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Preventing Chronic Disease Dialogue

The Preventing Chronic Disease journal welcomes comments from readers on selected published articles to encourage dialogue between chronic disease prevention, researchers, practitioners and advocates.

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Evaluation of the Placement of Mobile Fruit and Vegetable Vendors to Alleviate Food Deserts in New York City

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Kathleen Y. Li, BS; Ellen K. Cromley, PhD; Ashley M. Fox, PhD; Carol R. Horowitz, MD, MPH

Suggested citation for this article: Li KY, Cromley EK, Fox AM, Horowitz CR. Evaluation of the Placement of Mobile Fruit and Vegetable Vendors to Alleviate Food Deserts in New York City. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140086. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140086External Web Site Icon.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
In 2008, the New York City (NYC) health department licensed special mobile produce vendors (Green Carts) to increase access to fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods with the lowest reported fruit and vegetable consumption and the highest obesity rates. Because economic incentives may push vendors to locate in more trafficked, less produce-deprived areas, we examined characteristics of areas with and without Green Carts to explore whether Carts are positioned to reach the intended populations.

Toward an Integrated Public Health Approach for Epilepsy in the 21st Century

SPECIAL TOPIC

Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH; Rosemarie Kobau, MPH; Vicky H. Whittemore, PhD; Marie Y. Mann, MD, MPH; Jennifer G. Johnson, EdD; Joseph D. Hutter, MD; Wanda K. Jones, DrPH

Suggested citation for this article: Koh HK, Kobau R, Whittemore VH, Mann MY, Johnson JG, Hutter JD, et al. Toward an Integrated Public Health Approach for Epilepsy in the 21st Century. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140270. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140270External Web Site Icon.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Epilepsy, a complex spectrum of disorders, merits enhanced public health action. In 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a seminal report on the public health dimensions of the epilepsies, recommending actions in 7 domains. The report urged a more integrated and coordinated national approach for care centering on the whole patient, including heightened attention to comorbidities and quality of life; more timely referral and access to treatments; and improved community resources, education, stakeholder collaboration, and public communication. The US Department of Health and Human Services responded to this report by accelerating and integrating ongoing initiatives and beginning new ones. This article summarizes recent federally supported activities promoting an integrated public health approach for epilepsy, highlighting progress in response to the landmark 2012 IOM report and identifying opportunities for continued public health action.

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Placing Workplace Wellness in Proper Context: Value Beyond Money

ESSAY

Nicolaas P. Pronk, PhD, MA

Suggested citation for this article: Pronk NP. Placing Workplace Wellness in Proper Context: Value Beyond Money. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140128. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140128External Web Site Icon.

Most companies in the United States now offer some kind of wellness programming to their employees. In 2012, about half of US employers with at least 50 employees and more than 90% with more than 50,000 employees offered a workplace wellness program (1).

Employer surveys (eg, the 2011 Automatic Data Processing Survey) suggest that the most often-cited reasons for offering these programs include improved employee health, health care cost control, increased productivity, and absenteeism reduction. Each of these reasons is quantifiable, and their value can be monetized, allowing for a calculation of savings and an estimation of a return on investment (ROI).

Innovative and Community-Driven Communication Practices of the South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network

SPECIAL TOPIC

Daniela B. Friedman, PhD; Heather M. Brandt, PhD, CHES; Darcy A. Freedman, PhD; Swann Arp Adams, PhD; Vicki M. Young, PhD; John R. Ureda, DrPH; James Lyndon McCracken, MA; James R. Hébert, ScD

Suggested citation for this article: Friedman DB, Brandt HM, Freedman DA, Adams SA, Young VM, Ureda JR, et al. Innovative and Community-Driven Communication Practices of the South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140151. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140151External Web Site Icon.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

The South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (SC-CPCRN) is 1 of 10 networks funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that works to reduce cancer-related health disparities. In partnership with federally qualified health centers and community stakeholders, the SC-CPCRN uses evidence-based approaches (eg, NCI Research-tested Intervention Programs) to disseminate and implement cancer prevention and control messages, programs, and interventions. We describe the innovative stakeholder- and community-driven communication efforts conducted by the SC-CPCRN to improve overall health and reduce cancer-related health disparities among high-risk and disparate populations in South Carolina. We describe how our communication efforts are aligned with 5 core values recommended for dissemination and implementation science: 1) rigor and relevance, 2) efficiency and speed, 3) collaboration, 4) improved capacity, and 5) cumulative knowledge.

Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among US Adults in 6 States: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Sohyun Park, PhD; Liping Pan, MD, MPH; Bettylou Sherry, PhD, RD; Heidi M. Blanck, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Park S, Pan L, Sherry B, Blanck HM. Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among US Adults in 6 States: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130304. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.130304.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is linked to weight gain. Our objective was to examine state-specific SSB intake and behavioral characteristics associated with SSB intake.

Flavored Tobacco Use Among Canadian Students in Grades 9 Through 12: Prevalence and Patterns From the 2010–2011 Youth Smoking Survey

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Leia M. Minaker, PhD; Rashid Ahmed, PhD; David Hammond, PhD; Steve Manske, EdD

Suggested citation for this article: Minaker LM, Ahmed R, Hammond D, Manske S. Flavored Tobacco Use Among Canadian Students in Grades 9 Through 12: Prevalence and Patterns From the 2010–2011 Youth Smoking Survey. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140094. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140094.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
This study examined patterns of use of flavored tobacco products in a nationally generalizable sample of Canadian students in grades 9 through 12 after the implementation of a national ban on certain flavored tobacco products.

Methods
Data from the 2010–2011 Youth Smoking Survey, a nationally generalizable sample of Canadian students in grades 9 through 12 (n = 31,396), were used to examine tobacco product use. Logistic regression models were used to examine differences in use of flavored tobacco products (cigarettes, pipes, little cigars or cigarillos, cigars, roll-your-own cigarettes, bidis, smokeless tobacco, water pipes, and blunt wraps) by sociodemographic and regional characteristics.

Results
Approximately 52% of young tobacco users used flavored products in the previous 30 days. Flavored tobacco use varied by product type and ranged from 32% of cigarette smokers reporting menthol smoking to 70% of smokeless tobacco users reporting using flavored product in the previous 30 days. The percentage of last-30-day users who used flavored tobacco was significantly higher in Quebec than in Ontario and significantly higher among youths who received weekly spending money than among those who received no money.

Conclusion
More than half of tobacco users in grades 9 through 12 in Canada use flavored tobacco, despite a national ban on certain flavored tobacco products.

Using Written Narratives in Public Health Practice: A Creative Writing Perspective

TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES

Tess Thompson, MPH, MPhil; Matthew W. Kreuter, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Thompson T, Kreuter MW. Using Written Narratives in Public Health Practice: A Creative Writing Perspective. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130402. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.130402.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Narratives have become an increasingly common health communication tool in recent years. Vivid, engaging writing can help audiences identify with storytellers and understand health messages, but few public health practitioners are trained to create such stories. A transdisciplinary perspective, informed by both creative writing advice and evidence-based public health practices, can help public health professionals use stories more effectively in their work. This article provides techniques for creating written narratives that communicate health information for chronic disease prevention. We guide public health professionals through the process of soliciting, writing, and revising such stories, and we discuss challenges and potential solutions.

A Feasibility Study of Wearable Activity Monitors for Pre-Adolescent School-Age Children

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Sara E. Schaefer, PhD; Marta Van Loan, PhD; J. Bruce German, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Schaefer SE, Van Loan M, German JB. A Feasibility Study of Wearable Activity Monitors for Pre-Adolescent School-Age Children. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130262. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.130262.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
Understanding physical activity is key in the fight against childhood obesity. The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility of using certain wearable devices to measure physical activity among children.

Methods
A qualitative study was conducted with 25 children aged 7 to 10 years to assess acceptability and compliance of wearable activity devices in this age group. During March through August 2012, children participated in a 4-week study of 3 accelerometer models and a heart rate monitor. Children were asked to use a different device each week for 7 consecutive days. Children and their parents completed structured interviews after using each device; they also completed a final exit interview.

Results
The wrist-worn Polar Active was the device most preferred by children and was associated with the highest level of compliance. Devices that are comfortable to wear, fit properly, have engaging features, and are waterproof increase feasibility and are associated with higher levels of compliance.

Conclusion
The wrist-worn device was the most feasible for measuring physical activity among children aged 7 to 10 years. These findings will inform researchers in selecting tools for measuring children’s physical activity.

The Relationship Between State Policies for Competitive Foods and School Nutrition Practices in the United States

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
Most students in grades kindergarten through 12 have access to foods and beverages during the school day outside the federal school meal programs, which are called competitive foods. At the time of this study, competitive foods were subject to minimal federal nutrition standards, but states could implement additional standards. Our analysis examined the association between school nutrition practices and alignment of state policies with Institute of Medicine recommendations (IOM Standards).

Parks and Health: Aligning Incentives to Create Innovations in Chronic Disease Prevention

ESSAY

Meredith A. Barrett, PhD; Daphne Miller, MD; Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPH

Suggested citation for this article: Barrett MA, Miller D, Frumkin H. Parks and Health: Aligning Incentives to Create Innovations in Chronic Disease Prevention. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130407. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.130407.

Federal, state, and local park agencies across the nation have faced budget cuts in recent years as a result of the economic downturn and sequestration, resulting in park closures, reduced hours, staffing cuts, and deferred maintenance. For example, California faced closure of 70 state parks in 2012 to trim $22 million from the strapped state budget. Although most parks were saved by contributions from various partners, future funding remains tenuous. Perhaps the initial proposal to shutter 25% of California’s state parks to save 0.14% of the state budget deficit would not have been made if we valued these lands not only for recreation and conservation but also as a critical public health resource. With health care reform shifting incentives toward prevention, now is the time to look for low-cost, high-yield wellness opportunities, such as those offered by parks and other green spaces.

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