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Physical Activity and Healthy Eating in Minnesota: Addressing Root Causes of Obesity

A new report released by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reveals new insights about Minnesota’s obesity problem among adults and obesity’s two preventable causes: physical inactivity and unhealthy eating. The report, “Physical Activity and Healthy Eating in Minnesota: Addressing Root Causes of Obesity,” concludes that Minnesotans know they need to lose weight and many are trying, but individual attitudes and their surroundings are barriers to their success. The report offers hope, that by intervening in a variety of ways and in multiple settings – where people live, work and play – it will be easier for people to make the healthy choice and lose weight or
maintain a healthy weight.

News Release "Report: Majority of Minnesotans overweight or obese Face Barriers to Eating Better, Moving More" attached | Physical Activity and Healthy Eating in Minnesota: Addressing Root Causes of Obesity

How Physically Active are Minnesotans?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released State Indicator Report on Physical Activity 2010, which provides information on physical activity behavior and policy and environmental supports within each state.  Physical activity, essential to overall health, can help control weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve mental health.

Minnesota-specific resources related to the State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2010  are now available via the National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health (NSPAPPH) webpage.

Available resources include a National Action Guide and State-Specific Action Guides for all states and DC. The action guides summarizes physical activity levels among the nation and each state and also provides potential action items to support state-level policy and environmental changes to increase physical activity.

Also available for download is a customizable Data-to-Action PowerPoint designed for practitioners to use when presenting the State Indicator Report on Physical Activity data to partners & other stakeholders. The Data-to-Action PowerPoint includes speaker notes and customizable slides in which each state can insert their own data. The several of the strategies presented in the presentation reflect the physical activity interventions for the Statewide Health Improvement Program.

Data for Minnesota youth are not reflected in the report. In Minnesota, youth data is collected through the Minnesota Student Survey. | CDC Report Highlights States’ Abilities to Support Physical Activity | State Indicator Report on Physical Activity 2010 | NSPAPPH State-Specific Resources  | Minnesota Student Survey Data

Community-Wide Physical Activity Campaigns Webinar

Community-wide campaigns are recommended as a physical activity promotion strategy of the CDC Guide to Community Preventive Services for promoting physical activity. Learn more about successfull community-wide physical activity campaigns on Tuesday, June 15 at 2:00-3:00 PM CT from the following speakers:
  • Nicole Rioles, Campaign Coordinator, will discuss her work to engage the entire community in the Shape Up Somerville, Massachusetts city-wide campaign to increase daily physical activity and healthy eating.
  • Roxanne Leopper, Policy Director, FirstHealth of the Carolinas, will share her experiences with MooreFit, a Moore County, North Carolina physical activity and healthy lifestyle challenge campaign for employees.
  • Bill Reger-Nash, Professor at West Virginia University, will describe his involvement in Wheeling Walks, a communitywide Physical Activity Social Marketing campaign.

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in collaboration with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports sponsor quarterly Physical Activity Guidelines Supporter Network events.  The Supporter Network is designed to provide a forum for Supporters to share ideas and best practices for encouraging Americans be physically active based on the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. | Guide to Community Preventive Services | Register for Community-Wide Physical Activity Campaigns Webinar

2010 Minnesota Bicycling Guide Available

The Minnesota Bicycle Alliance and Minnesota Department of Transportation, along with HaveFunBiking.com, have created the 2010 Minnesota Biking Event & Resource Guide. The guide includes information on upcoming events and additional bicycle information and resources; including a list of Minnesota League Certified Instructors that can can assist with bicycle education efforts in your community. Interested in copies of the guide? Email health.activeliving@state.mn.us | Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota | HaveFunBiking.com

"Share the Road" Youth Writing/Video Contest

To further the sport of bicycling and gain a larger audience of bicyclists the 'Share the Road' Campaign of Minnesota and HaveFunBiking.com will help budding writers and videographers via its annual Youth Writing/Video Contest. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners in grades 6 -12 for any bike related, poetry and prose categories. In 2010 two $50 cash prizes will be awarded each month, one for the best written and the other for the best video submission. If you know of a student who would like to enter the contest, rules are found below. Eligible entries must be published during the calendar year 2010. Submissions for this year's monthly contest will be accepted through December 27, 2010. | 2010 BikeMN Youth Writing/Video Contest Rules  | HaveFunBiking.com | Share the Road MN

Rural Active Living: Minnesota Active Living Network Members Share Challenges, Successes, Thoughts

The Minnesota Active Living Network, a part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota's Center for Prevention, recently shared a special issue on Rural Active Living. Find examples across Minnesota - from Pipestone to Bemidji -  of communities working on promoting active living in rural communities. Read the articles and join the converstation. | Active Living: Making it happen in Minnesota

Supporting Active Transportation: Federal Funds for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects

Supporting Active Transportation: Federal Funds for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects

Neighborhoods and transportation systems that promote regular physical activity—through public transit, sidewalks, bike paths, trails, greenways and traffic-calming devices—are associated with more walking and bicycling, greater physical activity and lower rates of obesity. As Congress considers reauthorization of the surface transportation bill, advocates, planners, researchers and policy-makers have an opportunity to discuss the impact of transportation projects on health and explore changes to the law that could better support healthy communities.

State-specific reports released by the Harvard Prevention Research Center in March 2010 describe how state and local governments spent the more than $3 billion in federal transportation funds awarded for bicycle and pedestrian projects between 1992 and 2004. According to the reports, 62 percent of all U.S. counties implemented at least one such project during that period, such as improving sidewalks or creating a bike lane or multi-use trail. Counties with lower levels of education, higher poverty rates or higher proportions of households with multiple vehicles were significantly less likely to have implemented such projects.

The state reports also include recommendations for improving health outcomes. Policy-makers should:
  • Recognize the role of transportation policy in promoting public health. Project selection and scoring criteria can reward applications that encourage walking and bicycling for transportation.
  • Improve data tracking and monitoring systems for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. Standardized reporting criteria should be created for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Public access to such data will help promote transparency in assessing how federal transportation dollars support these projects.
  • Target transportation funding to underserved communities. Streamlining application processes, reducing matching fund requirements and other targeted strategies may help lower-income or underserved areas implement more bicycle and pedestrian projects.
Federal Funds for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects | Health and Transportation Policy Forum - Harvard School of Public Health | Minnesota State Data Summary -  Federal Transportation Funding for Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs

2009 BRFSS Data and Documentation and Online Tables are Now Available

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Behavioral Surveillance (DBS) is pleased to announce the release of the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data and documentation and Prevalence and Trends tables.  This represents the 25th year of BRFSS data.

The BRFSS is a unique, state-based surveillance system active in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U. S. Virgin Islands. Information on health risk behaviors, clinical preventive health practices, and health care access (primarily related to chronic disease and injury) is obtained from a representative sample of noninstitutionalized adults aged 18 years and older in each state. The BRFSS provides flexible, timely, and ongoing data collection that allows for state-to-state and state-to-nation comparisons. State-specific data including racial-and-ethnic-specific data from the BRFSS provide a sound basis for developing and evaluating public health programs, including programs targeted to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health risks. The BRFSS is the largest telephone-based surveillance system in the world, with more than 400,000 interviews conducted in 2009. | 2009 BRFSS Data and Documentation Files | 2008 BRFSS Prevalence and Trends Data

Public Transportation on Indian Reservations - Tribal Transit Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration is inviting applications for the Public Transportation on Indian Reservation program. These funds will be competitively allocated to support planning, capital, and operating assistance for Tribal public transit services.

Grants can be awarded to recipients located in rural and small urban areas with populations under 50,000 not identified as an urbanized area by the Bureau of the Census and may be used for public transportation capital projects, operating costs of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation, planning, and the acquisition of public transportation services, including service agreements with private providers of public transportation services. Applications are due Jun 28, 2010. | Public Transportation on Indian Reservations - Tribal Transit Program Information

National Park Service offers Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance

Are you trying to protect your local rivers, save an unspoiled landscape, or build trails to help everyone in your community enjoy nature? The National Park Service is accepting applications for the next round of technical assistance that can be submitted until August 1.

Through the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program, the National Park Service provides staff who can guide communities in conserving waterways, preserving open space, and developing trails and greenways. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their project ideas with our staff near you before submitting an application. | RTCA Information | RTCA Application | NPS Staff Contacts

Calendar of Events


MN PA e-news is a free statewide information network open to individuals and organizations interested in physical activity. Minnesota Physical Activity e-news (MN PA e-news) are distributed to all those interested in promoting physical activity, and includes physical activity information on grants, resources, programs, conferences and more. To subscribe: email health.activeliving@state.mn.us or visit www.health.state.mn.us/physicalactivity,

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