Weekly Edition – January 31, 2012
In this week’s edition
:: New partnership targets Denver preschoolers in effort to head off obesity
New partnership targets Denver preschoolers in effort to head off obesity
Denver preschoolers are getting a jump on healthy living thanks to a new partnership between the Colorado School of Public Health and the City and County of Denver aimed at curbing obesity through proper diet and exercise.
“Denver’s children deserve a healthy head start,” said Mayor Michael Hancock. “As Mayor I made a commitment to Denver families that we will improve educational outcomes for our children. By ensuring that Denver’s youngest residents are healthy, they will be ready to learn.”
The partnership is funded by a $1 million grant from the Colorado Health Foundation designed to create the “Culture of Wellness in Preschools” program within several Denver area preschools. The program connects the school of public health’s Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center (RMPRC) with Denver Great Kids Head Start to increase daily healthy eating and physical activity among students, staff, and parents.
“We are thrilled to join the mayor in announcing the new program for Denver’s Head Start preschools and their families,” said Jini Puma, Ph.D., RMPRC project director.
Like many states, Colorado is seeing a rise in childhood obesity. According to Puma, children who are obese in their preschool years are more likely to become obese adolescents and adults. They are also at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
In an effort to address this, the new program will provide schools with nutrition education classes, structured physical activity opportunities, improvements to school policies and environments and health promotion training for parents and school staff along with other services.
Puma’s team partnered with Head Start Health Administrator Gloria Richardson and more than 200 Denver parents and preschool staff to identify barriers families and schools face in raising healthy children.
The team was told that a lack of preschool time devoted to wellness and a lack of playground space present barriers to promoting healthy living. They also found that families face individual barriers to health including lack of time, financial resources, transportation, education, support, and motivation when setting a healthy example for their children.
“It is hard to get motivated at home,” said one parent. “If we brought [wellness] classes to Head Start, it would be easier to come to the school and be healthy.”
The three-year program will run through 26 Denver preschools and be jointly administered by the Denver’ Great Kids Head Start program and the RMPRC. For program information, please contact Jini Puma, email@example.com 303.724.4390 or Gloria Richardson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.570.0166.
School seminar opens forum to rethink obesity prevention
Obesity rates continue to climb because individuals and society haven’t yet been given a good enough reason to reverse the trend.
That was one of the key messages delivered by John C. Peters, PhD, chief strategy officer and associate professor of medicine at the Colorado Center for Health and Wellness, at a presentation today. About 75 people attended his talk “The Skinny on Obesity Prevention” on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
“We’re going to have to figure out a way as a society to be accountable for changing” the behaviors that contribute to obesity, Peters said.
Helping people to realize that obesity in society has a personal consequence on them – much like second-hand smoke does – will be a critical step toward addressing the problem, according to Peters.
Colorado ranks as the skinniest state, having the lowest obesity rate nationwide, but children in the state rank in the middle of the pack, Peters said. Overall, obesity rates in the state are increasing, so “we’re catching up.”
“We must move away from linear, proximate solutions,” he said. “With this kind of problem, we have to look at it a little differently.”
“The Skinny of Obesity Prevention” was hosted by the Center for Public Health Practice as part of the school’s monthly public health seminar series. To learn more about Colorado School of Public Health seminars, including access to seminar videos, visit the Center for Public Health Practice.
Women not following through with recommended breast screening MRI
Story originally published by Garth Sundem on the University of Colorado Cancer Center Colorado Cancer Blogs website
A study of 64,659 women, recently published in the journal Academic Radiology, found that while 1,246 of these women were at high enough breast cancer risk to recommend additional screening with MRI, only 173 of these women returned to the clinic within a year for the additional screening.
“It’s hard to tell where, exactly, is the disconnect,” says Deborah Glueck, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and associate professor of biostatistics and informatics at the Colorado School of Public Health, the paper’s senior author.
But no matter the disconnect, the result is clear: women who should be getting breast screening MRI are not.
Along with her PhD student, John Brinton, Glueck got interested in the data of MRI breast screening soon after the 2007 recommendation by the American Cancer Society that women at elevated lifetime risk for developing breast cancer be screened with MRI in addition to yearly mammograms. In fact, despite most major health insurances offering coverage, few clinics put the recommendation into practice.
An exception is Invision Sally Jobe Breast Centers, in the researchers’ Denver, Colo. backyard.
“The Invision Sally Jobe Breast Centers and our collaborators, Dr. Lora Barke, Mary Freivogel and Stacy Jackson have been invaluable partners in our research,” Glueck says.
Continue reading online at Colorado Cancer Blogs
February 1 Admissions Deadline
Applicants to the Colorado School of Public Health DrPH, PhD and MS programs are reminded to submit admissions applications and materials by tomorrow’s deadline of February 1, 2012. Instructions and application information are published online at http://publichealth.ucdenver.edu/admissions
Alumni invited to attend virtual career fair
Colorado School of Public Health students and alumni are invited to attend the upcoming ASPH Virtual Career Fair February 9 and 10. Hosted by the Association of Schools of Public Health, the virtual fair allows attendees to upload resumes, download recruitment materials, and chat with recruiters national health agencies and companies. Visit ASPH to learn more.
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