Issue 12, May 2012

Issue 12, May 2012

Active Living Research News

ALR launches new website

Our website has a new look!  We've redesigned our website to make it easier for you to find the information you want.  Some of the new website features include:

  • MOVE! blog - The latest information on our work and a way for you to stay updated with what's going on in the field.  You can share your stories by commenting on posts.
  • Search - A new search function allows you to search all our resources by keywords or topic areas.
  • Audience-specific - We've added special pages for advocates, practitioners, policy-makers and others to help you locate information specific to your work.
  • Social media - All of our resources can easily be shared via social media icons. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter at @AL_Research and like us on Facebook

Check out the website and tell your colleagues. We hope that you find our new site useful, and look forward to hearing any feedback you may have!

Weight of the nation

ALR receives Applied Obesity Research Award
Active Living Research was honored to receive a Pioneering Innovation Award for "Applied Obesity Research" on May 8, 2012 at the Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, D.C.  ALR was one of seven recipients recognized for their work to advance policies and strategies to prevent and control obesity.  We were proud to share the stage with our funder, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and our sister program, Healthy Eating Research.  Read our blog post about what this award means to our program.  

Highlights from 2012 conference

More than 300 people attended the annual ALR conference in San Diego, March 12-14, to hear breaking research and learn how end-users can apply evidence to create healthier and more equitable active communities. 

Shavon Arline-Bradley of the NAACP delivered a provocative keynote challenging researchers to think about how they can work with communities of color to increase health justice. Clark County Public Health received the fifth annual Translating Research to Policy Award for their use of health impact assessment to support active transportation. A partnership with the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) shared best practices on creating the systemic, environmental, and policy changes needed to combat obesity, promote physical fitness, and encourage healthier eating in Indian Country and supported two Native American graduate students to attend the conference.

Presentations from the conference are available online. Also check out the conference photos and watch videos of conference presenters and attendees. 

Recent Publications

Research brief shows school recreational facilities encourage physical activity
Promoting Physical Activity through the Shared Use of School and Community Recreational Resources summarizes research on the sharing of athletic and recreational facilities between schools and communities. The report found that children who have access to school recreational facilities outside of regular school hours are more likely to be active. The report also shows that minority and lower-income neighborhoods are half as likely as White, higher-income neighborhoods to have at least one physical activity facility in their community.

Park Assessment Tool
Andrew Kaczynski and colleagues developed a user-friendly tool that can be used to quickly and reliably assess community parks for their potential to promote physical activity.

Grantee Highlights

Keeping kids safe while being active
The city of Baltimore appointed Keshia Pollack to a task force that will advise the mayor on developing a new City Strategic Transportation Safety Plan. The task force will examine crash data and get input from community leaders to develop an action-oriented plan to dramatically reduce fatalities, injuries, and property damage occurring on City streets and improve the livability of Baltimore City's neighborhoods. This invitation resulted from Keshia's ALR project, which examined walking and biking to school and her efforts to translate project findings to policy-makers and advocates.

Resources & Other Announcements

ISBNPA scholarships
The International Society of Behavior Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) has a very limited number of scholarships to the full-day New Technology to Assess Physical Activity and Emerging Technologies for Assessing Environmental Influences on Physical Activity: A demonstration of methods and applications pre-conference workshop taught by Patty Freedson and Scott Duncan on May 23 in Austin, TX. A full description of the workshops is available. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis to those who meet the criteria. To be considered, please visit the application site.  

Your zip code impacts your risk for obesity
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supported a special issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine focusing on the role of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in understanding childhood obesity. Each of the six studies in this supplement uses the latest concepts and methods in GIS-based research to show how where children live affects whether they eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise or become obese.

2012 County Health Rankings and road maps released
For the third consecutive year, the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have jointly published the County Health Rankings, which measure the health of every county in the United States. The Rankings illustrate how factors such as education, income, access to healthy foods, and air quality play a major role in people's longevity and quality of life.

The link between hunger and childhood obesity
Leadership for Healthy Communities, released a new brief, Making the Connection: Linking Policies that Prevent Hunger and Childhood Obesity. The brief outlines opportunities for policy-makers to address both food insecurity and childhood obesity by promoting policies that make it easier for individuals to access affordable and nutritious foods needed for a healthy lifestyle.

2012 Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Disparities
The 2012 Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Disparities, October 31 - November 3, 2012 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, has released its call for abstracts for program sessions. All abstracts must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on June 15, 2012. The Summit is organized around the core principle of integrating science, policy, and practice, and offers a forum to advance scholarship and translate new knowledge into action.

Newsletter Date: 
Wednesday, May 9, 2012