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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Berries May Offer Protection Against Parkinson's Disease, Energy Drinks May Hurt Kids named “Best/Worst News for Prevention"

"Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample consisting of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention.

Berries May Offer Sweet Protection Against Parkinson's Disease

People who eat foods rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, especially berries, may be protecting themselves from developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. In addition to berries, flavonoids are found in a variety of foods such as apples, chocolate, and citrus fruits. These compounds have been touted as protective against some diseases because of their antioxidant effects, researchers say.

However, not all flavonoids are created equal. Only those known as anthocyanins, found in berries and other red/purplish fruits and vegetables, protected both men and women, according to the results of this study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health..

Energy Drinks May Hurt Kids

Energy drinks such as Red Bull, AMP and Rockstar have no health value and may even harm some children and teens, a new review finds. The increasingly popular, highly caffeinated drinks are especially risky for children with heart abnormalities, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or other health or emotional problems, said Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, co-author of the study, published online Feb. 14 in the journal Pediatrics.

The “Best/Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. "Best/Worst News for Prevention” polls are snapshots taken during a brief period of time that reflect the views of Partnership for Prevention staff. The polls are not designed or intended to reflect a statistically valid representation of the population and should not be used as such. More information is available at

Posted by: Brian McCue at 12:00 AM
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Labels: antioxidants, berries, best/worst, caffeine, energydrinks, Parkinson's

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Partnership Presents Worksite Wellness Information at YMCA’s Conference Addressing Childhood Obesity

Kathie Ruffatto, Partnership’s Program Associate for Worksite Health, co-presented with Bill Sells ,Vice President, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association at the YMCA State Wide Pioneering  Healthier Communities Conference today. The YMCA State Wide Pioneering Healthier Communities Initiative was launched in 2008 at local and state levels in six states and in 32 communities. This year Illinois, Michigan and Ohio have been selected to join the movement to create healthier communities through policy, systems and environmental change strategies.

Participants from each state were able to attend various break-out sessions on different topics. The focus of Kathie and Bill’s break out session was how employers and employees can increase their health through worksite wellness policies.  Bill Sells discussed the importance of physical activity both in the workplace and the community and how the workplace can influence one another.  He emphasized that creating a culture of health amongst the nation’s youth should be top priority for policymakers.
Kathie followed Bill’s presentation by highlighting the significance of good nutrition in workplaces and underscored the important role CEOs and top management play in creating environments conducive to good health. With new Leading by Example publications, Kathie was able to give specific examples of successful nutrition policies from the featured companies.

The presentations spurred a lively discussion on the importance of worksite wellness and how they could help support businesses within their communities. Questions ranged from transportation to program and/or policy implementation. All of these communities are or will begin to take great strides in removing barriers so that their citizens can be healthy.  They are taking an important first step in understanding what it takes to create a culture of health.

Posted by: Brian McCue at 12:00 AM
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Labels: community, LeadingbyExample, physicalactivity, worksitehealth, YMCA

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Smokefree for Life – “Congratulations, Mr. President”

The Associated Press (“Obama has kicked smoking habit, first lady says”) reported earlier this week that President Obama had “given up smoking.”  The source for the report wasn’t the White House Press office but First Lady Michelle Obama.  Mrs. Obama confirmed that the President had successfully quit smoking and had been smokefree “almost a year.” 

This is wonderful news for the Obama family and for millions of Americans who struggle to quit smoking and wonder if they will ever be successful.

The President’s success sends an unmistakable message of hope to those struggling to quit.  Now children whose parents smoke can refer to the President’s example and his struggle.  Quitting is possible…even if you are President of the United States.

In a recent meeting of Partnership’s ActionToQuit state grantees, the news from Mrs. Obama was greeted with much excitement and admiration.   In a letter of congratulations to the President these state tobacco cessation leaders wrote: “Your experience in quitting smoking gives hope to millions who struggle with their (tobacco) addiction.   Your example – that quitting … is possible with the right combination of therapy and family support will encourage others to make the effort and realize the success, even in one of the world’s most stressful jobs.” 

The ActionToQuit members joined Partnership VP Diane Canova in urging the President to take pride in his accomplishment and “consider sharing your experience to help other smokers seek out the smoke-free pathway to a longer, healthier life.”

The President’s experience with quitting tobacco is all too human.  Quitting takes time.  His example demonstrates perseverance and should encourage all of us to redouble our efforts to expand access to tobacco cessation and encourage the types of social and family supports that increase smoking cessation success.  The Affordable Care Act expands access to tobacco cessation through health insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid.  The new Prevention and Public Health Fund will make financial assistance available to help communities promote health and wellness including preventing and reducing tobacco use.  These are important tools that can accelerate progress towards a healthier, smokefree nation. 

But let’s not underestimate the important motivational role that examples of successful quitters can play.  We hope the President’s struggle and his success will motivate others to successfully quit.

Ripley Forbes
Director, Government Affairs

Posted by: Brian McCue at 12:00 AM
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Labels: ActionToQuit, AffordableCareAct, Obama, smoking, tobaccocessation

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