Mayor's Office Announces Healthy Vending Challenge
On March 20, 2013, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair, MD, launched a city-wide Healthy Vending Challenge, calling on Chicago's businesses and organizations to follow the City's lead in providing healthy options in food and beverage vending machines. The Healthy Vending Challenge is an initiative of Healthy Places. Read the press release here. Visit the Healthy Chicago website to download a toolkit and take the challenge!
Chicago Plan Commission Adopts Chicago Food Plan
On January 24, 2013, the Chicago Plan Commission adopted A Recipe for Healthy Places, the Chicago food plan developed as part of the Food Access initiative of Healthy Places. Read the press release from the Department of Housing and Economic Development here.
Healthy Places Releases Data Brief on Breastfeeding Rates and Perceptions
Newly released data supports the need for Chicago hospitals to have institutionalized policies and systems that support breastfeeding, particularly for areas that serve a low-income patient population. As a part of Healthy Places, the Illinois Health Survey for Youth recently polled parents about their views of breastfeeding and the prevalence of breastfeeding among Chicago families. Survey results showed that race and ethnicity play a role in a child's likelihood of being breastfed as an infant, and both race and income influence preferences for a hospital that provides free baby formula to new parents. Better institutionalized hospital policies may therefore assist those less likely to breastfeed. You can read the data brief here and the press release announcing the data brief here.
CPS Expands Health Policy to Increase Healthy Snacks and Beverages
On November 14, 2012, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) expanded its Wellness initiative launched last month by approving a new Healthy Snack and Beverage Policy for the District. The Chicago Board of Education voted in the policy that sets new standards for healthy food and drinks in schools, including those offered in vending machines, and encourages schools to promote healthy options during in-school celebrations.
The policy urges schools to limit using unhealthy food as rewards and instead consider healthier options for in-school celebrations such as birthdays, holidays, or student achievements. The new policy's nutrition requirements limit calories, fat, and sodium and will further ensure that all CPS schools align with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's HealthierUS Schools Challenge (HUSSC).
CPS received support from Healthy Places to create the District-Level Health and Wellness Promotion Team, now a part of CPS' Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW), dedicated to promoting healthy eating and physical activity. Healthy Places has also partnered with CPS in their work to both institute programming and increase local schools' capacity to promote better health and wellness for all children across the District. Additionally, through Healthy Places, four community-based organizations supported over a dozen CPS schools in neighborhoods of high need and health disparity to meet the nutrition and physical activity criteria of the HUSSC and participate in Go for the Gold.
New Healthy Vending Initiative for City of Chicago
On November 14, 2012, Mayor Emanuel announced that an ordinance will soon be introduced to transition to healthy vending machines in all City departments and buildings starting in January 2013. Healthier snack and beverage options will soon be available to Chicago's 32,600 City employees and to the public who visit City buildings.
As part of the City's healthy vending conversion, there are new guidelines around fat, sugar and calorie content. Seventy-five percent of items sold in City snack and beverage vending machines must be healthy options.
This vending initiative is in line with the work of Healthy Places.
New Healthy Places Survey Data Show Health Gaps in Chicago's Children
Newly released data show that Chicago children need significant support in order to incorporate healthy options into their routine. As a part of Healthy Places, the Illinois Health Survey for Youth recently polled caregivers about the health and healthcare of children under 18 as it relates to the five criteria of 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® , a healthy lifestyle message designed to create an easy way to remember how to eat healthy and embrace an active lifestyle. Eight years ago, the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) developed 5-4-3-2-1 Go ! to promote these daily recommendations for children and families: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 4 servings of water, 3 servings of low-fat dairy, 2 hours or less of screen time, and 1 hour or more of physical activity. Survey results show that fewer than 40 percent of Chicago children ages 0-17 meet any of the five daily recommendations, with the lowest percentage of achievement around the active play criteria. Low-income and minority children hold the greatest risk of not meeting most goals. Read the full press release here. See the data brief here.
CPS Passes District-Wide Wellness Policy
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) updated guidelines in its Local School Wellness policy, setting new standards in its district-wide approach to student health and wellness. The Chicago Board of Education officially approved the new guidelines on October 24, 2012. This policy sets new guidelines and requirements around nutrition, nutrition education, and physical activity. It will directly impact school environments in ways such as requiring recess, providing healthful school foods which meet or exceed USDA standards, and encouraging school "Wellness Champions."
CPS received support from Healthy Places to create the District-Level Health and Wellness Promotion Team, now a part of CPS' Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW), dedicated to promoting healthy eating and physical activity. Healthy Places, a joint obesity prevention project of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and CLOCC, has also partnered with CPS in their work to both institute programming and increase local schools' capacity to promote better health and wellness for all children across the District. Additionally, through Healthy Places, four community-based organizations supported over a dozen CPS schools in neighborhoods of high need and health disparity to meet the nutrition and physical activity criteria of the USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge and participate in Go for the Gold.
During year one under the new guidelines, schools-- with the help of OSHW-- will determine what practices and policies they already observe and be provided tools to help them comply with any new standards. In the second year, OSHW will establish compliance and reporting measures on the impacts of the policy changes.
You can read the CPS press release here.