From Haiti to Brooklyn, this week's Fav Five highlights promising strategies to improve kids' health, the fate of national health care reform, and the public health and medical response to the Haiti disaster.
- Year Round Edible Schoolyard Planned for Brooklyn Elementary School (01/19) - The NY Times reported that a Brooklyn elementary school will be developing a $1.6 million school garden that can operate year round and feed students. The project was based off a similar initiative 15 years ago in a Berkeley, CA middle school. Chez Panisse founder, Alice Waters, is leading the charge and fundraising for the project and her own food foundation, the Chez Panisse Foundation. This is innovation in food service, education, and public health in action!
- First-Lady Michelle Obama to Launch Childhood Obesity Initiative (01/20) - Childhood obesity has been epidemic in this country for several years, but finally is getting the attention it deserves at the highest levels of our government. USA Today reported on the First Lady's upcoming launch of a childhood obesity initiative and informs readers of the MANY health complications that result from overweight and obesity early in life.
- Brown Defeats Coakley and Democrats "Lose" 60th Vote (01/20) - Even with pre-election poll numbers showing clear advantage to Republican Scott Brown going into Tuesday's Senatorial race, few (at least here in Boston) thought it would actually happen. Yet, a Republican fills Ted Kennedy's seat here in Massachusetts opening a firestorm of debate around what will be the fate of Congress' and President Obama's health care reform bill. The Boston Globe reports the strategy and fears of Democrats on the success of health care reform going into mid-term elections.
- Haiti Disaster, Urgent Need for Medical Care (01/18) - Earthquake coupled with aftershocks has brought devastation to the Americas like we have not seen in a long time. The extreme poverty and poor infrastructure has hampered disaster relief efforts and complicated the delivery of much needed medical care to the injured, wounded, and dying. Care needed is urgent and ongoing. Donate to Partners in Health, if you haven't already. They have been in Haiti for over 20 years and are a trusted partner in caring for the Haitian people.
- Media Use Rises Even Higher among Young People (01/20) - Social media provides an opportunity for reaching youth with health promoting messages in new and exciting ways, yet it also has the consequence of reducing physical activity among kids. The NY Times reported on a Kaiser Family Foundation study that looked at all media use (cell phone, TV, movies, internet/computer, music, video games, print) that shows media multitasking is more pervasive than ever. Kids spend an average of 7 hours a day interacting with media. Check out the report here if you're planning a media campaign targeting Generation M2 (8-18 year olds)!