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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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The Physical and Mental Health of Head Start Staff: The Pennsylvania Head Start Staff Wellness Survey, 2012

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Robert C. Whitaker, MD, MPH; Brandon D. Becker, MPH; Allison N. Herman, MEd, MPH; Rachel A. Gooze, PhD, MPH

Suggested citation for this article: Whitaker RC, Becker BD, Herman AN, Gooze RA. The Physical and Mental Health of Head Start Staff: The Pennsylvania Head Start Staff Wellness Survey, 2012. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:130171. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.130171.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
Despite attention to the health of low-income children in Head Start, little is known about the health of adults working for the program. The objective of our study was to compare the physical and mental health of women working in Pennsylvania Head Start programs with the health of US women who have similar sociodemographic characteristics.

Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Among American Indian Men Aged 50 or Older, Kansas and Missouri, 2006–2008

BRIEF

Aimee S. James, PhD, MPH; Melissa K. Filippi, PhD; Christina M. Pacheco; Lance Cully; David Perdue, MD, MSPH; Won S. Choi, PhD, MPH; K. Allen Greiner, MD, MPH; Christine M. Daley, PhD, SM, MA

Suggested citation for this article: James AS, Filippi MK, Pacheco CM, Cully L, Perdue D, Choi WS, et al. Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Among American Indian Men Aged 50 or Older, Kansas and Missouri, 2006–2008. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:130067. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.130067.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

American Indian (AI) men have some of the highest rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the United States but among the lowest screening rates. Our goal was to better understand awareness and discourse about colorectal cancer in a heterogeneous group of AI men in the Midwestern United States. Focus groups were conducted with AI men (N = 29); data were analyzed using a community-participatory approach to qualitative text analysis. Several themes were identified regarding knowledge, knowledge sources, and barriers to and facilitators of screening. Men in the study felt that awareness about colorectal cancer was low, and people were interested in learning more. Education strategies need to be culturally relevant and specific.

Raising Awareness of Sleep as a Healthy Behavior

ESSAY

Geraldine S. Perry, DrPH, RDN; Susheel P. Patil, MD, PhD; Letitia R. Presley-Cantrell, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Perry GS, Patil SP, Presley-Cantrell LR. Raising Awareness of Sleep as a Healthy Behavior. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:130081. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.130081.

Sleep is an essential component of health, and its timing, duration, and quality are critical determinants of health (1). Sleep may play an important role in metabolic regulation, emotion regulation, performance, memory consolidation, brain recuperation processes, and learning (2). Because of the importance of these functions, sleep should be viewed as being as critical to health as diet and physical activity. However, public health practitioners and other health care providers have not focused major attention on the importance of sleep to health. In this essay, we briefly summarize the scientific literature about hours of sleep needed and why sleep is an important public health issue. We also suggest areas for expanding sleep research and strategies for increasing awareness of the importance of sleep and improving sleep health. Finally, we call for action to bring sleep to the forefront of public health.

Healthy Eating Design Guidelines for School Architecture

TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES

Terry T-K Huang, PhD, MPH, CPH; Dina Sorensen, MArch; Steven Davis, AIA; Leah Frerichs, MS; Jeri Brittin, MM; Joseph Celentano, AIA; Kelly Callahan, AIA; Matthew J. Trowbridge, MD, MPH

Suggested citation for this article: Huang TT, Sorensen D, Davis S, Frerichs L, Brittin J, Celentano J, et al. Healthy Eating Design Guidelines for School Architecture. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120084. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.120084.
PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

We developed a new tool, Healthy Eating Design Guidelines for School Architecture, to provide practitioners in architecture and public health with a practical set of spatially organized and theory-based strategies for making school environments more conducive to learning about and practicing healthy eating by optimizing physical resources and learning spaces. The design guidelines, developed through multidisciplinary collaboration, cover 10 domains of the school food environment (eg, cafeteria, kitchen, garden) and 5 core healthy eating design principles. A school redesign project in Dillwyn, Virginia, used the tool to improve the schools’ ability to adopt a healthy nutrition curriculum and promote healthy eating. The new tool, now in a pilot version, is expected to evolve as its components are tested and evaluated through public health and design research.

Declines in Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among Children in Los Angeles County, 2007 and 2011

Paul A. Simon, MD, MPH; Amy S. Lightstone, MPH, MA; Steve Baldwin, RD, MS; Tony Kuo, MD, MSHS; Margaret Shih, MD, PhD; Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH

Suggested citation for this article: Simon PA, Lightstone AS, Baldwin S, Kuo T, Shih M, Fielding JE. Declines in Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among Children in Los Angeles County, 2007 and 2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:130049.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.130049

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

This study assessed changes in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) among children (aged ≤17 years) in Los Angeles County. We analyzed children’s data from the 2007 (n = 5,595) and 2011 (n = 5,934) Los Angeles County Health Survey. The percentage of children who consumed 1 or more SSB per day decreased from 43.3% in 2007 to 38.3% in 2011 (P < .001); this decrease was seen across most sociodemographic subgroups. Despite measurable progress in reducing SSB consumption among children in Los Angeles County, consumption remains high, highlighting the need for additional policy and programmatic interventions.

Improving Public Health Agency and System Performance: Fortification for Promoting Population Health and Wellness

ESSAY

Judith A. Monroe, MD; Craig Thomas, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Monroe JA, Thomas C. Improving Public Health Agency and System Performance: Fortification for Promoting Population Health and Wellness. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:130202.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.130202.

America faces a new frontier in preventing chronic disease. Nearly 80% of the 10,000 people who turn 65 each day have at least 1 chronic health condition, and most have multiple chronic conditions (1). The costs of braving this new world are staggering, especially given the nation’s strained economy and budget cuts that have forced health departments to reduce their workforce and impose furloughs and reduce or eliminate chronic disease programs. Despite these daunting challenges, government public health agencies have opportunities to be the driving force behind improving the nation’s health.

Interventions for Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity Behaviors in Adult African American Populations: A Systematic Review, January 2000 Through December 2011

Jennifer Lemacks, PhD, RD; Brittny A. Wells, MEd, CHES; Jasminka Z. Ilich, PhD, RD; Penny A. Ralston, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Lemacks J, Wells BA, Ilich JZ, Ralston PA. Interventions for Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity Behaviors in Adult African American Populations: A Systematic Review, January 2000 Through December 2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120256. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.120256.

Abstract

Introduction
The incidence of preventable chronic diseases is disproportionally high among African Americans and could be reduced through diet and physical activity interventions. Our objective was to systematically review the literature on clinical outcomes of diet and physical activity interventions conducted among adult African American populations in the United States.

Plasma Vitamin D and Biomarkers of Cardiometabolic Disease Risk in Adult Canadians, 2007–2009

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Bibiana García-Bailo, MSc; Laura A. Da Costa, MSc; Paul Arora, MSc; Mohamed Karmali, MD; Ahmed El-Sohemy, PhD; Alaa Badawi, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: García-Bailo B, Da Costa LA, Arora P, Karmali M, El-Sohemy A, Badawi A. Plasma Vitamin D and Biomarkers of Cardiometabolic Disease Risk in Adult Canadians, 2007–2009. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120230. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.120230
PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
Vitamin D may modulate cardiometabolic disease risk, although the relationship has not been investigated in the general Canadian population. Understanding this relationship may inform public health strategies to curb the incidence of cardiometabolic disease in Canada and elsewhere. The objectives of this study were to examine the association between vitamin D and traditional and novel biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease and to describe the extent of the month-to-month fluctuations of vitamin D in the Canadian population.

Nutrition and Physical Activity in Child Care Centers: the Impact of a Wellness Policy Initiative on Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation Outcomes, 2011

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Rodney Lyn, PhD; Joyce Maalouf, MS, MPH; Sarah Evers, MPH; Justin Davis, MPH; Monica Griffin, MS, RD, LD

Suggested citation for this article: Lyn R, Maalouf J, Evers S, Davis J, Griffin M. Nutrition and Physical Activity in Child Care Centers: the Impact of a Wellness Policy Initiative on Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation Outcomes, 2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120232.
DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.120232.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction

The child care environment has emerged as an ideal setting in which to implement policies that promote healthy body weight of children. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of a wellness policy and training program on the physical activity and nutrition environment in 24 child care centers in Georgia.

Supermarket and Grocery Store–Based Interventions to Promote Healthful Food Choices and Eating Practices: A Systematic Review

Anne L. Escaron, PhD, MPH; Amy M. Meinen, MPH, RD; Susan A. Nitzke, PhD, RD; Ana P. Martinez-Donate, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Escaron AL, Meinen AM, Nitzke SA, Martinez-Donate AP. Supermarket and Grocery Store–Based Interventions to Promote Healthful Food Choices and Eating Practices: A Systematic Review. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120156. DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.120156.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction

Increasingly high rates of obesity have heightened interest among researchers and practitioners in identifying evidence-based interventions to increase access to healthful foods and beverages. Because most food purchasing decisions are made in food stores, such settings are optimal for interventions aimed at influencing these decisions. The objective of this review was to synthesize the evidence on supermarket and grocery store interventions to promote healthful food choices.

Methods

We searched PubMed through July 2012 to identify original research articles evaluating supermarket and grocery store interventions that promoted healthful food choices. We categorized each intervention by type of intervention strategy and extracted and summarized data on each intervention. We developed a scoring system for evaluating each intervention and assigned points for study design, effectiveness, reach, and availability of evidence. We averaged points for each intervention category and compared the strength of the evidence for each category.

Results

We identified 58 articles and characterized 33 interventions. We found 7 strategies used alone or in combination. The most frequently used strategy was the combination of point-of-purchase and promotion and advertising (15 interventions); evidence for this category was scored as sufficient. On average, of 3 points possible, the intervention categories scored 2.6 for study design, 1.1 for effectiveness, 0.3 for reach, and 2 for availability of evidence. Three categories showed sufficient evidence; 4 showed insufficient evidence; none showed strong evidence.

Conclusion

More rigorous testing of interventions aimed at improving food and beverage choices in food stores, including their effect on diet and health outcomes, is needed.

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