidance for school administrators, principals, mental health professionals and others to help identify at risk teens, and also offers resources on how to provide help. The toolkit includes a link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). The hotline has answered over 3 million calls since it was launched in 2005. Read more on mental health.
HealthDay is reporting that gastric bypass surgery reverses diabetes in many obese patients but comes back in about 20 percent in three to five years after the operation, according to an unpublished study presented at the Endocrine Society meeting last week. Researchers reviewed the medical records of 72 obese people with diabetes who had a form of bariatric surgery between 2000 and 2007. Read more on diabetes.
Lack of time, knowledge and training in health promotion and lack of success with changing patient behavior were among the top barriers to including effective physical activity counseling among primary care practitioners, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas School of Public Health. The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The researchers say that use of evidence-based counseling methods and strategies as well as following up with patients could help reduce their chance of developing a chronic disease because of a lack of physical activity. Read more on physical activity.
Cereal companies have improved the nutritional quality of most cereals marketed directly to children, but increased advertising to children for many of their least nutritious products, according to a three-year update on the Yale Rudd Center For Food Policy & Obesity’s Cereal FACTS Report. Read more on nutrition.
Despite the fact that tobacco use can negatively impact cancer treatment, few cancer clinical trials build in questions for study participants about their tobacco use, according to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The researchers looked at 155 active clinical trials funded by the National Cancer Institute and found that that less than 30 percent assessed any form of tobacco use at enrollment, less than five percent assessed tobacco use during follow-up, and none provide cessation support. Read more on cancer.
A University of Michigan study finds that overweight men and women responded differently to advertisements about the benefits from exercise.
"Daily well-being" motivates women to exercise, while "weight loss" and "health" are more motivational for men, according to the study, which was published in the Journal of Obesity. Researchers used one-page ads featuring one of those three reasons to gauge responses. The study was funded by National Institutes of Health and was conducted among 1,690 overweight and obese women and men between 40 and 60 years old. Read more on physical activity.
The National Park Trust, a non-profit group based in Rockville, Md., that identifies new park lands for acquisition and helps connect kids with parks, is hosting the second annual Kids to Parks Day tomorrow. The Trust has joined up with partners including the Department of the Interior and the American Academy of Pediatrics to host the events. Activities in cities across the country will include a baseball clinic with the Washington (DC) Nationals baseball team, family fishing in Middlebury, Conn., and a bike to the park program in Decatur, Ga. (only bikes are allowed in the parking lot!). Look for park activities in your area.
Past tomorrow, the Interior Department’s America's Great Outdoors Report has descriptions of the national parks in your area, many free and staffed with rangers eager to plan activities. Call ahead—some parks are accessible by local public transportation, so you may not need to take the car.
U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, led a Walk for Wellness through the streets of the nation’s capital on Wednesday. The one-mile walk was organized by Federal Occupational Health, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides occupational health and wellness services to federal employees.
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month—also “the month of persistence," said Benjamin. According to the Institute of Medicine, 69 percent of U.S. adults and 32 percent of children are either overweight or obese, costing the nation more than $140 billion a year in medical expenses. Dr. Benjamin urged everyone to, literally, walk the walk with her in incorporating more movement into each day.
People with higher levels of education and income have lower rates of many chronic diseases compared to those with less education and lower income levels, according to Health, United States, 2011—the annual report on Americans’ health, produced by the National Center for Health Statistics.
This year’s report includes a special section on socioeconomic status and health. Findings include:
- In 2007-2010, higher levels of education among the head of household resulted in lower rates of obesity among boys and girls ages two through 19, compared to families where the heads of households who had less than a high school education.
- In 2007-2010, women 25 years of age and over with less than a bachelor’s degree were more likely to be obese (39 percent-43 percent) than those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (25 percent).
- In 2010, 31 percent of adults 25-64 years of age with a high school diploma or less education were current smokers, compared with 24 percent of adults with some college and 9 percent of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Between 1996-2006, the gap in life expectancy at age 25 between those with less than a high school education and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by 1.9 years for men and 2.8 years for women.
Read more on poverty and health.
The Arthritis Foundation has released a new report, Environmental and Policy Strategies to Increase Physical Activity among Adults with Arthritis, to help increase physical activity among people with arthritis. The new report is aimed at health agencies, businesses, recreation facilities, and others to help meet the exercise needs of people with the condition.
Arthritis affects 50 million adults in the United States—more than 20 percent of the adult population and that number is expected to grow. According to the report, people with arthritis have disease-specific barriers to being physically active including pain, fear of making their arthritis worse, lack of knowledge about the best type and amount of exercise, and fear of injury. Physical activity, however, has been shown to help decrease pain, delay the onset of disability, improve physical functioning and independence, and enhance the mood and quality of life for adults with arthritis. Read more on physical activity.
Physically fit, healthy middle-aged adults have significantly lower health care costs as they age, compared to their less physically fit counterparts, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.
The study tracked Medicare coverage in 20,489 healthy people, who had not had a prior heart attack, stroke or cancer over a ten year period. Compared to people in the lowest fitness category, those in the highest categories at age 51 had significantly lower healthcare costs after age 65. Read more on physical activity news.
Young adults are increasing their risk for developing skin cancer, according to two studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute.
One study, of people aged 18-29, found that 50 percent reported at least one sunburn in the past year, despite an increase in protective behaviors such as sunscreen use, seeking shade, and wearing long clothing to the ankles. Another report found that indoor tanning is common among young adults, with the highest rates of indoor tanning among white women aged 18 to 25 years. Read the latest on cancer prevention.
Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy may have more uncontrolled asthma, according to a new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The study was conducted on nearly 2,500 largely black and Latino children ages eight to 17. Close to 20 percent of mothers of Black children, and 5.5 percent of Hispanic mothers, smoked while pregnant and the study found that those children had a harder time controlling asthma symptoms. Read up on asthma.
A review of 27 observational studies published between January 1950 and August 2011 finds that exercise may help improve survival for people with breast and colon cancer. The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Read more on cancer.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has kicked off a national outreach initiative to educate workers and employers about the dangers of working outdoors in hot weather. The outreach effort builds on last year's campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of too much sun and heat.
Workers at risk include those on farms, construction workers, utility workers, baggage handlers, roofers, landscapers and anyone else who works outside. OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish; a curriculum for workplace training; a dedicated website; and a free app that lets workers and supervisors monitor the heat index for a worksite. The app displays a risk level for workers based on the heat index, and worker safety information from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration heat alerts.
Read more on worker safety.
Johns Hopkins University has been awarded $15 million over the next five years from the National Institutes of Health to establish a new Center for AIDS Research. A major priority for the new center will be to address Baltimore’s HIV epidemic. A report by the Baltimore City Health Department released last year found that despite national advances in HIV prevention and treatment, Baltimore continues to be among the top 10 urban areas in the country in HIV incidence rates.
At the end of 2009, there were 13,048 people in Baltimore living with HIV/AIDS and HIV infections were being diagnosed at a rate of almost one and a half per day. A 2006 study showed that the lifetime expense of treating each new case of HIV in Baltimore costs about $355,000. That expense, according to the Health Department’s report, “puts a significant strain on evolving health care systems, especially in a city like Baltimore with a high poverty rate.”
Read more on HIV/AIDS.
A new report from the Institute of Medicine, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, released today in conjunction with the Weight of the Nation Conference, finds that progress in stemming the obesity epidemic has been too slow, and that obesity has a negative impact on productivity and is the factor behind millions of people suffering from chronic and often debilitating diseases.
The report focuses on five key goals in order to prevent obesity:
- Integrating physical activity into people's daily lives.
- Making healthy food and beverage options available everywhere.
- Transforming marketing and messages about nutrition and activity.
- Making schools a gateway to healthy weights.
- Galvanizing employers and health care professionals to support healthy lifestyles.
Standing while working has become a way-of-work for some of the NewPublicHealth staff, and most report that after a brief breaking in-period the foot aches give way to a more alert, healthier-feeling workday. So we were amused, and delighted, to see this recent essay on the merits and drawbacks of standing versus sitting all day in PARADE magazine by author A.J. Jacobs. The excerpt is from Jacobs’ new book, Drop Dead Healthy.
>>Weigh in: Were you standing or sitting while you read this post? Which would you rather be doing?
Much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office—in our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. To improve the health of all Americans, our communities need leadership and action beyond health care providers. Throughout the United States, organizations led by innovative and action-oriented leaders are making the difference.
NewPublicHealth spoke with Maya Rockeymoore, MA, PhD, director of Leadership for Health Communities (LHC), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about their efforts to make communities healthier places to live through leadership development. The program is designed to support local and state policy-makers in their efforts to reduce childhood obesity through public policies that promote active living, healthy eating and access to healthy foods.
NewPublicHealth: From your experience as director of Leadership for Health Communities, what does it mean to have a healthy community?
Maya Rockeymoore: It means that the environment in which you live supports your health and wellness over a lifetime. So that means you’ve got clean air, clean water, safe places to get physical activity, an environment that is actually built and structured to support your ability to get to places by walking or biking or certainly mass transit. Healthy communities are ones where you can access fresh foods affordably and the total environment is violence free. It’s safe. The total environment supports the individual’s health and wellness. That is a healthy community.
NPH: How do you foster champions for obesity prevention among policy-makers?