Few schools adhered to USDA nutrition standards before 2013

Nov. 17, 2014, Reuters

By Kathryn Doyle

Before the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) set strict standards for nutrition for federally reimbursable lunch programs, less than 2 percent of middle or high schools would have measured up.

The absence of certain standards was associated with youth obesity, according to a new study. Full implementation of the program, which should be happening now, may have a notable impact on adolescent health, though this study did not address implementation of the program, the authors write. Continue reading

Revised food labels still won’t tell whole story

Oct. 26, 2014, The New York Times [Well Blog]

By Jane E. Brody

Are you among the half of Americans who say they check the nutrition labels on packaged foods when shopping? If you can read the information without a magnifying glass, do you understand what the many numbers mean to your health?

Do you look only at calories, or do you also check the amounts of sugar, sodium, protein, or dietary fiber in a serving? And does the serving size listed represent how much you might actually consume at a sitting? Continue reading

Registration now open for Active Living Research’s Annual Conference

Registration is now open for the Active Living Research (ALR) 2015 Annual Conference. The theme of the 2015 conference, “The Science of Policy Implementation,” explores the process of taking findings from the research field of active living and using them to inform policies that increase population-level physical activity. The conference will be held Feb. 22-25, 2015 in San Diego. Continue reading

New award program invites proposals for innovative community and hospital collaborations to catalyze healthy communities

The newly launched BUILD Health Challenge is seeking innovative proposals for community-based organizations, hospitals, local health departments, and other key stakeholders to work as partners on efforts that advance equity and community health.

Jointly funded by The Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the BUILD Health Challenge supports Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-driven (BUILD) community collaborations within cities with populations greater than 150,000. The national award program is designed to support community collaborations that are working to give everyone a fair chance to be healthy. Specifically, BUILD Health will give two kinds of awards —planning and implementation. In addition to grants, awardees will have access to a broad range of support services, including technical assistance, coaching, and access to networks of population health innovators. Continue reading

Frequent dining out might widen your waistline

Oct. 17, 2014, HealthDay

Love to dine out? You could be at higher risk for becoming overweight and having poorer cholesterol levels than people who prefer to eat at home, a new study suggests.

Researchers led by Ashima Kant of Queens College, City University of New York, analyzed data from more than 8,300 American adults between 2005–2010. Continue reading

Meet NCCOR researchers at the American Public Health Association’s 142nd Annual Meeting & Exposition

Researchers from the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) will be traveling to New Orleans for the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 142nd Annual Meeting & Exposition, which takes place Nov. 15-19. More than 12,000 public health professionals from around the world participate in the annual meeting, sharing the latest research and information, promoting best practices, and advocating for public health issues. Continue reading

How family dynamics at the dinner table affect kids’ weight

Oct. 13, 2014, TIME

By Alice Park

“Eat together” is a mantra that doctors and nutritionists use regularly when they talk with families about eating healthy and maintaining normal weight. Children who eat regular family meals tend to have lower rates of obesity and eat more nutritiously. A new study published Oct. 13 in the journal Pediatrics takes a novel look at why. Continue reading

Building healthy communities: Establishing health and wellness metrics for use within the real estate industry

November 2014, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

It is increasingly well recognized that the design and operation of the communities in which people live, work, learn, and play significantly influence their health.

However, within the real estate industry, the health impacts of transportation, community development, and other construction projects, both positive and negative, continue to operate largely as economic externalities: unmeasured, unregulated, and for the most part unconsidered. This lack of transparency limits communities’ ability to efficiently advocate for real estate investment that best promotes their health and well-being. It also limits market incentives for innovation within the real estate industry by making it more difficult for developers that successfully target health behaviors and outcomes in their projects to differentiate themselves competitively. Continue reading

New video, infographics, and photos highlight deficiencies in the current U.S. food supply

The dietary recommendations for eating healthy have not changed much in the past few decades—eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cut back on calories, sugar, and fat. However, it might not be possible for everyone to eat this way even if they tried.

A new study, published in the November issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, reveals that the food supply contains too much sodium, unhealthy fat, and added sugar and not enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for a balanced diet. The findings show that in order to achieve a healthy balance, the fruit supply would need to more than double and the supply of vegetables would need to increase by almost 50 percent. There would also have to be a 40 percent decrease in unhealthy fats and sugar, and more than a 50 percent decrease in sodium. Continue reading

Hungry or not, kids will eat treats

Oct. 21, 2014, Medical Xpress

Even though they are not hungry, children as young as age 3 find high-energy treats too tempting to refuse, according to new research from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

In a study of 3- and 4-year-olds, 100 percent of children opted for a sweet or savory snack despite eating a filling healthy lunch only 15 minutes prior. Continue reading