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“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

There has been a surge in the attention to childhood obesity in recent weeks with the release of new national data and the announcement by leading beverage companies of their intention to remove "empty" calorie, sugar-ladened drinks from school vending machines. Several large media outlets, including nationally-syndicated talk radio, have again shined the spotlight on the issue. We must continue to be careful, however, not to marginalize persons, especially children, who are overweight. I've always liked the motto "physical activity for all," meaning for persons of all ages, cultures, abilities, and sizes. With summer approaching, may we provide ALL persons with opportunities to engage in enjoyable physical activities.

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director
Delores Pluto, PhD, Newsletter Editor (dmpluto@sc.edu)

IN THIS ISSUE – May/June2006

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Top 10 Walking Cities in US; Bicycle Friendly Communities; 50th Anniversary of President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports; National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health is Formed

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Healthy Places Act of 2006

RESEARCH NOTES: Multi-Scale Analysis of Building Communities to Promote PA; PA and Adolescent Risk Behaviors

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: NCBW Launches New Website; Childhood Obesity Policy Statement from American Academy of Pediatrics; Let's Just Play; National SRTS Clearinghouse

PHYSICAL EDUCATION (PE) IN SCHOOLS: PE Curriculum Analysis Tool; 2006 Shape of the Nation Report; Nutrition and PA in US Elementary Schools

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Complete Streets Campaign Launched

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: 2006 Cooper Institute Conference Series; Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference; SRTS National Partnership Meeting


TOP 10 WALKING CITIES IN US: Prevention Magazine and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) have named the Top 10 cities for walking the United States. One hundred cities were evaluated based on the percentage of people who regularly walk-either for fitness and health or to get to and from work, low crime rates, mild year-round temperatures, the number of cultural attractions, participation in recreational sports, and pet ownership. The top 10 cities for 2006 are: 1. Portland, Oregon 2. Colorado Springs, Colorado 3. Madison, Wisconsin 4. Boise City, Idaho 5. Las Vegas, Nevada 6. Austin, Texas 7. Virginia Beach, Virginia 8. Anchorage, Alaska 9. Fremont, California 10. Raleigh, North Carolina. The list appears in Prevention's annual April walking issue. Go to http://www.prevention.com/article/0,,s1-2-92-34-6707-1,00.html to read the article. [Livability Listserv, 4/14/06]
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BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES: The League of American Bicyclists has announced the 2006 Bicycle Friendly Communities. Fifteen cities earned or renewed the designation in April 2006, and four communities earned an Honorable Mention. The cities earning "gold" designation are: Madison, WI, San Francisco, CA and Tucson/Pima Eastern Region, AZ. The program analyzes bicycle friendliness in five areas: education, enforcement, encouragement, engineering and evaluation. The Bicycle Friendly Community program is supported by a grant from Bikes Belong. For more information, go to: http://www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org/ [Bike League News 4/24]
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50th ANNIVERSARY OF PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS: The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2006 and invites you to become 50th Anniversary Partners to Get America Moving. Partners will receive the official PCPFS 50th Anniversary logo; a link and notable mention on the PCPFS web site and President's Challenge web site; invitations to participate in celebratory activities at the national, state, and local levels; and tools and messages to incorporate into state and community programs. Go to http://www.fitness.gov/50thanniversary/50th_anniv_partner_info.htm for registration information and a PCPFS 50th Anniversary Toolkit. [AoA E-News]
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NATIONAL SOCIETY OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PRACTIONERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH: Physical activity practitioners from state health departments formed the National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health in April. The Society's mission is to elevate physical activity as a public health priority through engagement, education, and expansion of partnerships. Visit the Society's website to become a member at http://www.pacollaborative.org. More resources and news about the Society will be posted soon. [CDC PA Listserv 5/17/06]
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For a list of PA related observances and events, visit the PA links section of our website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/PAlinks/index.htm
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HEALTHY PLACES ACT: The Healthy Places Act of 2006 (S.2506/H.R.5088) brings together all levels of government to address environmental health issues by: (1) establishing and supporting health impact assessment programs to proactively examine the potential health effects of major policy or programmatic changes, (2) creating a grant program to assist states and local communities to address environmental health hazards, particularly those that contribute to health disparities and (3) accelerating research on the relationship between the built environment and health, as recommended by two Institute of Medicine reports. Go to http://thomas.loc.gov/ to view the bill and status.
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MULTI-SCALE ANALYSIS OF BUILDING COMMUNITIES TO PROMOTE PA: Development patterns, travel behavior, and physical activity were assessed in a three-scale (regional, city, and city-block level) analysis of urban built environments in American cities. Evidence shows that walking and cycling will be encouraged if destination distances are reduced and streetscapes are safe, but may not result in more Americans meeting PA recommendations. Race and class issues factor in because pedestrian-oriented environments have historically been adopted by wealthier municipalities that can fund such landscapes. Public health improvements are inextricably linked to social and racial equity. American municipalities need to balance the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, automobiles, and public transport. Vojnovic. Building communities to promote physical activity: a multi-scale geographical analysis. Geografiska Annaler, 88B(1); 67-90, 2006.
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PA AND ADOLESCENT RISK BEHAVIORS: Adolescents provided data about physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors and their relation to different risk behaviors for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The final sample of 5,979 males and 5,978 females included 70% white, 14% black, 11% Hispanic, and 4% Asian adolescents. Results of regression analysis show that participating in a broad range of physical activities is associated with less participation in risky behaviors and more positive health outcomes, like higher self-esteem. Adolescent PA is complex and relates to metabolic, behavioral, and social processes. Nelson & Gordon-Larsen. "Physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns are associated with selected adolescent health risk behaviors." Pediatrics, 117(4):1281-1290.
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For additional summaries of recent research on promoting physically active lifestyles, visit the Research Updates section of our website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/updates/index.htm
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NCBW LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITE: The National Center for Bicycling and Walking has launched new revisions to its website. Revisions include a new page for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference and a new element called the "State of the Practice," which features designing for accessibility and pedestrian and bicycle access guides and resources frequently used by experts in the field. Send your ideas for other resources to John Williams, the resources section editor, at john@montana.com. Check out the new additions at http://www.bikewalk.org.
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CHILDHOOD OBESITY POLICY STATEMENT FROM AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement, "Active Healthy Living: Prevention of Childhood Obesity Through Increased Physical Activity," which recommends that physicians, health care professionals, schools, communities and families all work together to help improve nutrition and encourage physical activity. In regards to physical activity, the policy recommends that physicians and health care professionals aggressively advocate for school and community recreation programs that encourage physical activity; reinstatement of compulsory, quality, daily physical education programs; protection of school recess time; creation of safe recreational facilities, parks, playgrounds, bicycle paths, sidewalks and crosswalks; and social marketing that promotes physical activity. The full policy statement can be found in the May 2006 issue of Pediatrics, 117(5); 1834-1842, 2006. View the press release at http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/may06physicalactivity.htm.
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LET'S JUST PLAY!: The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has partnered with Nickelodeon to launch the Go Healthy Challenge with the introduction of four real children on their quest to eat better, play harder, and feel better. Kids can join the challenge on the Let's Just Play website. The website also includes health tips, monthly challenges, recipes and message boards. Kids can visit http://www.nick.com/letsjustplay to view the website. Professionals can visit http://preview.tinyurl.com/2kbouk for more information about the program and partnership.
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NATIONAL SRTS CLEARINGHOUSE: The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) has been awarded $6 million in funding to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school. The HSRC, funded for 5 years by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, will establish a clearinghouse on the National Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program, a federal program established to create safe settings where more parents and children can walk and bicycle to school. The clearinghouse will provide technical assistance to SRTS program coordinators and serve as the central hub of information on successful strategies and programs. The HSRC also will be responsible for developing educational programs, as well as developing and maintaining a website, listserv and toll-free phone number. Visit the clearinghouse website at: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org.
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PE CURRICULUM ANAYLSIS TOOL: The Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT) is now available from CDC to help school districts conduct clear, complete, and consistent analyses of written physical education curricula, based upon national physical education standards. The tool features preliminary curriculum considerations, such as accuracy and feasibility analyses, content and student assessment analyses, customizable templates for state or local use, and scorecards and curriculum improvement plan worksheets that can be shared with key stakeholders, school administrators or other groups interested in strengthening PE programs. Results from the analysis can help schools enhance an existing curriculum, develop their own curriculum, or select a published curriculum, for the delivery of quality PE in schools. The tool is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/pecat. [CDC PA listserv 4/27/06]
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2006 SHAPE OF THE NATION REPORT: The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the American Heart Association have released the 2006 Shape of the Nation Report: Status of Physical Education in the USA. The report finds that most states receive a failing grade on their PE requirements. It recommends that PE instruction be the cornerstone of a comprehensive school physical activity program that also includes health education, elementary school recess, after-school physical activity clubs and intramurals, high school interscholastic athletics, walk/bike to school programs, and staff wellness programs. The complete report, including mandates, executive summary, and state policies and profiles, is available at http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/ShapeOfTheNation/.
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NUTRITION AND PA IN US ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS: The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released "Calories In, Calories Out: Food and Exercise in Public Elementary Schools, 2005." The report, based on a survey conducted by NCES of elementary schools in the United States, includes findings on the types of food available (besides full school meals) and the opportunities available for students to engage in physical activity, such as recess and PE classes. The report indicated elementary students spend an average of 208 to 222 minutes per week in scheduled recess and PE. To read the full report, visit: http://nces.ed.gov/Pubs2006/nutrition/.
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COMPLETE STREETS CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED: The National Complete Streets Coalition has announced the launch of the Complete Streets Campaign. Seed funds from Bikes Belong, AARP, and American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) allow work to begin on the three-part campaign to encourage adoption of complete streets policies across the country. The Coalition will spread the word on the benefits of complete streets; build the coalition to create a powerful broad-based movement for complete streets; and help get it right when jurisdictions are ready to adopt a policy. A downloadable brochure and complete street policies and recommendations are available at http://www.completestreets.org.
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2006 COOPER INSTITUTE CONFERERNCE SERIES: Registration for the 2006 Cooper Institute Conference Series "Parks, Recreation, and Public Health: Collaborative Frameworks for Promoting Physical Activity" is now open. The conference, to be held October 26 -28, 2006 in Dallas, TX , will focus on developing collaborative frameworks for researchers, practitioners, and educators in the fields of public health, parks, and recreation. For conference and registration information, go to http://www.cooperinst.org/conf2006intro.asp.
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PRO WALK/PRO BIKE CONFERENCE: Schedules and registration information for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference in Madison, WI will be available on the National Center for Bicycling and Walking website on May 30. The conference will be held September 5 - 8, 2006. Go to http://www.bikewalk.org/conference/index.html for conference information.
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SRTS NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP MEETING: The SRTS National Partnership Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, September 8 from 3-6 PM directly after the conclusion of the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference in Madison, WI. The Partnership will hold a separate registration for its annual meeting. More information will be forthcoming soon.
[CDC PA listserv 5/11/06]
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For a more complete list of conferences and workshops, visit the PA links section of our website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/PAlinks/index.htm
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Writers: Lara Peck, Alicia Norris

This and past issues of the “University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center Notes” are available on our website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/Newsletter/index.htm.

To submit an item, please e-mail Delores Pluto at dmpluto@sc.edu.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, e-mail the Prevention Research Center at USCPRC@gwm.sc.edu. When subscribing, please include your name, e-mail address, title, and organizational affiliation. There is no subscription cost. If you have an e-mail filter in place that only allows messages from approved email addresses, please add uscprc@gwm.sc.edu to your approved list.

For continuing discussions about physical activity, join the Physical Activity and Public Health On-Line Network listserv. Instructions are located on our website, at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/newsletter/commands.htm.

The USC Prevention Research Center is a member of the CDC Prevention Research Center's National Network, consisting of 28 Centers in the U.S. For more information about the PRC National Network, visit http://www.cdc.gov/prc.

Prevention Research Center
Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
730 Devine Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29208

This publication was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5-U48-DP-000051 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.


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