This is Public Health

bike-lane

Don’t forget to look both ways before crossing the street — especially if you’re walking the streets in Louisiana. According to a recent study, the Pelican State has the fifth highest pedestrian death rate in the country.

The report, prepared by the Center for Planning Excellence and the Louisiana Public Health Institute, evaluated 10 years of federal fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report demonstrates a need for more state and city planners to incorporate pedestrian and cyclist safety into traffic plans, according to Rachel DiResto, CPEX executive vice president.

Read the full story from The Advocate and review the documents here. 

thanksgiving-turkey

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of delicious (and fat-filled) holiday foods. So how do you enjoy yourself without completely sabotaging your diet? Check out Discovery Health’s 52 diet and nutrition tips to cut calories without depriving yourself of a true holiday feast. A sampling is below, but click here to read the full article.

  • Pass up the ham
  • Dark meat is OK, but skip the skin
  • Steamed sides = Slim
  • Pumpkin is perfect

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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The LSU AgCenter and Pennington Biomedical Research Center are embarking on an ambitious nutrition education program in West Carroll Parish. The program, called Healthy Communities, aims to improve the health profile of the West Carroll Parish population. The goals are to promote healthy eating and physical activity and provide access to healthful foods and recreational facilities, such as parks and trails.

Click here to read the full story from the News Star.

nutrition-label

Here’s a cool new tool to help keep you on track and healthy! Google recently revealed its new nutritional information search function, which makes it simple to look up the calories, protein, carbs, and other nutrients in nearly any food or dish.

Google tech wizards have added nutritional data to the Knowledge Graph, a feature of Google Search that enables users to get information instantly. It’s simple: You enter a question about the nutritional content of a food or drink (for example: “How many calories are in a banana?” or “How much sugar is in a cupcake?”) and hit search. The answer will show up in a box at the top of the results, with the option to change the serving size for even more accurate information. Below Google’s result, the standard search results page appears with links to other sources and websites if you’d like a second opinion. The Knowledge Graph data includes full nutritional information: Calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals like sodium and potassium.

Click here to read the full story and to check it out.

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.