A Houston/Harris County Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative 
May 1, 2014  /  Issue XX

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KickOffHLM Pasadena Community Kick Off A Success!

On Friday, April 25th, Healthy Living Matters (HLM) hosted a Community Kick Off meeting at the Pasadena Central Library to introduce the work being done in the City of Pasadena. Over 35 individuals were in attendance, including City Council Member Pat Van Houte; a representative from the Mayor's Office; and various city departments, such as Public Works, Planning, Parks & Recreation, and Economic Development. Other participating organizations included San Jacinto College, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Air Valve Inc., South Texas Dental, and ACU of Texas.  


Sarah Benavides, Assistant Director of Public Works, City of Pasadena; Pat Van Houte, Council Member, District D, Pasadena; Bakeyah Nelson, PhD, Public Health Analyst, HCPHES; and Katie Chennisi, Project Coordinator, HCPHES


Dr. Ann Smith Barnes, HLM Executive Committee Co-Chair, provided an overview of the problem of childhood obesity in Harris County and HLM's goal of mobilizing policy action in order to curb childhood obesity; and Bakeyah Nelson, Ph.D., discussed our motivation for Pasadena, presenting data on findings specific to Pasadena as it relates to active living and healthy eating.  


Presentations on the work currently being done in Pasadena were provided by Recipe for Success, Neighborhood Centers Inc., City of Pasadena Department of Parks & Recreation, and City of Pasadena Department of Public Works. The presentation portion ended with a description of the work that will be done by HLM in order to support change as it relates to increasing opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy foods and beverages. To view a copy of the presentation, click here.  Visit our website for more information about HLM-Pasadena.  


One of two groups working on identifying opportunities, barriers, and next steps for policy change as it relates to access to healthy food/beverages and opportunities for physical activity. 
CallforProposalsHLM Call for Proposals     

Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services, in conjunction with the HLM Executive Committee, will be spearheading fund development efforts to support implementation activities that will advance the policy priorities outlined in the Plan.

This call for proposals invites Collaborative members and stakeholders to submit ideas for how HLM may take action to implement the Plan primarily at the county or community / neighborhood level. Selected proposals will be compiled into a portfolio of projects that will be used for grant applications, meetings with funders and other stakeholder engagements.

To learn more about this opportunity, download our Call for Proposals information sheet. All project proposals must be submitted to Rocaille Roberts, HLM Project Director by
Friday, May 23, 2014 with "HLM Project Proposal" in the subject line. Please use our template when submitting a proposal. All questions should be directed to info@healthylivingmatters.net.

We look forward to hearing from you!
RecipeforSuccessHLM Grantee Highlight: Recipe for Success 
In 2013, the Recipe for Success Foundation received a grant from HLM to implement some of their programs within the HLM priority communities as a way to support some of our policy action recommendations around eating better and learning more about healthy eating. 
Recipe for Success Foundation is dedicated to combating childhood obesity by changing the way our children understand, appreciate, and eat their food, and by educating and mobilizing the community to provide healthier diets for children.  Their Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education program educates K-5th grade students about the full cycle of food through organic gardening and culinary classes. Students learn skills and gain knowledge to make healthy choices, and lessons are aligned with TEKS and classroom objectives. 
Through this grant, Recipe for Success is providing their Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education program to first grade students at Berry Elementary in Northside Houston, throughout the 2013-2014 school year. Each month, the first grade classrooms participate in hands-on gardening and culinary classes during their regular school day. 

In addition, Recipe for Success is engaging parents from Matthys Elementary in Pasadena, providing healthy cooking and gardening activities, healthy cooking competitions, and grocery store tours to educate on healthy options and budgeting. 
To learn more about these and some of their other programs, such as their Worksite Wellness initiative, and Seed-to-Plate Train the Trainer Certification, please visit recipe4success.org
SSHTXHLM Member Highlight: City of Houston's Sunday Streets HTX


In a city with nearly two million cars, encouraging Houstonians to walk isn't always easy. But that's exactly the idea behind Sunday Streets HTX. "Sunday Streets Houston will help people see the city at a different speed and from a different perspective," said Mayor Annise Parker.  With no cars on the road you'll be able to enjoy these streets for walking, running, dancing, or riding with friends and family like never before.   


The second event in the Sunday Streets HTX Pilot is May 4 from 11:00 AM -3:00 PM on Westheimer.  Please visit the Sunday Streets website for further route and event information. 

Photo of the crowd walking and biking during the Sunday Streets HTX event on   April 6, 2014
GetOutHereFeatured Resource: Get Out Here Houston
Get Out Here is a collaborative effort by many outdoor-related nonprofits to bring the most comprehensive outdoors website and a  pp for the Houston Gulf Coast region. Houston has a plethora of outdoor activities and this website is here to help you find the one you're looking for and the one you had no idea you were looking for. Visit www.getoutherhouston.org to get out now! 

City of Dallas Working to Cut Obesity Among Its Workers 

Dallas hopes to shed its "Big D" moniker, at least as it applies to the health and fitness of city workers. Of the nearly 21,000 people insured under the city's health care plan, almost 80 percent are overweight or obese. That's based on estimates derived from health assessment surveys taken by some plan members. The mayor and others at City Hall are looking to foster culture change. They hope to boost participation in wellness and disease-management programs. The city has increased financial incentives for those who pursue healthier lifestyles, and it's trying to raise awareness about the gravity of the problem. Full Article   

Sidewalk Dreams: For Worth Aims to Be a Walkable City 

Dream up a homey image of a perfect neighborhood, and most will include sidewalks. The concrete strips make great places to walk the dog, safely jog and maybe just stop and jabber with a neighbor. Children use them as canvas for art in their favorite medium - chalk. So when city officials got together to talk about what makes a healthy city as part of the Blue Zones initiative Friday, it naturally turned to those pedestrian pathways. Fort Worth City Councilman Dennis Shingleton said the city can encourage developers to build more sidewalks and connect developments with schools through various incentives. Full Article.  

Creating Healthier School Concession Stands in San Antonio 

What happens when a school district's wellness policy doesn't cover student sports games or other after-school events? In one district in San Antonio, a Latino-majority city with approximately 63% of the residents being of Latino or Hispanic origin, a school board president drove a policy change to implement healthier menu options at concession stands during school-sanctioned after-school events. Full Article  

Price Tag for Childhood Obesity: $19,000 per Kid

Over a lifetime, the medical costs associated with childhood obesity total about $19,000 per child compared with those for a child of normal weight, a new analysis shows.  The costs are about $12,900 per person for children of normal weight who become overweight or obese in adulthood, according to the analysis by researchers at the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and published in the journal 
Pediatrics. Full Article
Food and Beverage Marketing to Children in Schools: What's the Problem?


Candy. Soda. Potato Chips. Cookies. We think of these products as junk food to be eaten sparingly if at all. Unfortunately kids are being encouraged to buy them every day, in multiple ways, in their schools. On out of every three children in the U.S. is overweight or obese, three times as many children at 30 years ago. Marketing prompts children to prefer, request, buy, and consume products that contribute to poor health. Why else would the food industry spend close to $2 billion a year advertising junk food directly to children in the U.S. and $150 million per year in schools? Full Article 

More Than 25 Million Americans Lack Access to a Grocery Store 

When the one dilapidated grocery finally folded, leaving behind a leaky roof and a cracked parking lot, the area instantly became a food desert, one of hundreds of places across the country without access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, between 25 million and 30 million Americans lack access to a grocery store, living more than a mile away in urban areas and 10 miles away in rural places. Full Article 


Seattle to Build Bike Lanes Away From Busy Streets 


The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to overhaul its Bicycle Master Plan, to provide separated bike lanes as well as a network of calm backstreet routes known as greenways. The 2014 version is meant to serve what Councilmember Sally Bagshaw likes to call "willing but wary" riders. That's a shift from earlier thinking - to apply pavement icons and bike lanes to busy streets, to establish that cyclist deserve their share of the road. But activist here and in other cities think they're nearing the limit of how many people are willing to bike with other traffic. On average, 4 percent of Seattle residents commute on bicycle to work or school, while the busiest trail sections exceed 2,000 riders on warm weekend days. Full Article


How Grocery Store Coupons Can Encourage Healthful Eating

Grocery coupons aren't associated with nutritious food. Big chains use them to lure you into the store, offering discounts mostly on processed food and snacks. If stores make "the unhealthier option less expensive and easier to purchase, we can't be surprised when [people] purchase it," said Andrea Lopez, a research analyst at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, who  helped conduct the study. It was published in March in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's journal, Preventing Chronic Disease. Full Article  



Sunday Streets HTX: Westheimer Route (Hazard to Yoakum)

Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. CST

More Information     

Action for Healthy Kids Webinar: How to Add More Activity into the School Day

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CST


Dialogue4Health Webinar: Moving Kids Towards Success! School Policies that Support Active, Attentive Students
Thursday, May 4, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. CST
National Bike to School Day!
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

HLM-Pasadena Community Task Force Meeting 

Thursday, May 15, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. CST 

Pasadena City Hall, Main Conference Room 

More information  


Doctors for Change (DFC) Advocacy Training in Media Outreach General Forum

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 6:30-8 p.m. CST 

University Eye Institute at the UT Health and Biomedical Sciences Building

4901 Calhoun Road

More Information  


APHA Webinar: Food, Justice and Health Equity

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CST