May 8, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living


I Walk in My Street: A Guide to Planning Successful Pedestrian Streets in New York City
The pedestrian streets that began to crop up around New York in the summer of 2008 have been a long-time coming, and their arrival was widely celebrated. But care must be taken if their continuation and expansion is to be ensured; if their reintroduction is poorly managed, they could easily meet the same fate as the pedestrianizations of the 1970’s.

Making the Case for Active Transportation
Eight information bulletins have been developed by CFLRI for professionals and community members who want to build a case for active transportation in their community. Each bulletin includes evidence that supports the investment of time and resources for active transportation opportunities at the local level. They focus on designing communities for moving people and not cars. Recommended actions to increase and strengthen collaborative partnerships for active transportation are also included.

New Urban News
A professional newsletter for planners, developers, architects, builders, public officials and others who are interested in the creation of human-scale communities. If you click on “past articles” in the left hand column you will find some interesting articles.

Pedestrian Forum - Spring 2009
The latest edition of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Pedestrian Forum Newsletter is now available. The newsletter highlights efforts by the FHWA and its partners to improve the safety of walking and bicycling as a mode of transportation.

Valuing the health benefits of active transport modes
Land Transport New Zealand has released a report that explores the per-kilometer value for the health benefits of active transport modes, such as walking and cycling.


A healthy active childhood: giving children the best chance of a cancer-free future
This report published for World Cancer Day 2009: Explains the link between cancer and excess body weight, poor diet and physical inactivity, Calls on parents, teachers, and decision - makers to take action now to encourage healthy habits among children……

Design for Play - A guide to creating successful play spaces
The guide shows how to design good play spaces, which can be affordably maintained, which give children and young people the freedom to play creatively, and yet still allow them to experience risk, challenge and excitement.

Encouraging kids to live an active childhood
A factsheet.
Free play: Improving children's physical health
This briefing for the play sector highlights the official recommendations (England) on obesity that relate to free play, leisure opportunities and access to open space

Play and health: Making the links
This briefing for health improvement specialists, primary care teams and healthy schools coordinators, provides information on why play is crucial to children's health and explores possibilities for joint working between the health and play sectors.

Play for a change - Play, Policy and Practice: A review of contemporary perspectives
Play England has published a comprehensive review of the evidence underpinning current thinking on play. It provides a detailed analysis of research and literature published since 2001 that underpins contemporary understandings of the importance of play and how this relates to social policy and practice.

Using Child-friendly Maps to Promote Active Transportation
A feature article on the Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin.


2009 Weight of the Nation Conference
The CDC’s inaugural conference on obesity prevention and control will be held in Washington, DC July 27th – 29th. The event is designed to provide a forum to highlight progress in the prevention and control of obesity through policy and environmental strategies and is framed around four intervention settings: community, medical care, school, and workplace.


Cancer-related beliefs and behaviors in eight geographic regions
This report provides the first internationally comparable data of people's beliefs about screening, diagnosis and behaviors that increase cancer risk, such as smoking, drinking and being overweight.

Up and Running? Exercise therapy and the treatment of mild or moderate depression in primary care
The Mental Health Foundation calls for patients with depression to be offered exercise on prescription. Substantial evidence shows that exercise therapy can be an effective treatment for depression. Includes a report, booklets and FAQ’s.


Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community
Exercise interventions reduce risk and rate of falls. Research is needed to confirm the contexts in which multifactorial assessment and intervention, home safety interventions, vitamin D supplementation, and other interventions are effective.


2009 Annual Evidence Update - Obesity - Childhood obesity: surveillance and prevention (England).
The current update demonstrates of the growth of evidence within this field, with reviews now covering broader issues around the environment, policy and practice. Although the systematic reviews vary in their quality assurance and inclusion criteria, collectively the available evidence base remains weak, due to the inconsistencies and heterogeneity of available studies. To a certain extent this is indicative of the complexity of the obesity however, the evidence from these systematic reviews will continue to build a foundation for future research and help to inform practice and policy.

Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: One Year On
This report reviews progress on the delivery of Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: A Cross-Government Strategy for England (published January 2008) and sets out priorities for the future. One Year On builds on the five themes from Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives, but demonstrates how we have developed our thinking over the last year to keep up momentum in tackling unhealthy weight. (Physical activity in mentioned throughout).

Primary care physicians' knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices regarding childhood obesity: a systematic review.
Obesity Reviews 2009 Mar; 10(2):227-36
From this review, it is obvious that there is a need for education of primary care physicians to increase the uniformity of the assessment and to improve physicians' self-efficacy in managing childhood obesity.


The 2007 Physical Activity and Sport Monitor
The CFLRI bulletins are now released in their entirety. There are eleven different bulletins including topics such as social norms, barriers, attitudes, beliefs, intentions etc.

Active Halton
Formally the Halton Active Living Network, is now Active Halton. The network is a group of individuals and organizations who have an interest in promoting the adoption of active lifestyles for all ages in the Halton community. Active Halton has an ambitious plan to increase the physical activity levels of Halton residents by 20% by 2012.

Modeling the lifetime costs and health effects of lifestyle intervention in the prevention and treatment of obesity in Switzerland
This study compared a lifestyle program for overweight or obese patients with the standard care. Patients on the lifestyle program attended dietitian sessions and supervised exercise sessions for the first three years. The lifestyle intervention consisted of regular physical activity and healthy eating, including a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.

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