October 26, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


CDC study finds U.S. schools making progress in decreasing availability of junk food and promoting physical activity


Bicycling and walking in the U.S.

Thunderhead’s first biennial Benchmarking Report, shows that bicycling and walking have been in decline in the U.S. since the 1960s. At the same time there has been a surge in adults and children who are obese. The report compares, for the first time ever, bicycling and walking levels, investment in bicycling and walking, and public health. The most striking findings reveal major disparities between cycling and walking levels, traffic fatalities, and federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.” The document is 18 MB and 120 pages.

Preventing chronic disease: Public health research, practice and policy

The October 2007 issue of this CDC research journal. Many articles deal with physical activity and specific ethnic groups in the United States.


Canada’s nutrition and health atlas (CNHA)

You can view maps for each indicator or data by province (see the links in the right-hand column). There is information on nutrition and physical activity (five different sets of physical activity data), data on adults and children.

This survey is the best for BMI statistics because "The height and weight measures of all respondents aged 2 and older were collected at the end of the interview. In addition to the exact measures, self-perceived height and weight were also collected from 10% of respondents aged 18 and older."

My food guide servings tracker

The Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion has released a new tool to help Canadians keep track of the amount and type of food they eat each day. You can print the My Food Guide Servings Tracker from the Health Canada website. Print My Food Guide Servings Tracker for your age and sex and use it to keep track of your daily choices. Compare it to the recommendations in Canada's Food Guide.


CDC presents first state-by-state data on work limitations caused by arthritis

“… these findings show that large numbers of workers in every state are affected by arthritis … Fortunately, simple workplace accommodations like flexible work schedules, ergonomic work stations and efforts to promote exercise and physical activity can help many workers who have arthritis.”

October 19, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


2007 Report Card on Nutrition for School Children

Breakfast for learning’s 2007 Report Card on Nutrition for School Children gives Canadian children and adolescents a “D” when it comes to meeting the recommendations of the new 2007 Canada’s Food Guide.

Are schools making the grade? School nutrition policies across Canada

A resource from the Centre for Science in the Public Interest.

CDC school health index
This resource includes:

  • Module 3: Physical Education and other physical activity programs.
  • Module 4: Nutrition Services. You can choose between an index for elementary schools or middle/high schools.

You can access a “customizable paper format and select only those health topics you wish to address. After selecting the health topics, you will be able to print and complete the SHI on paper.”

Childhood obesity: An environmental scan among health region partners of the Southern Alberta Child & Youth Health Network: 2006

Prepared by the Joint Consortium for School Health Secretariat in June 2006 (updated by the Canadian Association for School Health Feb, 2007), this document is full of active links to many other documents and reports.

Communities and schools promoting health
“This gateway website provides access to many resources in school health promotion as well as being home for the Canadian School Health Centre and the Canadian School Health NGO Network. There is also reference to the School Health Research Network as another part of the school health promotion community in Canada. These organizations, as well as many others initiatives are linked in an effort to create the Canadian School Health Knowledge Network.”

Dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviour among Australian secondary students in 2005
Scully M., Dixon H., White H., & Beckmann K. (2007). Dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviour among Australian secondary students in 2005. Health Promotion International, 22(3), 236–245.

Environmental scan of childhood obesity in the Calgary region: 2005

A resource prepared for the Southern Alberta Child & Youth Health Network.

Environmental scan of Pan-Canadian activities related to schools and nutrition

This report comes from the Joint Consortium For School Health Secretariat.

How to conduct a school health audit

This resource even has sample questions.

Physical activity measurement in children 2–5 years of age

Here’s another resource from Australia.

Review of physical activity interventions for children from 2 to 5 years of age

This is a new resource from

This study assessed Australian secondary students’ self-reported dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviour and also examined the relationship between television viewing and students’ dietary behaviour.


Getting children and youth to walk and cycle more: Webinar November 9, 2007

This webinar will feature two practical approaches for getting children and youth to walk and cycle more.

Dr. O’Brien will cover the Centre for Sustainable Transportation’s Child and Youth Friendly Land Use and Transport Planning Guidelines, their rationale, and her work with Ontario municipalities in implementing the guidelines.

Jacky Kennedy will present highlights of Green Communities Canada’s Active and Safe Routes to School program, including related barriers and benefits, and the results achieved and lessons learned over many years of implementation.

The first 75 qualified Canadian registrants will have their fees covered by Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program. Presented on Friday, November 9, 2007, 12 noon Eastern Time.

Presenters: Catherine O’Brien, Cape Breton University; and Jacky Kennedy, Green Communities Canada.


“My food guide online” available to print in multiple languages

On October 9, 2007, the Hon. Tony Clement, Minister of Health, announced that “My Food Guide Online” is now available to print in multiple languages.

Release of CCHS cycle 2.2, nutrition (2004): Nutrient Intakes from Food, Provincial, regional and national summary data tables

This first volume includes 13 sets of data tables that compile Canadians’ usual intakes from in 2004 for a set of nutrients based on the Nutrition Facts table.

Results are presented for 13 geographical areas in the country, i.e., the 10 provinces, the Atlantic Region, Prairie Region, and Canada excluding the Territories. The document does not provide any interpretation or draw conclusions.


Cost of physical inactivity: What is the lack of participation in physical activity costing Australia?

A new report from Medibank Private, Australia s largest provider of medical insurance, has calculated a $1.5 billion cost each year to the public and private health sectors for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions attributable to physical inactivity in the adult population.

ParticipACTION launches national movement to move Canadians
ParticipACTION’s public awareness campaign is targeted to all Canadians with an emphasis on parents and Canadian youth.

With only 9% of Canadian children and youth (aged 5 to 19) meeting the recommended guidelines in Canada’s Physical Activity Guides for Children and Youth, ParticipACTION’s new ads seek to show the implications of youth inactivity and motivate parents to make physical activity a priority at home.

The campaign will include TV and radio advertisements that will run nationally from October 2007 to March 2008.


Physical activity and building stronger communities

A resource from Australia.

ThemePARC: Creating healthy communities through active living
This resource was developed by Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition (OHCC). For more information on OHCC and their Healthy Communities and the Built Environment Project, go to


Linking health and the built environment: An annotated bibliography of Canadian and other related research

This literature review reported on studies identifying and exploring the relationships between the built environment and the health of Ontario’s population, with attention to our diversity. (Scroll down the page a bit to find the link to the pdf.)


Healthy Workplace Week: October 2227, 2007
Canada’s Healthy Workplace Week is a yearly celebration of workplace health in Canadian organizations.

October 5, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Second International congress: Physical activity and public health

The 2nd International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health is happening in Amsterdam in 2008. Deadlines for submitting work are coming up very soon.


10,000 steps Rockhampton: Latest research findings

Find out the latest results from this large-scale adult pedometer intervention in Queensland, Australia.

F as in fat: How obesity policies are failing in America

These resources discuss physical activity rates and physical inactivity.

Heart Foundation interview with Professor Jim Sallis

Professor Jim Sallis gives us views on physical activity in Australia from an international perspective.

Why adults with disabilities don’t participate in physical activity

Kosma, M., Ellis, R., Cardinal, B.J., Bauer, J.J., & McCubbin, J.A. (2007). The mediating role of intention and stages of change in physical activity among adults with physical disabilities: An integrative framework. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 29, 21-38.

Only 44% of adults with physical disabilities participate in leisure-time activity, compared to 64% of adults without disabilities. Thus, intention to change and the stages of change for physical activity should be analyzed.

Over a six-month period, the authors used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and the TPB/Stages of Change (TPB/SOC) models to study the mediating factors of physical activity for 143 adults with physical disabilities.

The participants answered questions on their level of physical activity, intention, attitude, and perceived control related to participation in physical activity.

Based on path analyses, attitude was the mediating role on intention and SOC. Perceived behavioral changes were mediating factors for physical activity.

The TPB and the TPB/SOC models predicted 16% and 28% of the variance respectively.

The SOC model was the strongest predictor of physical activity, but it is still suggested that health promoters and researchers need to include both intention and behavior elements that reinforce the benefits of physical activity when developing physical activity programs for adults with physical disabilities.


A winning game plan: Creating opportunities in sport and active recreation

Through VicHealth's Active Participation Grants, community-based organisations are funded for one to two years to partner with a range of organisations in their communities to develop opportunities for people who would not normally participate in traditional sport or active recreation.

Participation in community sport and active recreation

Check out the "Tips for creating a great community sport and active recreation program” the bottom of the page. There’s information on the following groups:

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • Youth
  • Older adults
  • Women


Active neighborhoods checklist

The St. Louis University School of Public Health, Prevention Research Center designed this neighbourhood checklist. Walkability and bikeabilty are major components.

Unfit for purpose: How car use fuels climate change and obesity

A resource from the Institute for European Environmental Policy.

WHO: Tackling obesity by creating healthy residential environments

Discover how residential environments can affect obesity in this new document from the World Health Organization.


The Health Promotion Clearinghouse (HPC)

HPC is a provincial non-profit resource aimed at building capacity and support for health promotion work across Nova Scotia. In the summer of 2007, all 15 of the HPC's existing resource lists were updated.

Three new lists were also created to cover the topics of injury prevention, mental health promotion and workplace health promotion.