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July 1, 2016 2:17 PMCategory: Health Equity

June Health News

Each month we’ll highlight a few news stories from around the nation related to nutrition, physical activity and chronic disease.

Please see below for select stories from June:

newspaperJune 1Draft guidance to food industry for voluntarily reducing sodium in processed and commercially prepared food
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued draft guidance for public comment that provides practical, voluntary sodium reduction targets for the food industry. The draft short-term (two-year) and long-term (10-year) voluntary targets for industry are intended to help the American public gradually reduce sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day, a level recommended by leading experts and the overwhelming body of scientific evidence.

June 6: Social Determinants and ‘Public Health 3.0’
Despite spending more on health care than any country in the world and being home to some of the best, most cutting-edge medicine, the U.S. ranks 34th in life expectancy. In fact, for Americans living in poverty, lifespan is on the decline. The challenge of turning such indicators around have led federal health officials to call for a new era of public health, Public Health 3.0.

June 7: Obesity Rates Rising Among Women: CDC
More American women than ever are obese, while the number of men carrying around far too many pounds has held steady, new research shows.And a second study finds U.S. teens are another group that continues to struggle with obesity.

June 8: Things to Know: Obama Administration’s Sodium Guidelines
From cheese to sliced turkey, the Obama administration is encouraging food companies and restaurants to lower the amount of salt in the foods they sell. If the effort is successful, most Americans won’t even notice the change. The idea is to lower sodium levels gradually so consumers’ taste buds can adjust, and to give the industry time to develop lower-sodium foods. Voluntary guidance proposed by the Food and Drug Administration June 2 sets two-year and 10-year sodium targets for around 150 categories of foods. It’s the first time the government has recommended such limits. 

June 9: Middle-Age Fitness Helps Ward Off Stroke Later
Physical fitness in middle age may lower your risk of stroke after 65, a new study finds. Among nearly 20,000 adults in their mid to late 40s, researchers found the most fit had a 37 percent lower risk of having a stroke after 65, compared with the least fit. The protective effect of fitness remained even after the researchers accounted for risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.

June 10Bipartisan Funding Bill Proposes Cuts to Programs Fighting Chronic Disease and Racial Health Gaps
A bipartisan bill that increases funding for the National Institutes of Health and the battle against opioid abuse is considered a big step toward addressing some of the country’s most pressing public health emergencies. But the bill also proposes cuts to a number of significant agencies and programs. The bill would cut $112 million from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, dropping it to $1.06 billion. The program, which provides support in tracking chronic diseases and their risk factors as well as offering help for patients to manage and prevent the onset of such conditions, has been key in reducing the rate of teen births and smoking.

June 13: Could Eating More Whole Grains Help You Live Longer?
Health experts have long urged people to swap their processed white grains for the whole-grain variety, and new research suggests that advice might help you live longer. Researchers found that people who ate three or more servings of whole grains a day had a 20 percent reduced risk of premature death during the study period, compared to those who ate fewer or no servings of whole grains.

June 15: It’s National Men’s Health Week
National Men’s Health Week is observed each year leading up to Father’s Day. This week is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier, but they don’t have to do it alone! Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son, or friend you can help support the health and safety of the men in your life. You can support the men in your life by having healthy habits yourself and by making healthy choices.

June 16: Want New Knowledge to Stick? Head Straight to a Workout
Exercising after you learn new things might help you remember them, a small study suggests. But the workout has to be done within a specific time window, and it can’t be immediately after learning, Dutch researchers said.

June 17: Community-Wide Interventions Decreased Obesity in African Americans
As an effort to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health, the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) U.S. project was conducted in 14 predominantly Black communities in 10 states. Cardiovascular disease or diabetes was the priority focus of the initiative in each community, and obesity reduction was one of the targeted interventions in all of these communities.

June 21: Most American’s Are Eating Better
More than half of Americans were eating healthier in 2012 than they were in 1999, a new study finds. In fact, the percentage of adults with poor diets dropped from 56 percent to 46 percent during that period. By 2012, people ate more whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds and fish while cutting back on sugar-sweetened drinks, the researchers found.

June 21: The Nation’s Health Launches Series on Social Determinants of Health
Our health is shaped by many factors that are often outside our control. Environmental and social conditions like housing, education and poverty can have a profound effect on our health and well-being. o help us better understand how these forces affect health,The Nation’s Health, APHA’s award-winning newspaper, has begun a multimedia series on the social determinants of health. The series, which began this month with an infographic and cover story on how the public health field has shifted to include a greater focus on social determinants of health, will continue to highlight specific issues and determinants of health as it progresses.

June 27: Walking: The Cheap, Easy Workout
Walking is a simple and inexpensive exercise that has been shown to offer numerous benefits for bones, muscles and joints. “Sometimes the hardest part of working out is getting started,” Dr. Carolyn Hettrich, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, said in an academy news release.

June 27: Want to Stay Mobile as You Age? A Healthy Diet May do the Trick
Healthy eating may help reduce a woman’s risk of physical disability as she grows older, a new study suggests. “Little research has been done on how diet impacts physical function later in life. We study the connection between diet and many other aspects of health, but we don’t know much about diet and mobility,” said study senior author Francine Grodstein, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.