Feb 7 2012
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Public Health News Roundup: February 7

DOT Announces $826 Million to Modernize and Repair Transit Buses and Facilities

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the availability of $826.5 million to modernize and repair transit vehicles and facilities around the country and promote the widespread use of sustainable clean fuel. DOT is inviting proposals for three of the Federal Transit Administration’s policy priorities:

  • State of Good Repair. Aimed at replacing or restoring infrastructure and vehicle management.
  • Livability. For projects that will improve quality of life through expanded transportation choices, new and better intermodal connections, reduced congestion, or services aimed at economically disadvantaged populations, including senior citizens and people with disabilities.
  • Clean Fuels. To help communities meet national air quality standards. The program also supports the development and marketing of emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses.

Read more on transportation and health, and follow our coverage of the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, which addresses building communities to be more livable.

AHA: Ten Major Heart Disease and Stroke Advances in 2011

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association have been compiling an annual list of the major advances in heart disease and stroke research since 1996. Progress was made last year in a number of areas including lifestyle risk prevention, genetics and personalized medicine, new drugs and treatment for atrial fibrillation, and improved systems to deliver faster care for heart attack and stroke. Read more on heart health.

Ostracized Children Are Less Likely To Be Physically Active

A new study in Pediatrics shows that children who are ostracized, even for a brief period, are significantly more likely to choose sedentary activities over physical activity. Researchers from Kent State University in Ohio asked 19 children between the ages of 8 and 12 years to play a virtual ball-toss computer game, telling each child he or she was playing the game over the Internet with two other children. In half of the sessions, the game was programmed to exclude the child from receiving the ball for the majority of the game. After the game, the children were taken to a gymnasium, where they could choose any sedentary or physical activity they liked, while wearing an accelerometer. Researchers found children accumulated 22 percent fewer accelerometer counts and 41 percent more minutes of sedentary activity after being ostracized in the computer game, compared to when they were included. Read more on physical activity.

Tags: Heart and Vascular Health, News roundups, Obesity, Pediatrics, Physical activity, Public health, Smart Growth, Transportation