Former BEAT Institute participant helping to improve health of her community

The 2012 Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute is happening now in Boston, Mass.

The goals of the Institute are to: prepare investigators and practitioners to use both observational and self-report measures of nutrition and activity environments and related behavioral assessments through lectures, fieldwork, hands-on skills, group work and individual consultation; and increase the number of professionals qualified to conduct built environment assessments for nutrition and physical activity.

We sat down with a BEAT Institute graduate to learn more about the “built environment” education she received. Continue reading

HIA: Students more likely to buy healthier lunches if there are nutritional standards for snacks, drinks

June 26, 2012, Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project News Release

Updating national nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold in schools could help students maintain a healthy weight and increase food service revenue, according to a health impact assessment (HIA) released today by the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project and the Health Impact Project.

The findings come as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prepares to issue policies requiring that food and beverages sold outside of federal school meal programs meet minimum nutrition standards. Continue reading

How much sugar is in sugar-sweetened children’s cereal?

A new video, “How Sweet It Is!,” from the Rudd Center shows just how much added sugar there is in many sugar-sweetened children’s cereals. Research conducted by the Rudd Center shows that children will eat low-sugar cereals, and even when allowed to add sugar to the cereal, tend to add much less sugar than a sugar-sweetened children’s cereal contains. Continue reading

AMA will urge obesity education

June 21, 2012, Associated Press

By Lindsey Tanner

The American Medical Association (AMA) put its weight Wednesday behind requiring yearly instruction aimed at preventing obesity for public schoolchildren and teens.

The AMA, the nation’s largest physicians group, agreed to support legislation that would require classes in causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for first- through 12th-graders. Doctors will be encouraged to volunteer their time to help with that Continue reading

NCCOR member teaches training course at BEAT Institute

There is growing evidence that the “built environment” or physical characteristics of a community can have a major impact on obesity, physical activity, and overall health. NCCOR External Scientific Panel (NESP) member Jim Sallis will discuss the role environment plays in influencing physical activity at next week’s Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute. Continue reading

Study: Overweight kids may do worse in math

June 14, 2012, HealthDay

By Serena Gordon

Youngsters who are persistently overweight may not perform as well academically – specifically in math – as their normal-weight peers, new research suggests.

Although the study didn’t find a direct cause-and-effect relationship between being overweight or obese and school performance, Continue reading

RWJF releases new funding opportunity to study the impact of sharing public health services

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recently released a funding opportunity to study the impact of sharing services, resources, and functions across public health agencies and jurisdictions.

Referred to as cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS), these arrangements range from informal agreements around sharing discrete services or programs, to regionalization including the formal merger or consolidation of multiple public health agencies. Continue reading

BEAT Institute trains investigators, practitioners in measuring aspects of built environment

Numerous research examines the “built environment,” defined as the man-made entities that form the physical characteristics of a community.

This includes buildings, roads, utilities, homes, food stores, restaurants, fixtures, parks, and more. It also includes what’s captured by the broader concept of “environment” – streetscapes and transportation environments, nutrition and physical activity environments, and everything in between. Continue reading

Research says junk food advertising reductions have been modest

The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity has released a new report titled Trends in Television Food Advertising to Young People: 2011 Update.

It follows up on its 2010 update of the same name. Like other recent studies, this Rudd Center report shows some progress in reducing junk food advertising to kids younger than 12.

Continue reading

Promoting nutrition, Disney to restrict junk-food ads

June 5, 2012, The New York Times

By Brooks Barnes

The Walt Disney Company, in an effort to address concerns about entertainment’s role in childhood obesity, plans to announce on June 5 that all products advertised on its child-focused television channels, radio stations, and websites must comply with a strict new set of nutritional standards. Continue reading