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Preventing Chronic Disease Dialogue

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) welcomes your comments on selected published articles and posts from experts from CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. PCD encourages an open dialogue among chronic disease prevention researchers, practitioners, and advocates. Check in weekly for new content.

Select Month: August 2015

Increasing Dental Sealant Use to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children


Tooth decay continues to be one of the most common chronic diseases of children and adolescents in the United States. By age 17, nearly 70% of adolescents have had tooth decay; most of the decay occurs in the pits and fissures of the back teeth. Children from low-income homes are about 20% more likely to have tooth decay than children living in higher income (> 200 percent of the federal poverty level) families. Tooth decay can lead to pain and infection as well as problems in learning.

First for Thirst: Increasing Access to Drinking Water


What we drink can affect our health, and calories from drinks can add up quickly. Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) such as regular sodas, fruit-flavored drinks, coffees and teas, and sports and energy drinks, are the largest source of added sugars and are major contributors of calories to Americans’ diets.

Daily SSB intake is associated with adverse health consequences, including tooth decay, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Water is a zero-calorie and thirst quenching beverage that when substituted for SSBs provides health benefits such as reduced tooth decay and improved weight management. Increasing access to free drinking water is one strategy to support individuals who want to decrease SSB and caloric intake.

Creating Environments for Students to Eat Healthy and Be Active


Over the past 30 years, obesity rates have soared in every sector of the country, especially among children. Childhood obesity has more than doubled among children age 6-11 and quadrupled among adolescents age 12-19 in the past 30 years. As of 2012, 1 in 3 children or youth was overweight or obese. The good news is, we know that prevention works, and preventing obesity early, in childhood, is easier and makes a big difference.

Mall Walking Programs Can Help Promote Physical Activity and Health


Public health practitioners, ideally with support from one or more community partners, can help promote physical activity through mall walking programs. These programs can provide safe, convenient, and comfortable places for residents to be physically active and make social connections. Using existing malls to provide spaces where people can walk regularly has the potential to address barriers some people face in getting regular physical activity.

Mall walking can address barriers such as weather (malls can be used for walking regardless of seasonal changes); fear of neighborhood crime (mall security staff are often present); fear of injury (level surfaces and eliminating trip hazards reduce risk of injuries); lack of social support (there is support from other walkers and there may be a mall walking leader); and expense (most mall walking programs are free; no equipment needed-just a good pair of walking shoes). Malls also offer benches and places to rest, free accessible water, and restrooms.

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