Broad Shoulders Update

news and information for cmun dev advocates in metropolitan Chicago

Archive for the ‘nutrition’ tag

Today in Equity

without comments

Daily equity news

WIC nutrition program expands to cover fruits, vegetables,” - Los Angeles Times

Beginning today, women and children who receive food vouchers through the federal government’s WIC program will be able to use them to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

“It’s a really welcome change,” said Gail Harrison, a public health professor at UCLA who was on the national Institute of Medicine panel that recommended the revisions to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children — the first major change in the program since it began in the 1970s. “The supplemental food package contributes a very substantial share of dietary intake, and so making it healthier is all to the good.”

Swiss Health Care Thrives Without Public Option,” -  The New York Times

ZURICH — Like every other country in Europe, Switzerland guarantees health care for all its citizens. But the system here does not remotely resemble the model of bureaucratic, socialized medicine often cited by opponents of universal coverage in the United States.

Swiss private insurers are required to offer coverage to all citizens, regardless of age or medical history. And those people, in turn, are obligated to buy health insurance.

$35 Billion Slated for Local Housing,” -  The wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is close to committing as much as $35 billion to help beleaguered state and local housing agencies continue to provide mortgages to low- and moderate-income families, according to administration officials.

The move would further cement the government’s role in propping up the housing market even as some lawmakers push to curb spending at a time of rising debt.

Written by Keith Forest

October 1st, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Today in Equity

without comments

Daily equity news

Van Jones, Patriot,” - Washington Post

It makes me sad and a little sick that Van Jones, the White House Green Jobs Czar, was forced to resign after being targeted by a vicious smear campaign. The Obama administration lost a brilliant mind who worked day and night to, as Van would say, “get the greenest solutions to the poorest people”. Indeed, Van did as much as anyone to put the concept of the Green Collar Economy on the map, including publishing a best-selling book with that title. More than that, he was one of the nation’s most pragmatic environmental visionaries, someone who was always thinking up practical, pattern-changing solutions to massive climate problems.

Van grew up in a small town in Tennessee, went to a provincial college, and wound up graduating from Yale Law School, launching a number of important nonprofit organizations, and winning way too many awards to count, including being named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list. He’s a remarkable American success story, eloquently captured in Elizabeth Kolbert’s New Yorker profile.

The Social Side of Obesity: You Are Who You Eat With,” - NEWSWEEK

Sending your kids back to lunch-lady land this fall? Careful, your child’s dining mates may be upping his chances of packing on the pounds. A study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that how much tweens and teens eat can be influenced by how much their friends weigh.

In the study, 130 kids ages 9 to 15 were allowed to snack as much as they wanted while hanging out with a friend or with a peer they did not know. All the kids ate more when they were with a friend than with a stranger. But the overweight children ate the most when paired with an overweight friend - an average of 300 more calories than when they spent time with leaner friends. The research also found that friendship itself makes the appetite grow stronger: when overweight kids ate with similar-weight kids who were already their pals, they threw back an extra 250 calories than when they ate with chubby kids they had just met.

‘24 hours in the ER’ shows challenges of health system,” - USA TODAY

Dr. Robert O’Connor had taken charge of the emergency room only minutes earlier when the cellphone in his pocket rang: The Western Albemarle Rescue Squad was on its way with a 14-month-old girl who had suffered a possible seizure.

Ten minutes later, Tyler McNeely climbed out of the ambulance, her face frantic and her pale, subdued baby in her arms. Shana Crabtree, a third-year resident in green scrubs, waited for them at the University of Virginia Medical Center. EMT Andrew Todhunter delivered a staccato summary of Clara’s vital signs.

Written by Keith Forest

September 8th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Today in Equity

without comments

Daily equity news

Grass Roots Put New Orleans Back on Its Feet,” - The Wall Street Journal
With Federal Aid Finally Flowing to Hurricane-Ravaged City, a Flurry of Rebuilding Helps Shield It from U.S. Downturn

NEW ORLEANS — This once-ravaged city is finally mending from Hurricane Katrina after years of administrative delays and political disputes that choked the flow of millions of dollars in federal aid.

Money now flowing through the city is beginning to deliver the most visibly widespread improvements since Katrina struck four years ago today. Scores of public works projects are under way. The last police precinct using a FEMA trailer as temporary headquarters moved into real offices earlier this year. More than half the public schools in New Orleans have been turned into higher-performing charter schools. Returning residents have pushed the population to 76% of its prestorm total of about 455,000.

Yes, We Can Afford Health-Care Reform,” - Washington Post

“Moderate” opponents of health-care reform like to say that we cannot afford it, particularly in the midst of a recession that has widened the deficit with both reduced tax revenue and the fiscal stimulus package. This was the argument advanced by Sen. Joe Lieberman on TV a week ago and repeated by Michael Gerson in this newspaper: “Obama’s massive spending, intended to stabilize the economy, also drained the Treasury, making it more difficult to propose major new expenditures.”

 ”Report maps out solutions to child obesity,” -  USA TODAY

To make it easier for children to eat healthfully and move more, local governments in towns and cities across the country need to help create a better environment, a new report says.

Children and their families should have access to grocery stores that offer plenty of healthful food such as fruits and vegetables, and schools shouldn’t be surrounded by fast-food restaurants. Children should be able to ride their bikes or walk safely to school, and they should have safe places to play afterward, says the report out today from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council.

Written by Keith Forest

September 1st, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Today in Equity

without comments

Daily equity news

Stars Aligning on School Lunches,” - The New York Times

ANN COOPER has made a career out of hammering on the poor quality of public school food. The School Nutrition Association, with 55,000 members, represents the people who prepare it.

Imagine Ms. Cooper’s surprise when she was invited to the association’s upcoming conference to discuss the Lunch Box, a system she developed to help school districts wean themselves from packaged, heavily processed food and begin cooking mostly local food from scratch.

  ”Inmates grow, gather crops to feed the hungry,” - Times-Picayune (AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The nation’s food banks, struggling to meet demand in hard times, are turning to prison inmates for free labor to help feed the hungry.

Several states are sending inmates into already harvested fields to scavenge millions of pounds of leftover potatoes, berries and other crops that otherwise would go to waste. Others are using prisoners to plant and harvest vegetables.

The next healthcare battle: cutting Medicare Advantage,” - Los Angeles Times

President Obama, struggling to discredit bogus charges that his healthcare overhaul would create “death panels,” soon could face another emotionally charged obstacle — a plan to trim the federal subsidy for a program used by nearly a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries.

The program, known as Medicare Advantage, pays insurance companies a hefty premium to enroll senior citizens and provide their medical services through managed-care networks.

Written by Keith Forest

August 20th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Today in Equity

without comments

Daily equity news updates.

 “Detroit tries peddling produce like ice cream,” - The Associated Press
Produce truck serves a community with no easy access to fresh food

DETROIT - In a U.S. neighborhood served by 26 liquor stores but only one grocery, a community group is peddling fresh fruits and vegetables like ice cream.

Five days a week, the Peaches & Greens truck winds its way through the streets as a loudspeaker plays R&B and puts out the call: “Nutritious, delicious. Brought right to you. We have green and red tomatoes, white and sweet potatoes. We have greens, corn on the cob and cabbage, too.”

Some states get share of stimulus faster,” - USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Stimulus money is flowing far more slowly to some states than others, a USA TODAY analysis shows, despite the Obama administration’s push to speed up spending to help jump start the nation’s economy.

Nearly six months after President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill, some states, such as California, have collected more than half of the money that’s been promised to them so far. Ten others, such as Alaska, New Hampshire and Wyoming, have been paid less than a quarter, the review of federal spending reports shows.

Rate of severe childhood obesity up sharply in U.S.,” - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The rate of severe obesity among U.S. children and teenagers more than tripled over the past three decades, a new study finds.

Using data from a long-running government health survey, researchers found that as of 2004, nearly 4 percent of 2- to 19-year-olds in the U.S. were severely obese.

Written by Keith Forest

August 13th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Today in Equity

without comments

Daily equity news

From the Spanish Steps to Spanish Harlem,” - The New York Times

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times Gianni Alemanno, right, the mayor of Rome, visited Mad Fun Farm, a student-designed urban farm in East Harlem, on Tuesday afternoon.

After meeting with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at City Hall on Tuesday, Gianni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome, arrived in East Harlem on Tuesday afternoon for a guided tour of a neighborhood garden run by 7- and 8-year-old children.

 ”The Slimming Figures of Childhood Obesity,” - The Wall Street Journal
Studies Suggest That Rates Are No Longer Rising, but Researchers Lament the Paucity of Data and Spar Over Methodologies

Evidence for the expanding epidemic of childhood obesity is thinning.

Nutritionists, health advocates and media reports have been sounding the alarm about a rise in childhood obesity, which could lead to diabetes, heart disease and other problems. But a series of studies from half a dozen countries suggest that rates have held steady over the past five to 10 years, albeit at levels much higher than in the 1960s and 1970s.

Written by Keith Forest

July 22nd, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Did you miss these? (January 10,2009)

without comments

A recap of this week’s equity news

Nutrition grant will refresh local ‘food deserts’,” - The Courier-Journal
Grant to boost nutrition at two corner stores

They’re called “food deserts” — poor, urban neighborhoods where residents lack cars to drive to distant supermarkets, prompting many to rely on nearby fast food or convenience-store fare.

Now, after months of delays, a project is about to bring healthful food to two such “deserts” in Louisville by helping two corner stores in disadvantaged neighborhoods begin selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

How Obama can partner with philanthropy,” - San Francisco Chronicle
 
With violence in the Mideast, the spreading economic crisis, the tragedy in Mumbai and the risk of state failure in troubled regions, President-elect Barack Obama has had a glimpse of the in-box that awaits him. Already on his checklist had been the problems of new poverty at home; uneven access to health care and quality education; the climate crisis; and the need for post-war reconciliation and reconstruction abroad.

Yet the president-elect was quick to acknowledge on election night that, “government can’t solve every problem.” He will need to tap all available sources of innovation, including from the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. In the case of the social sector, its most important asset may be its independence, not only from governments but from the snap judgments of markets or electoral politics, influenced by the 24-hour news cycle. In a world of complex problems, the social sector - philanthropy and those it supports - may be the only sector able to take risks, withstand criticism and make long-term investments in the public interest.

A Pitch for Mass Transit,” - New York Times

Unlike President Bush, Barack Obama is going to enter office with a clear appreciation of the urgent problems of climate change and America’s growing dependency on foreign oil — and a strong commitment to address both.

One way he can do this is to give mass transit — trains, buses, commuter rails — the priority it deserves and the full financial and technological help it needs and has long been denied.