This is Public Health

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People turning 50 may want to consider tweaking their exercise routines because as they age stiffer joints, slower recovery from injury and the loss of lean body mass are among the perils facing the youngest baby boomers, fitness experts say.

Studies have shown that even a 90-year-old can build muscle, so the half-century mark is a good time to retire joint-stressing high jumps and to start lifting dumbbells to build strength.

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Halloween Candy 3

Even more frightening than Halloween itself can be the mountains of leftover candy that will take over offices across the country on Friday, November 1st. Many co-workers, trying to keep temptation out of their houses, bring candy into the office. You can run, but you can’t hide from the candy temptation. Here are a few tips to help you not be haunted by leftover candy.

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Teenagers are exercising more, consuming less sugar and eating more fruits and vegetables, a trend that may be contributing to a leveling off of obesity rates, a new study shows. The findings suggest that aggressive anti-obesity messages aimed at children may be starting to make a difference, albeit a small one. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

Click here to read the full story from NOLA.com

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Many students spend up to 9 hours a day at school and are inactive most of that time. To meet the national recommendation that youth be physically active for at least 60 minutes daily, physical activity breaks are needed throughout the school day. Currently less than 50% of children (6-11 years) and less than 10% of youth (12-19 years) meet this national physical activity recommendation. It is challenging, in part, to meet this recommendation when children and youth spend more than half of their time at school and schools are finding it increasingly challenging to provide physical activity opportunities, owing to inclement weather, facility restrictions, testing schedules or other instruction-time limitations.

With many benefits of physical activity, including increased concentration, increased test scores, increased positive attitude and attendance, and decreased disruptive behavior, LPHI’s School Health Connection program has, for a second year, continued to increase physical activity in schools by incorporating movement into the classroom with physical activity breaks. Physical activity breaks are bursts of physical activity that are integrated into the school day; composed of a series of simple, easy-to-learn movements; and designed to require minimal disruption of routine.

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Medical record

Residents of Louisiana and other Delta states face significant health challenges, particularly with obesity and diabetes, according to new data compiled by the Delta Regional Authority.

The authority recently introduced an online tool that allows residents and public health leaders to track regional health data to develop health solutions for the region served by the authority — Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missuori and Tennessee.

The authority’s Healthy Delta Research Database provides reports of health and other major community indicators broken down by state and parish or county.

Click here to find out more.

Three Soda Bottles

Researchers reported Tuesday that they have linked 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide to sugary drinks, including about 25,000 adult Americans.

Overall, 1 in 100 deaths of obese people globally can be blamed on too many sweetened beverages, according to a study presented at an American Heart Association scientific conference in New Orleans. Mexico leads the 35 largest nations in deaths attributable to over-consumption of sugary drinks, with the United States third. Japan, which has one of the lowest per-capita consumptions of sugary drinks, had the fewest sugar-related deaths.

In New Orleans, the Louisiana Public Health Institute and the Crescent City Beacon Community are striving to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes through the txt4health program. Txt4health is a mobile health information service designed to help people understand their risk for type 2 diabetes and become more informed about the steps they can take to lead healthy lives.

Click here to read the full story.

Did you know that sitting too long can cause blood clots and increases the risk of high blood pressure? Adults are encouraged to get in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day to alleviate the negative health affects a sedentary lifestyle can produce.

Check out this great infographic from CBC that highlights how sitting too long can wreak havoc on your body.

To read the full CBS article, click here.

A new study suggests that being physically inactive can be as hazardous to our health as smoking. While researchers differ on specifics, they all point to the fact that laziness and resulting obesity can be linked to similar health hazards and even death, just as tobacco use.

Check out the full story here.

Probiotics 101!

September 24th, 2012

Researchers are studying the ability of beneficial micro-organisms – or probiotics – to treat a range of conditions from eczema to inflammatory bowel disease. And the idea that “good” bacteria are healthy for us is gaining traction. Because of this information, lots of people have turned to yogurt, with the belief that the bacteria added to the milk as part of the fermentation process are helpful. And there’s some evidence that yogurt affects digestion. Others are trying specialty yogurts or supplements made with specific strains of probiotics. There are hundreds of products on the market.

Check out this great article from NPR for more information about probiotics, how they can help, and the studies going on around them.

The Fit NOLA Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Project, led by the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), in partnership with the City of New Orleans Health Department, is slated to receive a total of $2.2 million in funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and pledged matching funds from community partner organizations to increase use of neighborhood parks and access to healthy foods in three underserved neighborhoods. The project will work to transform policies, systems and the environment in parks and surrounding neighborhoods to address barriers to both physical activity and access to healthy food.

The Fit NOLA Project will work to create innovative linkages between community health clinics, parks, and farmers markets in the St. Roch, Gert Town, and Hoffman Triangle-Central City neighborhoods, with a goal of connecting  approximately 64,000 residents with new opportunities for family-oriented physical activities, nutritious foods, and community centered health clinics that support and promote better nutrition and increased physical activity to improve long-term, community health outcomes.

Click here to read the full story.