Nutrition & Fitness

Updated Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recent Links and Articles on Nutrition

PROVIDENCE, RI – Below are some links for those of you interested in the topics of Childhood Obesity and Access to Nutrition. They include short-form press releases, podcasts with Public Service Announcements, videos explaining local initiatives, and long-form studies especially posted for those that do Health Policy work. The sources and references for these links come from a variety of places, including (but not limited to) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and right here on We know there is a lot, so we leave you with these parting words (and requests): Take A Peek; Take Your Time; and Take A Minute – to leave a comment with your own links, resources or articles.

Recent Links on Childhood Obesity & Nutrition

Heavier and wider kids
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
HHS HealthBeat

A study says more American kids have been growing overweight – and, the study, which looked at different generations of kids, finds overweight kids have been growing even fatter. (…) The increase in waist size especially could cause more health problems.

Keep Reading
Download/listen to a Short Podcast:


School Environment Affects Diabetes Risk
(And School-based Obesity Intervention Works)
From the National Institutes of Health

Healthier foods at school, longer and more intense physical activity and lessons in healthy lifestyles can reduce obesity and other risk factors for diabetes. These findings, from an NIH-funded study, suggest that school-based changes might help at-risk kids improve their health. (…) At the end of the study, kids who had been overweight or obese at the intervention schools had a 21% lower obesity rate than those at the comparison schools. Other diabetes risk factors, like larger waist size, also fell more at the intervention schools.

Keep Reading


Providence Healthy Corner Store Initiative (PHCSI)
Learn More, Review Recent Work

The Providence Healthy Corner Store Initiative is a community campaign to add healthy options and variety to the food available at small markets in the city. By working with store owners and local farms, the PHCSI wants to make it easier for all families to find and cook healthy food. Choosing more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is a great way to take care of your body and reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related illnesses.

About PHCSI – The Video
Providence en Espanol Covers PHCSI
NBC/Turn to 10 Covers PHCSI


Carrots or Candy in Corner Stores?
Federal Facilitators and Barriers to Stocking Healthier Options
Listed in the CDC Public Health Law News

Sheila Fleischhacker and Joel Gittelsohn have written the article “Carrots or Candy in Corner Stores?: Federal Facilitators and Barriers to Stocking Healthier Options” in the Indiana Health Law Review. The article examines federal legal facilitators and barriers to stocking healthier options in the food environment, with particular emphasis on how healthy foods get to smaller grocery stores or “corner stores” in predominantly low-income areas.

Click here to download/read the 34-page article.


Notables from the Farm Fresh RI Newsletter and Blog
Farm Fresh Rhode Island is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2004.

1) The vision of Farm Fresh RI A New England abundant with diverse family farms and fertile soils, with locally and honestly produced foods and flavors at the heart of every dinnertable.  One of their objectives is to “Increase access to fresher, tastier food.”  In that regard, they recently listed several “Benefits at Farmers Markets (in RI)”

  • SNAP, formerly Food Stamps. Just bring your EBT card to the welcome desk at a participating farmers market. All Farm Fresh markets also provide up to $5 free each day you use your EBT card to shop at the market. Many of our markets have SNAP personnel on site who can help you determine if you are eligible and fill out the application.
  • WIC Farmers Market Checks and Fruit and Vegetable Checks can be used at RI farmers markets. Just give the check directly to the farmer at the market. WIC info is here.
  • Senior Coupons: low-income seniors (60+) are eligible for $15 worth of checks to spend at local farmers markets. Call a senior center for more info


2) The Market Mobile brings food directly from producer to plate. Here’s how Market Mobile works:  Every week, Farm Fresh works with local producers to list food for sale online. Producers log onto the Market Mobile site and enter what foods are available this particular week, the quantity available, and the price per unit. On Thursdays, Farmers arrive at a delivery hub and drop off orders in each customer’s box. One delivery truck goes out with all of the orders. For more info please contact Hannah at (401) 312-4250 or by email at


Tackling Obesity in RI
Urban Health Watch Radio, Episode 3

On Episode 3 of Urban Health Watch Radio, we spoke to a roundtable of health advocates and experts on the topic of obesity, taking a special look at rates and trends in RI, and how to turn things around individually and through community involvement. We talked about ways to make changes at work with you and your colleagues, at doctors’ offices and health centers between physicians and parents, and at home with your family with tips on how to access nutritious, healthy, and affordable fresh foods. We also discussed programs, policies, and strategies for outreach specifically targeting children and youth.  Guests from Episode 3 will help you understand how to take action, from where we live, work, and/or play.

Click here to listen to the podcast ANYTIME from your computer.

Learn About Urban Health Watch Radio


Links on Childhood Obesity, Part I

by Reza Corinne Clifton

PROVIDENCE, RI – From taxes on soft drinks to White House initiatives, the topic of childhood obesity is on the minds of many people – and on the pages of many articles. Are you seeing a problem that you want to address? Are you only catching bits and pieces, while yearning for a more complete puzzle?

This post and its forthcoming companion(s) are designed for those who may have said yes to the questions posed above, and for those who want to spread the word on preventing and addressing childhood obesity. Of course, if there’s something we missed or something worth adding, be sure to leave us a comment or email us at


Learn More about Childhood Obesity…
At Events, Conferences or in Group Settings:

1) Scheduled for Hearing or Consideration:
H7510: An act that would require all chain food service establishments to provide nutritional/calorie labeling information for all standard menu items.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010
4:30 p.m, at the Rise of the House
The Rhode Island State House – Room 135
90 Smith Street
Providence, RI

Be there on Wednesday, March 3 to hear more about and begin actions around “the general assembly’s intent to require chain food service establishments to provide nutrition information for all standard menu items listed on the menu, including the total number of calories per serving, as usually prepared and offered for sale.” To read more language from the bill, click here. To a read a fact sheet on the topic, part of “State-Level Policy Actions to Reduce Obesity in Rhode Island,” click here



A Webinar hosted by the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity
And a corresponding discussion convening in RI

Tuesday, March 9, 2010
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Rhode Island Department of Health, Room 302
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908

Join Rudd Center Director, Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, for a discussion on soft drink taxes and how they can address obesity. In addition to updates on the latest developments in state and local policies since our July 2009 webinar, Dr. Brownell will offer an overview of the rationale, relevant science, and economic and policy considerations of soft drink taxes. The webinar will be listen-only, but participants will have the opportunity to type questions in real time.

Two options for listening in: using voiceover IP (VoIP) through your computer (which incurs no additional cost and requires speakers or headphones on your computer; a microphone is not needed) or using your phone to dial into the webinar according to the confirmation email instructions (and will incur a cost to you based on your regular long distance rate).

To RSVP to the RI convening and discussion of the “webinar on soft drink taxes,” email To register to independently listen and participate, click here. For more on the Yale Rudd Center for Policy and Obesity, visit


To see other event listed on the Urban Health Watch Datebook page, click here.

Learn More about Childhood Obesity…
Through articles, studies, and newsletters:

1) School lunch menu is latest battleground in war on obesity
The Houston Chronicle

Washington — A federal program that began in 1946 to remedy the shocking malnutrition seen among World War II recruits is being transformed into ground zero in the nation’s new war against obesity.

The national school lunch program and other food programs under the Child Nutrition Act, due for a five-year rewrite, may be the most promising avenue to improve the nutrition of a generation of children who think food comes out of a wrapper and who face shorter lives because of their rising weight.

The costs of treating the chronic illnesses stemming from obesity, already at $147 billion a year, threaten to swamp the nation’s foundering health care system.

Click here to keep reading.

2) Remarks by The First Lady to the National Governors Association
Released February 20, 2010

Now, I know that the focus of this year’s meeting is the issue of health care. And over the next few days, you’re going to be talking about spiraling costs that are straining your budgets and running up all of our deficits — costs like the nearly $150 billion a year that we spend on obesity-related conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. You’re going to talk about the staggering Medicaid burdens — and how premiums have risen three times faster than wages, often bankrupting families in your states, sinking businesses in states all across this country.

But we all know that there’s another set of statistics that have to be a part of this discussion — like how nearly one in three of our children in this country is now overweight or obese. Like how one in three kids today will eventually develop diabetes — and in the African American and Hispanic communities, the number is nearly half. Because if we think our health care costs are high now, just wait until 10 years from now. Think about the many billions we’re going to be spending then. Think about how high those premiums are going to be when our kids are old enough to have families of their own and businesses of their own.

So we all know that we can’t solve our health care problems unless we address our childhood obesity problem, too. And that’s really why I’m here today: to talk about the issue of childhood obesity that is so important to me and what our states and our nations can do to solve it.

To keep reading, click here.

3) A Federal Effort to Push Junk Food Out of Schools
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will begin a drive this week to expel Pepsi, French fries and Snickers bars from the nation’s schools in hopes of reducing the number of children who get fat during their school years.

In legislation, soon to be introduced, candy and sugary beverages would be banned and many schools would be required to offer more nutritious fare.

To that end, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver a speech Monday at the National Press Club in which he will insist, according to excerpts provided to The Times, that any vending machines that remain in schools be “filled with nutritious offerings to make the healthy choice the easy choice for our nation’s children.”

Click here to keep reading.


Links on Childhood Obesity, Part II


PROVIDENCE, RI – This post, and its previously published companion piece, are being offered for those who want to learn more and spread the word about preventing and addressing childhood obesity. For those who want to learn in or through multimedia channels, make sure to check out the section below labeled: “Podcasts and other Multimedia Resources.”

Finally, if there’s something we missed or something worth adding, be sure to leave us a comment or email us at


Links from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

Trends in Childhood Obesity:
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys

Trends in Childhood Obesity:
Obesity Prevalence Among Low-Income, Preschool-Aged Children 1998–2008

U.S. Obesity Trends:
Trends by State 1985–2008
(**posted as per a special request left in the comments field of the first Childhood Obesity post**)

U.S. Obesity Trends:
Obesity by Race/Ethnicity 2006-2008


Links from the New York Times

Child Obesity Risks Death at Early Age, Study Finds
Published: February 10, 2010

A rare study that tracked thousands of children through adulthood found the heaviest youngsters were more than twice as likely as the thinnest to die prematurely, before age 55, of illness or a self-inflicted injury. The study, published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed data gathered from Pima and Tohono O’odham Indians, whose rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes soared decades before weight problems became widespread among other Americans. It is one of the largest studies to have tracked children for several decades after detailed information on weight and risk factors like high cholesterol were gathered.

Click here to keep reading the New York Times article. Click here to download the full, New England Journal of Medicine article.


Commercials Are the Culprit in TV-Obesity Link
February 9, 2010

Too much time in front of the television has long been linked to childhood obesity. Now, new research suggests it’s not the TV but the commercials that are making kids fat. In a study of more than 2,000 children, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, compared the time the kids spent viewing television and video. They asked caregivers to track children’s media use during one weekday and one weekend day during 1997, then again in 2002. The findings showed that the amount of television a child watched wasn’t a predictor of obesity risk. Instead, risk for being overweight increased the more television commercials a child was exposed to.

Click here to keep reading.


Podcasts and other Multimedia Resources

HHS HealthBeat
Kids, calories and fast food
A 60 second, audio podcast

Kids in a fast-food restaurant might not count calories, but parents could. And a study indicates that, when parents can count calories, the food they get for their kids would have fewer calories. Read more here, or click here to listen to a 60 second podcast about the Seattle Children’s Research Institute study.


Thursday, March 18, 2010, 4:00 P.M.
Ensuring Cultural Competence Across Care Settings
A FREE Webinar
Sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHQR), Health Care Innovations Exchange program

How can health care settings meet the pressing needs of diverse populations? Join our innovators as they discuss how cultural competency can be the foundation for effective innovations on childhood obesity, health care access, and other health care services. Learn about new approaches to culturally competent services, training, and staffing and how you can use them. Furthermore, the following innovation profiles will be featured. See more information on the Urban Health Watch Community Datebook page, or here, where you can also register.

Other Links and Resources

The New England Alliance for Children’s Health – Recently added:
A section on childhood obesity prevention, the Pediatric Quality of Care web page.

The New England Alliance for Children’s Health is an initiative of Community Catalyst, a national nonprofit advocacy organization that builds consumer and community participation in the shaping of the U.S. health care system.). The Alliance’s pediatric quality of care campaign engages consumers, health care professionals, business leaders, and policymakers to raise awareness about pediatric quality, advocate for improvement efforts at the state and federal level, and foster information sharing about pediatric quality initiatives in the New England states.


American City & County – Recent article
Study: Traffic Patterns Affect Childhood Obesity

“Children living in homes surrounded by traffic hazards are at risk of unhealthy weight gain, according to a study performed by the University of California, Berkeley. The study’s findings suggest that city planners should use traffic calming methods to make it safe for children to play outside.”

American City & County “has been the voice of state and local government since 1909. The magazine serves a powerful audience of city, county and state officials who are charged with developing and implementing government policy, programs and projects.” To read the full article, click here, or click here to download the full study.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHQR) – Online Newsletter – Feature Article
Poverty, race, and gender are all factors in the epidemic of severely obese children

Children whose body mass indexes (BMIs) are in the 99th percentile for their age and gender are considered severely obese, which can lead to chronic health conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A new study finds that an estimated 2.7 million U.S. children are severely obese. This number jumped more than 300 percent since 1976 and 70 percent since 1994. Researchers examined data representing 71 million U.S. children from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that black and Mexican American boys aged 12 to 19 are most likely to be severely obese. Poverty is also a risk factor. This may be explained in part because of the availability of cheap junk food and the dearth of affordable fresh produce in inner city areas, note the researchers.

Click here to keep reading.


Click here to read the March 3, 2010 “Links on Childhood Obesity, Part I.”


Workshops and News from Shape Up RI

Shape Up RI is a statewide exercise and weight loss program
POST DATE: October 21, 2009

RHODE ISLAND – Interested in being part of a 35,000-strong network of people who have lost “thousands of pounds” and walked “millions of miles?” Do you want to learn more about how you and your company or organization can get active, lose weight and save money with team-based wellness? If you said yes or even contemplated the two questions, then you should consider attending a Shape Up RI Information Session.

Shape Up RI is a statewide exercise and weight loss program that annually recruits teams and peer groups to pursue healthy lifestyles through increased physical activity and better nutrition. Participants compete on teams and track their weight, exercise hours, and/or pedometer steps over a twelve-week period in a Spring Challenge or in the summer during an eight-week period. Along the way, they also receive access to yoga, rock climbing, spinning, kickboxing, nutrition seminars, cooking classes and other free events.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was founded by Brown Medical School student, Rajiv Kumar, on the belief that the solution to healthy living lies in the power of teamwork and peer support. Recent research also shows that “healthy behavior change through social networks is the most effective way to transform lifestyles for the long term.”

For more information about Shape Up RI, visit or attend an October Information Session. Information sessions are free, and they are designed for companies, organizations, and individuals who are interested in learning how social networks influence wellness and how you can tap into these to benefit your employees and company. See the times and locations here or call (401) 421-0608 or email to sign up for a session.


Double Your SNAP Benefits at City-based Farmers Markets

Just use your EBT Cards at participating markets for locally-grown fruits and vegetables
POST DATE: August 10, 2009

This summer, families on federal nutrition assistance (most commonly known as food stamps) can double their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits when they purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at Providence-, Pawtucket- and Woonsocket-based farmers’ markets managed by Farm Fresh RI. Funding for the Double Value Coupon Program is being provided by a grant from the non-profit Wholesome Wave Foundation, founded to make locally grown, healthy sustainable foods available to all communities.

The program will double SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits when recipients use their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards at participating farmers’ markets to purchase healthful, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Doubling food assistance money helps needy families afford fresh fruits and vegetables and eat more healthfully, and the money they spend goes to support another challenged population: family farmers in RI.

For more information about Farm Fresh Rhode Island or any RI farmers market visit


One response to “Nutrition & Fitness

  1. Put me on your email list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s