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An online collection of education, income and health news by and for United Ways and their community partners
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Strategy outlined for chronic disease prevention

'Strategy outlined for chronic disease prevention' and other items



Strategy outlined for chronic disease prevention


To improve the nation’s health, preventing chronic diseases needs to be prioritized, says a report issued Jan. 29 by Trust for America’s Health.

To achieve that goal, the organization calls for advancements in the public health system, including increased funding, and the partnership of public health officials with physicians, health care payers and educators



The recommendations come on the heels of a Jan. 9 report that showed Americans on average die younger and experience higher rates of disease and injury than populations of 16 other high-income countries. That report was published by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.

Key initiatives suggested by the Trust for America report include:


- Eliminating co-pays for preventive services that received an A or B grade from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

- Integrating community-based strategies into new health care models, such as by expanding accountable care organizations into accountable care communities. (ACCs work across sectors, such as housing and education, and work with physicians and public health officials to improve health.)

- Providing effective, evidence-based wellness programs at all workplaces.


These recommendations were made in response to data showing that more than half of Americans have one or more serious chronic diseases, a majority of which could have been prevented.

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Infant mortality rate hits record low for Shelby County

Infant mortality rate hits record low for Shelby County | United Way | Scoop.it

The infant mortality rate for Shelby County dropped in 2011 for the first time to below 10 deaths per 1,000 live births, the lowest ever for the county.


The infant mortality rate for Shelby County dropped in 2011 for the first time to below 10 deaths per 1,000 live births, the lowest ever for the county, and officials credited a countywide collaborative effort to help babies see a first birthday.


The rate of 9.6 deaths per 1,000 live births marks a 35 percent decline from 14.9 per 1,000 births in 2003. African-American infant deaths went from 21 per 1,000 births in 2003 to 13 per 1,000 births in 2011.


County statistics go back to 1930, when 98.9 infants per 1,000 died, a number that by 1960 had fallen to 29.9.


It's a "stubborn indicator to move," said Yvonne Madlock, director of the Shelby County Health Department.


Officials credited advances in public health and public health policy.

"We need to continue to better identify why babies die in Shelby County and strategies to develop appropriate interventions, implement those well, evaluate, modify and change systems as we need to," Madlock said.

The work involves helping women gain access to quality health care before they have babies, during their pregnancies and between pregnancies.


"We've got to make sure everybody in our community moves out of Third World status so we don't have the levels of poverty and unemployment and lack of access to care that one should not expect in a developed nation," Madlock said.


We've got to make sure everybody in our community moves out of Third World status so we don't have the levels of poverty and unemployment and lack of access to care that one should not expect in a developed nation.

Yvonne Madlock, director of the Health Department.


There are many public and private agencies that can take credit for the drop in infant deaths, said Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.


"I think our health department has done a good job of really educating the community and making the community aware that this is one of the more critical public health issues that we have in our community," Luttrell said.

The county Community Services Division and the faith community have been key players, he said.


The county mayor singled out the Sheldon B. Korones Newborn Center at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, one of the oldest and largest neonatal centers in the country.


"The neonatal unit has really done a superb job," Luttrell said.


The drop from 14.9 to 9.6 is a huge decrease and the staff is proud to be a part of it, said Kelley Smith, nurse manager at the newborn center.


"The babies that we do get are the sickest babies and the moms are sick," Smith said. "When our babies are born they're already born having to struggle."


The Med has encouraged breast feeding those sick babies, with about 75 percent receiving mothers milk that is rich with antibodies during some portion of their time in the unit, Smith said.


It is also a part of the Vermont Oxford Network, a collaborative of 900 of the world's neonatal units.


"We collaborate with them in developing best practices and see what works and I think that's been huge," Smith said.


Although the falling infant mortality rate is promising, it is still much higher than the national infant mortality rate of 6.0 deaths per 1,000 live births.

While encouraging responsibility on the part of childbearing women, the community must look at systems changes, Madlock said.


One example, she said, is presumptive eligibility with regard for TennCare.

Low-income women with no health insurance who become pregnant are eligible for 45 days of coverage, allowing them time to apply for TennCare.

However, they may not know it exists or may have difficulty getting to a state office to apply.


"The other thing we've found is a woman gets presumptive eligibility care but is not successful in getting permanent coverage," Madlock said.


Some women wait until their seventh or eighth month to apply for presumptive eligibility so they'll have TennCare when they go to the hospital, Madlock said.

Her office is working to address how presumptive eligibility can be extended through the course of a pregnancy.


The 2011 data shows an improvement in infant mortality rates, but it is also a reflection of changes that began 5, 10 or 20 years ago, Madlock said.

And the solutions to infant mortality will impact what happens to babies 20 or 30 years from now.


"It drives medical costs, it drives education costs, it drives criminal justice cost," she said. "What it means is we lose talent and creativity that we'll never be able to recapture because each of those babies has potential. And it really could be any of our babies. While it's disproportionately experienced in population groups, none of us is insulated from it and its potential."


© 2013 Memphis Commercial Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Public awareness, collaboration, public/private partnerships = they work.

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Santa Clara Safe Routes to School - Safety Tips for Parents and Students





Parents: choose the best route to school and walk it with your children.


Always walk with a parent, a group of students, or a buddy.

Only cross the street at a corner or a marked crosswalk. Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.

At a 4-way intersection, also look over your shoulder for cars that may be turning. Use eye contact and hand signals to communicate with drivers before crossing.




Parents: choose the safest route for biking to and from school and ride it with your children.


Always wear a helmet that fits correctly.

Inexperienced riders under the age of 10 should ride on the sidewalk.

When riding on the sidewalk, ride slow and watch for cars entering or leaving driveways.

Obey all traffic signs and signals.

Ride on the right side of the street (with traffic flow), single file, and in a straight line.

Use proper hand signals before turning and stopping.


Pick-up and Drop-off:


Make sure children enter and exit the vehicle on the passenger side of the car, next to the sidewalk.

Do not block crosswalks at any time.

Obey all traffic signs and driving laws- they exist for the safety of the community.

If your school’s drop-off point is exceptionally crowded, consider parking a few blocks away and walking your child the rest of the way.


Be a safety role model for your children- wear your seatbelt, drive safely, and be aware of and courteous to pedestrians.


The 5 E’s


The five elements of a successful Safe Routes to School Program are called “The 5 E’s”.  These four E’s are made up of:


- Engineering

-  Education

- Encouragement

- Enforcement

- Evaluation


Each E has a wide range of programs and elements that a school or community can utilize to make walking or biking to school safer and easier.  The success of a Safe Routes to School program depends upon community support and volunteers. The links above will introduce you to all the tools that can be utilized in a Safe Routes to School program. Get informed, get inspired, and help us make Safe Route to School a success!


More resources available here:  http://saferoutesinfo.org/

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Americas Promise Alliance - Survey shows lack of parental support and teen pregnancy point to higher dropout rates

Americas Promise Alliance - Survey shows lack of parental support and teen pregnancy point to higher dropout rates | United Way | Scoop.it

Via Lindsay Torrico.


The 2012 High School Dropouts in America survey, conducted by Harris/Decima on behalf of Everest College, lists reasons younger Americans dropout of high school. The national survey of 513 adults ages 19 to 35 found that nearly a quarter of Americans cited the absence of parental support or encouragement as a reason for not completing high school, followed by 21 percent who said they became a parent. Other factors that led to students dropping out were missing too many days of school, failing classes, uninteresting classes, and suffering from a mental illness, such as depression.


Other factors that led to students dropping out were missing too many days of school (17 percent), failing classes (15 percent), uninteresting classes (15 percent) and suffering from a mental illness (15 percent) such as depression. The survey also found that women are three times more likely than men, 27 percent versus 9 percent, to leave high school because they became a parent. When it came to the issue of bullying, white respondents, more than any other racial group, cited bullying (14 percent) as a reason for dropping out.


Nationwide, about 7,000 students drop out every school day, amounting to approximately 1.3 million students each year, according to advocacy group Alliance for Excellent Education. In 1970, the United States had the world's highest rate of high school graduation. Today, the U.S. has slipped to No. 21 in high school completion, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.


"The data from this survey is an important step in deepening our understanding of America's high school dropout problem," said survey spokesman John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College. "Americans without a high school diploma or GED test credential face tremendous challenges. This is why we need to continue putting our dropout crisis under the microscope and develop substantive solutions going forward."


More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents had not considered a GED credential or had looked into it but had yet to pursue entering the program. Time and money were the top two reasons for not seeking a GED credential. According to the survey, 34 percent cited time as a prohibitive factor, while 26 percent said associated costs was a reason for not looking into or obtaining their GED credential. Women were more likely than men to say it costs too much (30 percent vs. 18 percent).


A third of the high school dropouts surveyed said they were employed either full time, part time or were self-employed. Men were more likely than women to say they are unemployed (38 percent vs. 26 percent). Among those who are employed, nearly half (46 percent) said they have little to no prospects for advancement in their current position.


Industries and occupations related to health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction are projected to have the fastest job growth between 2010 and 2020, according to a February 2012 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industries with the largest projected wage and salary employment growth (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf) between 2010 and 2020 include:

Offices of health practitioners Hospitals Home health-care services Nursing and residential care facilities Computer system design and related services

By the Numbers: 2012 High School Dropouts in America Fast Facts

Those living in the West were more likely to say they lacked the credits needed to graduate (29 percent), while those in the East and South were more likely to say they were bullied and did not want to return (16 percent) One third (34 percent) of those unemployed were more likely to say that a GED program costs too much money Six in 10 (59 percent) who work full-time said they do not have the time to pursue a GED

Everest College's 2012 High School Dropouts in America survey was conducted online using the Harris Interactive online panel (HPOL) between Oct.3-Oct.18, 2012 among 513 U.S. adults ages 19 to 35 who did not complete high school. Results were weighted for age, sex, and geographic region to align them with their actual proportions in the population.


Everest College is part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. Its mission is to prepare students for careers in demand or for advancement in their chosen field. Harris Interactive is a custom market research firm leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goo

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APHA 2012: A Q&A with Stacey Stewart, President of United Way USA

APHA 2012: A Q&A with Stacey Stewart, President of United Way USA | United Way | Scoop.it

APHA 2012: A Q&A with Stacey Stewart, President of United Way USA Stacey Stewart, United Way USA President


As thousands of people who are striving to improve health and health care convene in San Francisco, Calif., for the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, RWJF is hosting brief interviews with thought leaders from across sectors. Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide, provided his thoughts on partnerships.


NewPublicHealth also spoke with Stacey Stewart, who was recently named to the new position of president of United Way USA. She was previously the executive Vice President, Community Impact Leadership and Learning at United Way Worldwide. Stewart shared her goals for UnitedWay USA, as well as what she's learned about the integral connections between education, income and health.



NewPublicHealth: What are your goals as the new president of United Way of America?


Stacey Stewart: At United Way we’re celebrating 125 years of history this year, and it’s kind of interesting to take on the kind of leadership role for an organization that has been around this long and been known in communities for so long. But, also to do it in ways that lead us to how we want to be known and how we want our work to be defined, not just in how it’s usually been defined, but how it needs to be defined as we move forward based on what communities really need. I mean, part of how United Way was started was really much more as an organization that was absolutely focused on improving social conditions for people.


We got started in Denver in the midst of the gold rush when Denver was really seeing a lot of people come into the town and thinking they would hit it really big and obviously really didn’t, and a lot of state leaders came together to ask how could we work collectively to address some of the challenges we’re seeing with people in poverty and homelessness and all of that. And they found then that it wasn’t possible for any one organization or state institution to address the problems on their own, that they actually needed to do it together, and that kind of memory still defines United Way in terms of who we are and how we need to go about doing the work.


Obviously, a lot of our history—in terms of thinking about the collective pooling of resources to some extent—is how we galvanize resources to apply to a challenge. But, the reality is that any attempt building on what even financial resources can deal with, it takes a range of different resources—volunteerism, advocates, in addition to the financial resources—to really apply to the issue. So, for me the number one thing is to really reenergize our roots, things that can really help United Way to understand the full breadth of their role in communities as a real convener, and galvanize it toward improving social conditions, especially in the areas of education. And building our capacity as a network to do that and building our relevance in trust as an organization that is focused on that is really critical.


The other thing that we’re really focused on is how are we then seen as a real go-to organization for these issues, a real beacon of leadership in these issues. Not that we’re starting a think tank on these issues, but if we’re a convener on community change, how can we also be a convener on the best thinking and the best practices around this work so that if anybody, whether you’re a policymaker or practitioner, if you’re just looking for who knows the most or who has some of the best ideas around education that I can tap into? How do we create that source of being a repository or that source of information that helps accelerate the work across communities, whether it’s done by our United Way or other partners? It’s just how can we be seen as that beacon or that go-to organization that’s both a thought leader and a real resource to practitioners all around the country? And, I think for a lot of us, obviously, maintaining the strength and health of our network overall has got to be critical.


I mean everyone, especially in tough economic times, is very much focused on resources to do the work and we’re no different in that respect. So continuing to be able to support the resources that are required to make tangible progress on the ground and maintain a real thriving network is something that’s always important to us. To do that so we’ve got to be great partners with people and great partners with our corporate partners, traditional partners…with a range of stakeholders, foundations and think tanks and nonprofit organizations and state and local and federal government partners. Stakeholders all across the board who have focused on these issues and anyone and everyone that cares about the issues of education. We want to be the best kind of partner we can possibly be with them and for them and with them. So those are the big priorities for me.


NPH: What did you learn in your former role as the head of the Community Impact Division of UW about the connection between health, education and income


Stacey Stewart: When you ask people what will help them get on a better path for an opportunity for better life, they raise challenges and opportunities that typically fall into one of what we call the building blocks for a great life -- education, income and health. We also know that people don’t necessarily think about them as separate silos. They’re all related to each other. People in their everyday lives understand that in order for me to get a great job, I’ve got to get a great education, and if I don’t have good health, then I’m not going to be able to get any of that.

We at United Way have always tried to think about integration of these things together and have those ultimately drive community outcomes and individual improvement in an individual's life opportunities as well.


So, when I’ve gone to Denver and seen pediatricians at the table in the discussion on early grade reading levels, for example, that is exactly what a United Way can do.  It’s pulling all of these nontraditional players together. On an issue like education, pediatricians can play a huge role in informing and educating the parents to help support their kids in school as well as making sure that the kids themselves are healthy and have an opportunity show up to school ready to learn. I get really excited about that, about United Way, because I think we bring a unique skill set to people to convene and galvanize multi-sector approaches to the work.


NPH: Where do you see the most potential to make a difference when it comes to cross-sector partnerships to improve the wellbeing of the community? What are the kinds of partnerships that you think need to be at the table beyond what you’ve already discussed?


Stacey Stewart: Well, for us, I think obviously the kinds of partnerships with the best thought leaders in this state or in any of the areas that we’re in are really helpful to us because we see ourselves as the conveners and the galvanizers. We want to look to others who have been the best thinkers and researchers on the issues to learn from them, and just basically take those learnings and apply them in classical ways that can ultimately help communities execute on the work that they try to do. For us, we’re an organization that at our roots, we’re very much local—a set of local organizations with local relationships and local partners all across the community.

The opportunity for us, though, is that to the extent that in most of our work we’re dealing with issues that aren’t just isolated or contained in any one particular community—kind of across multiple communities—the opportunity for us is to think about where partnerships can get traction locally as well as how we can build that partnership across an entire country, across the whole national footprint of the United Way. And, so when we think about, for example, our partnership with the corporate center, we’re thinking about companies and how companies get involved in this work in their own backyards, like in their headquarters community, and how they can make a difference there.


But, many of our biggest corporate partners have a national footprint and increasingly a global footprint, and so we’re always thinking about how we can leverage our partnership with that particular entity that meets them at all the levels of where they’d like to play a role—locally, nationally and globally, if that makes sense for them. We have real examples of where that is really working well, especially at the local level. We’ve got United Ways, for example, in Charleston, South Carolina. They have a Link to Success initiative that’s working on reducing the drop-out rate in high-poverty, low-performing Title I schools, and they do it by thinking about integration of background support that supports both academic and life skills—supports that are needed for children to be able to succeed. So they are involving all of the members of the health community to make sure kids have the right insurance coverage. There’s how our United Ways think holistically about these issues and wants to invite all the right partners to the table so we can dig up solutions together.


What we try to do is, where there are beacons of success in a local community, our role is to try to share that information across our network and across communities so that people don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. They can actually learn what’s working and replicate those practices. That’s an important role we play, but our role is—in particular, my role—to both serve and lead. There are times that we have to lead on some of these issues, lead our network and lead the country in some areas, and then there are times we serve. We serve the needs of communities to try to develop these solutions and come up with the right solutions that they think meet their communities’ needs the best, and we’re always really inspired by when these kinds of successes come up because we learn so much as well about what’s working and what’s not.


NPH: I didn’t have this on the list, but it’s something that you mentioned that I would love to explore a little bit more and that’s around partnerships with the corporate world and how companies can get involved. What is sort of your message point on that, as you’re going to talk to a company about this? What’s the value of companies being a part of these kinds of efforts?


Stacey Stewart: Well, the way that we think about it is that United Way is really positioned to be one of the most effective strategic partners to a company that’s really interested in making a difference in a community. Traditionally, how companies have known us is through operating a workplace campaign and by encouraging employee giving in the workplace. And that really is a core piece of that, and we know that employee engagement drives loyalty. It drives retention, and it drives resources and engagement of those employees into the community issues that are really most pressing, but we also know that companies have broader corporate strategic priorities with respect to their involvement in communities and how they see their role in communities.


We see ourselves at United Way as being able to deliver on a very robust strategic partnership with those companies on their leading corporate social responsibility priorities, and really being a shared value partner with those companies so that the bottom line of improving communities and improving the company’s bottom line can be all achieved. That’s really a win/win situation for everyone involved. What we want to really explore with our companies today isn’t just how much can we expand…it’s how much can the work on education, income and housing be integrated with the company’s priorities to the extent that they want to engage their consumer base in some of this work through volunteerism, through giving, as a result of marketing efforts.


We’re actively exploring those opportunities. We want to lift up corporate leaders as having an important voice on these issues and do whatever we can at United Way to provide those corporate leaders an opportunity to be heard on some of these issues. I think when the business community is seen as a leader in thinking about how to improve communities, I think that’s a win/win for all of us. I used to be chief diversity officer for a Fortune 100 company, and I know for a fact how much diversity and CSR are tied together. To the extent that we could have a company meet its diversity and inclusion goals while also meeting its community goals, there’s a big opportunity for that as well, engaging women, people of color and the LGBT community.


People from all walks of life want to feel connected to a company’s vision, not only in terms of the overall business but in terms of their role in improving community. So there’s a real opportunity for that as well. We think very holistically about our corporate partners. We think about all of their priorities and we think of United Way as a very strategic partner.


Tags: APHA, Health disparities

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Youth obesity to cost Maine $1.2 billion, UMaine study finds

Youth obesity to cost Maine $1.2 billion, UMaine study finds | United Way | Scoop.it

Obesity among children and teens in Maine could cost more than $1 billion over the next 20 years, according to a new University of Maine study. Today, just under 8 percent of Maine’s children and adolescents are obese.



Youth obesity to cost Maine $1.2 billion, UMaine study finds


<a href="#"><img alt="Dashboard 1 " src="http://public.tableausoftware.com/static/images/Ch/Childhood_Obesity_Maine/Dashboard1/1_rss.png"style="border: none" /></a> Powered by Tableau


By Jackie Farwell, BDN Staff Posted Nov. 05, 2012, at 3:30 p.m. Last modified Nov. 06, 2012, at 8:23 a.m.         Metro Creative  

Obesity among children and teens in Maine could cost more than $1 billion over the next 20 years, according to a new University of Maine study.


Today, just under 8 percent of Maine’s children and adolescents are obese. But as those youths grow into adults, that proportion likely will rise to more than 25 percent, according to the study by Todd Gabe, an economics professor at UMaine.


Obese children are much more likely than their healthy-weight peers to grow into obese adults, the study found. The medical costs from obesity increase as people age.


“We’ve all heard about the nationwide obesity epidemic, and these figures bring the problem — especially the challenge facing our children as they become adults — closer to home,” Gabe said.

The medical costs of obesity — including inpatient and outpatient treatment and prescription drugs — for today’s school-age children in Maine will reach $1.2 billion by 2032, Gabe estimates.

That price tag reflects a snapshot of obesity among the current crop of school-age kids in Maine. It doesn’t take into account obesity among future classes of children entering their school-age years or adults.


The estimate also doesn’t include indirect costs, such as lost productivity at work when those children become adults, a factor some studies have shown to be an even bigger drag on the economy than the direct medical costs of obesity, Gabe said.


“If anything, these cost numbers are conservative,” he said.


Gabe’s study was funded in part through a partnership among the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; the Maine Department of Education; and UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development.


He used statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and data including about 2,000 school-age children in Maine compiled by physical education teachers in 18 schools across the state as part of ongoing research in the UMaine College of Education and Human Development.


Physical education teachers across the state measured the fitness of students ages 10-14.

Among all age groups in Maine, the medical costs of obesity totaled more than $452 million last year, with most of the expense due to adult obesity, according to the study.


Just under 28 percent of adults in Maine are considered obese. A September study by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation predicted that more than half of all adults in the state will be obese by 2030 if Mainers continue packing on the pounds at current rates.


Adults are identified as obese if their body mass index, a body fat calculation based on individual’s weight and height, totals 30 or higher. Obesity has been linked to numerous health problems in adults, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, asthma and arthritis.

Because children’s body composition depends on gender and varies as they grow, obesity among kids is defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as a body mass index above the 95th percentile for children among the same age and sex.


Other studies have shown that childhood obesity is associated with diabetes, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and mental illness.


Gabe also researched ways Maine could potentially put a dent in future medical costs from obesity. The state could save $100 million over 20 years by slashing the percentage of Maine children who are currently obese by 34 percent, he found. Maine could also net those savings by reducing by 12 percent the likelihood that teens who are at a healthy weight today become obese as adults.


A number of approaches aimed at reducing childhood obesity could help to reduce the burden on Maine’s economy, Gabe said.

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United Way Community Impact Connections Newsletter - October 2012

United Way Community Impact Connections Newsletter - October 2012 | United Way | Scoop.it

The latest edition of the United Way Community Impact Connections Newsletter is out!

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6 Ways to Advocate Health and Wellness for Toddlers | United Way

6 Ways to Advocate Health and Wellness for Toddlers | United Way | United Way | Scoop.it
Children depend on adults. Here are six ways parents can be involved when it comes to health and wellness at daycare in school.
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United Way of Northern New Jersey Pantry Partners Super Sizes Food Day - October 24, 2012

United Way of Northern New Jersey Pantry Partners Super Sizes Food Day - October 24, 2012 | United Way | Scoop.it

United Way Pantry Partners Super Sizes Food Day


United Way and community partners expand Food Day celebration in Montclair, Livingston, and Glen Ridge


It’s a choice Olivia Maxwell confronts each week – where can she cut corners in order to pay her household bills and fill up her gas tank to get to work.

The first place she cuts is food. Many nights she and her 12-year-old son are faced by the same limited options for dinner – eggs, ramen noodles or cereal. Rarely do they have a balanced meal with fresh vegetables.

“We have skinny weeks,” Maxwell said. “I’m compelled to pay bills before I put food on the table.”
Maxwell, who earns $35,000 annually working in the financial aid office at an area community college, is ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Despite working hard, she’s not earning enough to pay her bills and put healthy food on their table.  


That’s why on October 24, United Way of Northern New Jersey will join thousands across the country for the 2nd annual Food Day celebration, a movement for healthy, affordable, sustainable food. United Way has been one of the leaders of Food Day in New Jersey, raising awareness and bringing together community partners to think about ways to increase access to healthy foods.
With lifestyle diseases resulting in the deaths of more Americans than communicable diseases, United Way seeks to help individuals and families access a healthy diet.

Last year, United Way Pantry Partners mobilized some 25 health-conscious Montclair-based organizations to join the nationwide movement. Building on the success of its first year, United Way has helped to expand the movement to Glen Ridge and Livingston this year. United Way Local Operating Board member Stacey Rubinstein reached out to key community leaders in her hometown of Livingston, welcoming them to join in the planning for Food Day.

As a result, the list of Food Day partners has grown to include the likes of the West Essex YMCA, Livingston Township, ShopRite, Kings, Livingston Public Schools, Livingston Public Library and C.H.O.W., to name a few.
“Access to healthy food is a challenge for some and yet a necessity for all,” Stacey said. “Too many families are forced to make sacrifices when it comes to serving healthy options, impacting their health and well-being for years to come. Through our Food Day efforts, we hope to get people thinking and talking about positive changes they can make to improve the long-term health of our communities.”

So far, between the three towns, there are more than 20 FREE events scheduled in the days leading up to and on October 24. From movie viewings to healthy lifestyle presentations, area residents can gain invaluable insights and resources as well as take part in healthy food drives for area food pantries and soup kitchens.

For example, on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., United Way and Livingston’s Senior and Adult Enrichment Program are sponsoring a free community presentation about the health and emotional benefits of family meals, called Taking Back the Family Meal with Alma Schneider. The presentation will include tips for creating, planning and executing family-friendly menus.

On Oct. 9 at noon, a registered dietician will take residents on a 45-minute tour of the Livingston ShopRite, complete with healthy food samples. Both ShopRite and Kings are also helping to lead a healthy food drive in town. And Whole Foods in Montclair is holding a healthy food drive on October 24 to benefit local emergency food pantries and soup kitchens.

“It’s exciting to see so many local businesses and organizations get involved to make Food Day a meaningful experience for our residents, said Eileen Sweeny, coordinator of United Way Pantry Partners. “Working together, we have the opportunity to strengthen and improve the health of all our residents.”   For more information about United Way Pantry Partners and Food Day, email Eileen Sweeny. See below for a listing of events scheduled to date in Livingston and Montclair. Events in Glen Ridge are still in development.


Click here for Livingston Food Day events

Click here for Montclair Food Day events

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Investing in What Works: Recommended Reading

Investing in What Works: Recommended Reading | United Way | Scoop.it

Investing in What Works: Recommended Reading


Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is among several critical thinkers who have authored essays in a new book, Investing in What Works for America’s Communities. The book, a joint project of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund, includes chapters on policy, finance and education, offers a hard and experienced look at what it will take to help build strong communities that support the opportunities for people to live healthy and productive lives.  


In her essay, “Why Health, Poverty, and Community Development Are Inseparable,” Lavizzo-Mourey writes about the growing need for collaboration across disciplines to revitalize low-income communities and create opportunities to make choices that enable all people to live a long and healthy life, regardless of where they live.

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Maryland City Elementary School Earns Recognition for Wellness Initiatives

Maryland City Elementary School Earns Recognition for Wellness Initiatives | United Way | Scoop.it


When Sprout network personality Sportacus from the show LazyTown flipped his way into Maryland City Elementary School this morning, the students wanted to perform their own acrobatics just like the popular character. But once they heard that their school earned the sole AACPS Wellness School of Distinction Award this year, their excitement was overflowing with cheers.


"We are honored and beside ourselves," Principal Karen Soneira said. "We didn’t do all this work just for the award, but it means so much to know that we’re on the right track. Our school is so diverse and there are so many needs to think about, but focusing on wellness of the students, staff, and parents is the common fiber that enables us to be successful inside and outside the classroom."


The AACPS Wellness Schools of Distinction Award recognizes schools that demonstrate a high priority for the health and well-being of students, staff, and school supporters by going beyond the curriculum to produce positive outcomes for the entire school community. From an engaging outdoor classroom, to raising thousands of dollars for health causes, to earning Green School status to conducting Family Fitness nights, Maryland City’s approach to creating a culture of wellness has uniquely met the needs of its students, staff, and community through strong business partnerships and collaborations.



"If we want our young people to be successful, we must acknowledge all the factors that aid in their development and performance," Superintendent Kevin Maxwell said. "We work hard to provide proper, nutritionally-sound school meals and excellent student services to our students, but we also know that our staff deserves the same support in order to deliver instruction and be healthy role models. This award shows how a school can be the ultimate centerpiece in a community."


Winning the prestigious honor requires that schools demonstrate a strong effort in addressing the eight components of a coordinated school health program as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control: health education, physical activity, allied health personnel partnerships, nutrition, mental wellness, school environment, staff health, and family/community involvement.

As an extension of the AACPS Wellness Committee, the award is in its second year. Sportacus also paid a visit to Arnold and Jacobsville elementary schools, which won elementary-level awards last year.

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The power of reading

The power of reading | United Way | Scoop.it

The Power of Reading

Craigan Usher, M.D. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital


A number of studies link reading and writing literacy to productivity later in life. And research demonstrates that early exposure to books and reading can predict better academic skills in early grade school.


Given the substantial evidence on the importance of literacy, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital participates in an innovative national program called Reach Out and Read, which offers books to children and their parents at well-child check-ups from ages 6 months to 5 years.


Consistent with the vision of Reach Out and Read, the OHSU Doernbecher Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training program also focuses a lot on children’s literature and the power of parents and caregivers sharing book time with their children. In this Healthy Families post, I would like to reflect on the impact of books in the lives of young people and how early reading with children may promote attachment and key emotion regulation skills.

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INFOGRAPHIC: The Obesity Crisis

INFOGRAPHIC: The Obesity Crisis | United Way | Scoop.it
An infographic providing interesting facts about America's obesity epidemic and the impact on the economy, health, and the military.
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Working Together to Improve Health | United Way

Working Together to Improve Health | United Way | United Way | Scoop.it

By Stacey Knight


The health and wellness of others impact us all.  When individuals have the opportunity for better health, the full potential of our young people is realized; business productivity increases, health care costs are lowered, and we all win.  More and more people have begun engaging in the conversation  and making a difference. After decades of obesity rates going up, we are finally hearing some good news.  According to an article in the New York Times and a report from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, obesity rates in multiple cities across America are going down. Over the past few years, this topic has gotten significant attention. From the White House to houses across America, people have begun to change the conversation from one of weight to one of health and the importance of every individual having access to healthful food and a safe place to be active.


America has answered this epidemic with innovative ideas and a lot of passion and hard work. The community of Santa Cruz, CA decided that its children would get the opportunity to be healthy and live longer and more fulfilling lives.  United Way of Santa Cruz County convened more than 150 agencies, parents, schools, health care professionals, media, local business leaders and policy makers to work together to increase access to health and wellness. The coalition has already improved school wellness plans, implemented healthier restaurants standards, and worked with the city to adopt recommendations for safe, walkable, and bikeable streets.


Community members of Birmingham are also moving towards a healthier community.  United Way of Central Alabama and YMCA are working with dedicated community members and multi-sector partners to improve the policies that reshape neighborhoods and support active living and healthy eating.  Together, they are promoting bike lanes and sidewalks, improving vending machine policies to offer nutritious foods, and building or expanding community gardens in areas where healthful food is limited. The community is also working with child care centers and out-of-school programs to provide healthful food and physical activity, which is a win-win for health and education. In fact, healthy eating and being physically activity are both key to academic performance and graduation.


These lowering rates seem to be due to the bold actions of individuals, government, nonprofits, and businesses, to create environments in which the healthy choice is the default or easier choice. We can all make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others. Start a walking school bus in your neighborhood. Plant a community garden.  Invite a high school or college athlete to play with and inspire children to be more active. Teach a kid’s culinary class. There are so many ways we can make a difference in our own home and neighborhood and have a good time doing it.  Although it might not be time to throw a victory party, it is a time to celebrate the accomplishments we have made and be inspired to do more -- much more.


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Obesity | Big Facts

Obesity | Big Facts | United Way | Scoop.it

Worldwide, obesity more than doubled between 1980 and 2008. More than 1.4 billion adults—one out of every five—in 2008 were overweight. One out of every ten was obese.


Extra Facts


Of the 1.4 billion overweight adults (defined as 20 and older) recorded in 2008, over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.


65 percent of the world's population lives in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than do factors related to underweight.


More than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2010. Once considered a high-income country problem, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.


At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. In addition, 44 percent of the diabetes burden, 23 percent of the ischemic heart disease burden and between 7 and 41 percent of certain cancer burdens are attributable to being overweight and obese.


Many low- and middle-income countries are now facing a "double burden" of disease. While they continue to deal with the problems of infectious disease and undernutrition, they are experiencing a rapid upsurge in noncommunicable disease risk factors such as being overweight and obese, particularly in urban settings.


It is not uncommon to find undernutrition and obesity existing side-by-side in the same country, the same community or the same household.


WHO, 2012

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United Way Brings Diabetes Awareness to the State House

United Way Brings Diabetes Awareness to the State House | United Way | Scoop.it

The United Way of Central Massachusetts partnered with the American Diabetes Association, MassBio, Novo Nordisk, and Joslin Diabetes Center on Wednesday to bring Changing Diabetes Day to the State House for World Diabetes Day.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

GolocalWorcester News Team


The United Way of Central Massachusetts partnered with the American Diabetes Association, MassBio, Novo Nordisk, and Joslin Diabetes Center on Wednesday to bring Changing Diabetes Day to the State House for World Diabetes Day.


Local Senators and Representatives, including Senate President Therese Murray and Representative Aaron Michlewitz, participated in an important informational briefing on the diabetes epidemic in Massachusetts. Diabetes poses a serious threat to individuals and families across the Commonwealth. The morning event consisted of a speaking program highlighting the impact of diabetes and provided an opportunity to share critical information with legislators.


November 14th is also recognized as World Diabetes Day by events around the globe to highlight the importance of diabetes awareness and increase education about diabetes worldwide. The State House was lit blue on Wednesday as a shining example of diabetes awareness. The goal is to raise awareness of the disease to policy makers and the general public.


"We need to close the gap—in order to prevent future cases of diabetes, and to ensure that the public makes this health issue a priority," said the organization.


Approximately, 557,200 Massachusetts adults, or a staggering 8.38 percent of the state’s population, are estimated to have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, according to the Institute for Alternative Futures. 280 million people nationally have pre-diabetes – including 1,693,600 Massachusetts residents – a condition that puts them at the highest risk for developing type 2 diabetes.


For more information on the United Way of Central Massachusetts click here.

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Health and Nutrition Tips for Vegetarian Kids | United Way

Health and Nutrition Tips for Vegetarian Kids | United Way | United Way | Scoop.it
Health and Nutrition Tips for Vegetarian Kids - United Way...
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Parents' Role in School Lunch

Parents' Role in School Lunch                                                                                         By Learning First Alliance on October 25, 2012 10:30 AM  

By Betsy Landers, President of the National PTA


It's a question parents know well: "How was school today?" This year, parents need to ask another question: "How was lunch today?" My hope is that students give an enthusiastic thumbs up, telling a story of a delicious plate full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But let's be honest: children probably won't say that. Not yet at least.


As I'm sure we've all heard by now, school lunches are different this year.  As part of a law that passed in 2010, schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (101,000 schools nationwide) will be serving meals with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk, and portion sizes appropriate for their age groups.  Why?  There's a laundry list of reasons, but my favorite is that our kids deserve the best, and it is our responsibility as parents and educators to ensure the food they put in their bodies in school leaves them ready to learn and on a path to a healthy life.


It is critical to create healthy eating habits in children now to help prevent projections that half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030 unless Americans change their ways, according to a new report released this month by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Many other studies have consistently shown that obesity is associated with poor levels of academic achievement. Fighting obesity is not just a health issue; it's integral to the academic success of our nation's children.


The reality nationwide is that one-third of our kids are overweight and obese. You've heard that statistic before and you may be thinking right now, "But what about those kids that play sports and need more food!"  These new school nutrition standards were not a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture pulling meal components out of the sky.  They are based on the 2010 Nutrition Guidelines for Americans and recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, based on the most updated knowledge of the nutrition needs for the average child in their respective age range.  What's more, for many high school students, calorie levels are similar to previous years; the meals just look less like fast food and more like a balanced meal. That means students may find steamed squash on their plates where there once were tater tots, and chicken nuggets that are baked with whole grain bread crumbs.


An upgrade through most kids' eyes? Probably not! But that's where parents and adults come in. As parents it is our role to make sure our kids get what they need and not what they think they need.  As kids transition to healthier options this year, we must make sure that we are sending a positive message that these updates are what is best for them — physically and even academically. Parents should talk to children about how strong these new meals will make them and how healthy bodies lead to better academic performance.  Parents can bring children along to the grocery store and ask them to pick out the fruits or vegetables that they have tried at school to reinforce healthy habits at home.


One of the criticisms of the new meals is that they are not meeting the needs of student-athletes.  That's a real concern for some students. What can parents do? Most schools have supplementary sides available in the cafeteria that students can purchase.  Some schools may even be able to offer extra fruits and vegetables at no cost to students. To ensure all these options are healthy, parents should talk to the school food service director, administrators and coaches on the options for student-athletes.


Parents can always send additional foods from home for student-athletes to consume during lunch or before practice.  Parents must remember that the new school meals are the baseline and designed to meet the average student's needs.  For children with special dietary needs, parents have to be proactive — working with their children and the school to meet their child's needs, while still respecting the integrity of the program. That program is meeting the needs of most children.

As parents we know that any time there are changes to anything, there are going to be bumps in the road. For too many years, we let many of our children eat foods in school that were too high in sodium, fat and calories for their age ranges, and too low in the nutrients that their growing bodies need. I'd ask again that parents consider asking their children how lunch was when they come home from school this week.  Regardless of their answer, parents should shed positive light on the exciting changes that are going on in the lunchroom.  Because their children are worth it!

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Working Together to Improve Health: Brian Gallagher Q&A

Working Together to Improve Health: Brian Gallagher Q&A | United Way | Scoop.it
A conversation with Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide about working together across sectors to create lasting change.
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Hospitals and Community Organizing: Q&A with Robert Kahn

Hospitals and Community Organizing: Q&A with Robert Kahn | United Way | Scoop.it

Hospitals interested in providing more than clinical services see the value of connecting with United Ways to go “upstream.” United Ways can assist their hospital partners with addressing the social determinants of health—housing, employment, income and education—in a comprehensive way. The work of the Community Health Initiative at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and their relationship with United Way of Greater Cincinnati is just one example.


Hospitals and Community Organizing: Q&A with Robert Kahn Robert Kahn, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (photo courtesy of the hospital)


The Community Health Initiative (CHI), a program of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, includes work with nontraditional community partners to support community organizing and address critical children’s health issues in the community. For example, using geocoding technology to identify areas of greatest need—“hotspots”—by mapping clusters of readmitted asthma patients to substandard housing units owned by the same landlord. CHI partnered with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, which helped tenants form an association and compel the property owner to make repairs. CHI also makes referrals to Legal Aid for patients who need help with Medicaid benefits or require other legal assistance. CHI has developed specific health metrics with which it evaluates the effectiveness of its programs and shares these data with local community organizations and CHI’s community partners.


The CHI work was featured in a new community benefit issue brief from The Hilltop Institute at UMBC, “Community Building and the Root Causes of Poor Health.”


NewPublicHealth recently spoke with Robert Kahn, MD, MPH, who is the Director of Research in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.


NewPublicHealth: What are the goals of the Community Health Initiative?


Robert Kahn: The Cincinnati Children's Hospital board established in its strategic plan for 2015 four goals that relate to the health of all 190,000 children in our county. The goals relate to:  infant mortality, unintentional injuries, asthma, and obesity rates as they relate to hospital readmissions. Our plan is to build a strategy and an infrastructure to cover the ground between a more traditional clinical approach and a truly public and social wellbeing approach to these conditions.


NPH: Why are partners so critical?



Robert Kahn: The hospital realized it can't possibly do this on its own. We need community collaborators to work with. The strategy we've taken is to think about how quality improvement approaches that we've used internally, say, to reduce central line infections, could be applied in a more public health kind of a way. So, how can we pick a small geographic area, think about rates of asthma or unintentional injury in that geographic area, begin to identify partners who would like to work on it with us, develop a shared understanding of the need and the drivers of the problem, and then begin to try to move at least the intermediate measures and eventually the final outcome measures.


NPH: Using unintentional injury as an example, how did the collaborations happen?


Robert Kahn: The hospital’s head of trauma surgery is leading our unintentional injury initiative. He used hospital discharge data to find the rates of unintentional injury between ages 1 and 4 in over 90 neighborhoods. Using one neighborhood, Norwood, as an example, he sat down with the mayor, the head of the fire department, EMS, and the public health department to begin thinking collectively about what we could do. They tried a few strategies that didn't work to get into homes to install safety equipment, and now they’ve shifted to community-wide safety days to attract parent attention and interest.


They’ve had two safety days in which they’ve gotten tremendous numbers of volunteers and they've actually installed safety equipment in about 20 percent of all the homes in that community with children under age 5, with equipment such as smoke alarms and safety gates. But the hospital soon realized that we can't be in the business of doing this in every community ourselves. Now we’re looking at how we can develop a cadre of community leaders so that it can eventually be scalable to other neighborhoods. And we are able to share with communities the rates of unintentional injuries in children in their community, because we take care of 90 percent of the emergency room visits and hospitalizations for kids in the county. So, essentially we are a population-based provider and can almost take on a more public health frame because we have all that discharge data.


NPH: How do you crystalize the hospital’s role in community organizing?


Robert Kahn: I see our role as bringing the health data and our strength in methodology to the community, and in some sense helping be a catalyst or an instigator for creating change on the ground. For the actual organizing, I would much rather find an existing child health consortium on the ground. A community has to own this in the long run for it to be sustainable.


NPH: Who are the partners that are so critical to get perspective beyond health care?


Robert Kahn: I think the goal, from my standpoint, is to get upstream of the health problems and actually think about the social determinants of health and help address issues like housing, employment, income and education. As we think about that, we've tried to consciously identify who are the very high leverage organizations that can help county-wide, as well as local organizations that can do more of the grassroots work. We're really trying to develop collaboration, for example, with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. They have bold education and income goals and increasingly are developing bold health goals. So, how can we partner with an organization like United Way that distributes funding to agencies in the community, and use that as a high leverage point for action. Similarly, the Cincinnati public schools play a pivotal role in the lives of tens of thousands of children. How can we work at the highest levels with them as well to develop an agenda around good nutrition and physical activity?


NPH: Tell us about the asthma hot spotting project.


Robert Kahn: With the hospital discharge data for asthma, we can look at uncontrolled asthma practically in real-time, and then geocode those events to neighborhoods. We have maps now of the counties where we know where the asthma hotspots are, for example. We can give feedback on a monthly basis to see if things are changing. That drives a sense of urgency for us and also hopefully for the community partners to create change as quickly as possible, or to create improvements as quickly as possible.


NPH: And what is an example of an innovative partnership the hospital engaged in to tackle issues that span beyond clinical care?


Robert Kahn: An absolutely amazing collaboration is one between physicians taking care of low income kids and lawyers committed to low income families through the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati. We've built a partnership in which there's a legal advocate in our clinic five days a week. We now send over 700 referrals a year to the legal aid advocate. In that clinic, we have 15,000 children and over 35,000 visits a year and physicians ask about housing conditions, but this partnership with legal aid has uncovered really important patterns. Three separate physicians referred a family to legal aid where the family reported that the landlord told them, in the heat of summer, that they'd be evicted if they put in a portable air conditioner into the unit.


Legal aid asked the simple question that a physician never would have asked—who's your landlord? They discovered there was a single developer who owned 19 buildings in Cincinnati who had gone into foreclosure, and all 19 buildings, with over 600 units, were falling into disrepair. They went in and formed tenant associations, worked with Fannie Mae and the property management company for the buildings to institute systemic repairs in about eleven of the buildings including new roofs, cooling and heating. By physicians working hand in glove with a great organization like legal aid, whose mission is stabilizing housing, stabilizing income, we together achieved sort the broader aim of addressing social determinants.


>>Read a brand new study published in Pediatrics describing the outcomes of this medical-legal partnership.


NPH: Have you seen any progress so far, on any of these issues?


Robert Kahn: That's always the hard question. We think we're beginning to see a signal, especially with the injury work in Norwood. It's very early and we still have a lot of mistakes to make and learn from. For asthma, there's a team that's been working on the issue for a while, and we see a reduction in readmissions among children on Medicaid. And they've done that by trying to move more of the care out into the communities, such as a home health program where they're working on self-management of asthma in the home, as well as home delivery of asthma medication to improve adherence.


One of the huge wins for me was when I saw some of the hospitals' approach to goal setting and data-informed approaches appearing in grants that community organizations are submitting, independent of us. They’ve now put in a couple of grants to support their own neighborhood work where they’ve asked to borrow our key driver diagram or asked us to suggest quality improvement approaches. They’re finding value in what we’ve offered to put into proposals of their own, which creates a more sustainable model for change.

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Campaign promotes healthy eating, physical activity and healthy families

Campaign promotes healthy eating, physical activity and healthy families | United Way | Scoop.it

BURLINGTON, Ky. -- Eating healthy and being physically active can be a challenge in today's busy world. The 5-2-1-0 campaign offers help to parents and caregivers in promoting healthy behaviors.



Photographer: Getty Images Copyright Getty Images


Posted: 09/27/2012


BURLINGTON, Ky. - Eating healthy and being physically active can be a challenge in today’s busy world. The 5-2-1-0 campaign is here to help.


5-2-1-0 is a simple, consistent message that promotes four healthy behaviors:


5: Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day

2: Limit two or less hours of daily TV or computer use

1: Get one hour or more of physical activity

0: Drink zero high-sugar drinks


Throughout the month of September, many partners have joined the community campaign to share healthy messages with families in Boone County.


Here are some tips to help you and your family to get started:


Wash and chop fruits and veggies so they are ready to grab and eat.Add veggies (fresh, frozen, canned or dried) to food you already make, like pasta, casseroles, pizza, rice, etc.

Set basic rules like no TV or computer before homework or chores are done.

Make a list of fun activities to do instead of being in front of a screen.

Make gradual changes to increase your family’s level of physical activity, such as taking a short walk after dinner.

Choose toys and games that promote physical activity, such as playing tag or throwing a Frisbee.

Suggest a glass of water or low-fat milk instead of juice.

Keep a water bottle on hand. Add fresh lemon to water for some natural flavor.


The strength of the community campaign rests in various trusted community partners sharing a common message. Individuals are more apt to adopt these healthy behaviors when hearing a consistent message from trusted sources such as teachers, doctors, child-care providers and other community organizations. The 5210 campaign engages these trusted community partners in sharing the message.

Take a look at this YouTube announcement featuring Northern Kentucky children.


You can also see the 5210 Public Service Announcement featuring Northern Kentucky children by visiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv5PX-Hi3Jo.


For more information and resources on the 5-2-1-0 campaign, please visit www.readysetsuccess.org .


Rebekah Duchette is the Executive Director of United Way's Boone County Success By 6®.




Read more: http://www.kypost.com/dpp/lifestyle/family/campaign-promotes-healthy-eating-physical-activity-and-healthy-families#ixzz28io35JnD

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Wellness and Prevention Health Reform Digest, October 1, 2012 Trust for America's Health

Wellness and Prevention Health Reform Digest, October 1, 2012

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[INFOGRAPHIC] The More They Burn, the Better They Learn | Let's Move!

[INFOGRAPHIC] The More They Burn, the Better They Learn | Let's Move! | United Way | Scoop.it
The More They Burn, the Better They Learn Posted by  Lea Prohov  on  September 18, 2012

Ed. note: The physical activity facts for adolescent and school health were originally published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Physical activity is essential to a healthy lifestyle, and it can be especially important in helping kids do better in school. U.S. Health and Human Services studies show that regular physical activity for kids and teens improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, and increases self-esteem. Parents, teachers and community leaders can all play a supportive role, and help encourage a healthy lifestyle by promoting physical activity into everyday routines.

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“Mom, there’s nothing to eat” - United Way of the Wabash Valley's Hunger Challenge

“Mom, there’s nothing to eat” - United Way of the Wabash Valley's Hunger Challenge | United Way | Scoop.it

“Mom, there’s nothing to eat”

September 15th, 2012 at 11:09 pm by Jaclyn Bevis under Hunger Challenge


As a child, I remember saying these five words to my mom on a nearly daily basis. Luckily for me, the statement was far from true. While I may not have seen the exact brand and flavor of potato chip I wanted or my favorite Pop-Tart filling, I always had something to eat. For that, I am thankful for my parents and their efforts to make sure I never went hungry; however, as I grow older, I am more and more aware of how difficult a task keeping a cupboard full is. As I approach the United Way of the Wabash Valley’s Hunger Challenge, I know I’m about to become much more aware.


If you don’t know about the challenge, get ready! For the next seven days starting at midnight tonight (Saturday), here are the guidelines I’ll be following for my all food and meal choices.

I will be limited to spending $29.27 for the entire week on food. That’s $4.18 for each of the seven days. I may not use any food that I have outside of what is available to me after I make my food purchases for this week. This includes spices, milk, leftovers and baking goods. Just to reiterate, I will ONLY eat things purchased with the $29.27. I will not, and cannot, take food hand outs. That means skipping Doughnut Friday at the news station, family dinners with my fabulous, extended Terre Haute family and the free coffee from work.


I said basic, and those are pretty basic. Here are some other basics:

- 1 in 4 children struggle with hunger every day right here in the Wabash Valley;

- 1 in 6 adults are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where they’ll find their next meal;

- While food prices went up in the last year, SNAP assistance went down, meaning people receive less money per day for food.


Those three bullet points are three key reasons why I’m taking part in the United Ways second annual challenge. Adults and children alike are forced to live and eat by these dollar figures day after day, month after month.

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