Newly released: Recommendations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America. Time to Act: Investing in the Health of Our Children and Communities calls for action on early childhood, healthy communities, and bridging health and health care. Read the report and explore the charts, infographics, and videos at

News on Related Issues

The Commission constantly monitored the news for stories, features and opinions related to health in America. See below for an archive of related news.

  • D.C. bill aims to improve nutrition, exercise among students

    December 15, 2009

    The District's schools would be required to serve students fresh produce from local growers and to dramatically expand physical education programs under a bill introduced by D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh and Chairman Vincent C. Gray. Read More

  • USA Today: A healthier Head Start focuses more on preventing obesity

    December 8, 2009

    Many preschool children in Head Start programs are being offered fruits and vegetables and low-fat or non-fat milk daily as directors are increasingly concerned about childhood obesity. The children also have a chance to play each day. Read More

  • Washington Post: America's economic pain brings hunger pangs

    November 23, 2009

    The nation's economic crisis has catapulted the number of Americans who lack enough food to the highest level since the government has been keeping track, according to a new federal report, which shows that nearly 50 million people -- including almost one child in four -- struggled last year to get enough to eat. Read More

  • Great American Smokeout

    November 19, 2009

    The Commission has noted that to be a healthier nation, we must be a smoke-free nation. Take action today by participating in the Great American Smokeout. Plan your Smokeout activities and read tips to help you quit smoking. Read More

  • U.S. News & World Report: Planning a Move? Look for These 4 Features That Make a Healthy Neighborhood

    October 29, 2009

    Walkability, bike paths, and other qualities may cut odds of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity. Read More

  • Wall Street Journal: Annual Checkup

    October 29, 2009

    How the U.S. performs on various health-care measures compared with the 29 other members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Paris-based group of industrialized countries. Read More

  • Briefing: Beyond Health Care Reform - Health & Equity in All Policies

    October 20, 2009

    Unfair and avoidable differences in health and safety in the US will continue grow with the recession. Although health care reform is needed, it is not enough. Access to health care accounts for only 10% to 25% of the variance in health. RSVP now for The Institute for Alternative Futures briefing on October 20 on Capitol Hill. Read More

  • USA Today: WIC program adds healthier mix of foods

    October 14, 2009

    Millions of women and children are eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in a public health campaign that all states had to join by his month. In the largest overhaul since it began in 1974, the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program has begun giving vouchers for a wider variety of food to its 9.3 million low-income participants — mothers, infants and children up to 5 years old. Read More

  • Washington Post: U.S. Losing Ground on Preventable Deaths

    October 6, 2009

    As Congress presses forward with landmark legislation to revamp the nation's health-care system, lawmakers are grappling with a troubling question: Are Americans dying too soon? The answer is yes. Read More

  • Issue Brief: "The Poor Pay More -- Poverty's High Cost to Health"

    October 6, 2009

    New issue brief from Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity describes many of the ways in which being poor is bad for one’s health and points to policies that have the potential for restoring the prospect of good health to the lives of the poor. Read More

  • HealthDay News: Eating in America Still Unhealthy: CDC

    September 30, 2009

    Most Americans don't eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, says a U.S. government study released Tuesday. And no state has achieved national objectives for consumption of fruits and vegetables, it found. Read More

  • Washington Post: Montgomery Wants to Know: Will That Road Make You Sick?

    September 28, 2009

    Montgomery County officials want to know if that new road might make you wheeze. Officials on Tuesday will propose requiring health studies before major roads are approved. They want to gauge how vehicle exhaust will affect minors, seniors, women who might have children, heart patients and others. Read More

  • New York Times: Initiative Focuses on Early Learning Programs

    September 20, 2009

    Tucked away in an $87 billion higher education bill that passed the House last week was a broad new federal initiative aimed not at benefiting college students, but at raising quality in the early learning and care programs that serve children from birth through age 5. Read More

  • HHS Secretary Sebelius Announces Cornerstone Funding of the $650 Million Recovery Act Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative

    September 17, 2009

    Creating ways for healthful lifestyle habits to be the natural first choice for Americans is the goal of a $650 million initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, decrease obesity, and decrease smoking in U.S. communities. Read More

  • DailyFinance: Why Health Care Reform Alone Won't Make Us Any Healthier

    September 4, 2009

    Sure, we need health care reform to extend coverage to the uninsured, James Marks says. But Marks, a former assistant surgeon general, makes it very clear that regardless of what happens with health care reform, it won't necessarily make us all healthier. Read More

  • New York Times: Fat Tax (Letter to the Editor, PolicyLink President Judith Bell)

    September 1, 2009

    David Leonhardt hits at the most underexamined part of the nation’s obesity crisis. Our choices are constrained by the options available in our communities. A healthful diet is impossible if there are no nearby places to buy healthful food. Regular exercise is unsustainable in a community without a park or safe streets for running. Low-income communities suffer the most from such environments, so it is no wonder that low-income Americans suffer disproportionately from obesity and obesity-related issues like diabetes and heart disease. Read More

  • IOM Releases Action Steps for Local Governments to Prevent Childhood Obesity

    September 1, 2009

    Recognizing that local government officials are eager to address the childhood obesity epidemic, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) produced Local Government Action to Prevent Childhood Obesity, a report that serves as a practical guide for government officials at the city, town, township or county level who want to take action to address healthy eating and active living. Read More

  • New York Times: Dennis Rivera Leads Labor Charge for Health Reform

    August 27, 2009

    For more than a decade, Dennis Rivera was New York’s mightiest labor leader, running a union of 300,000 health care workers that often bent Albany to its will as it scared — and angered — governors, Democratic and Republican, with its hard-hitting ads. Read More

  • National Journal: Should The Government Try To Make You Healthy?

    August 24, 2009

    Of the eight goals for health care reform laid out in President Obama's 2010 budget, just one has more to do with patients than with providers or insurers: "Investing in prevention and wellness." Read More

  • More than 100 Healthy Schools Honored by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation

    August 6, 2009

    President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, today joined Dr. Clyde Yancy, president of the American Heart Association and Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, at the Fourth Annual Healthy Schools Program Forum in New York to honor 114 schools from across the nation that are transforming into healthier places for students to learn and staff to work by implement policies and practices to promote healthy eating and increase physical activity. Read More

  • The Huffington Post: What If Benjamin Franklin Ran the Congressional Budget Office?

    August 5, 2009

    Benjamin Franklin once famously remarked, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Unfortunately, what this means is often, according to the CBO, an ounce of prevention isn't worth anything at all. Read More

  • National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE): New Report Calls for Comprehensive School Obesity Prevention Policies

    August 4, 2009

    Policymakers, educators, health professionals and parents working to curb the pandemic of childhood obesity now have a new tool at their disposal. Preventing Childhood Obesity: A School Health Policy Guide, distills volumes of the most recent developments in the field into an easy-to-access policy brief essential for education decisionmakers. Read More

  • Washington Post: Harlem Program Singled Out as Model

    August 3, 2009

    The Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the lives of Harlem youth, is being used as a template for President Obama's Promise Neighborhoods program. Read More

  • USA Today: Experts: Government changes to environment can make us fit

    July 23, 2009

    You drive to the office, sit at a computer all day, drive home and then park yourself on the couch. If that's your life, leading obesity experts say, the government should be changing your environment and making it possible for you to become more active. Read More

  • Child Trends: Achievement Gap Begins Early: Study Finds Disparities in Child Outcomes Among Infants

    July 22, 2009

    A new Child Trends study commissioned by the Council of Chief State School Officers finds disparities between poor, at-risk children and more advantaged children as early as 9 months of age--extending prior research that primarily focuses on disparities at kindergarten entry and beyond. Read More

  • Dept. of Education and HHS Outline Agenda for Early Education

    July 17, 2009

    Today, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius highlighted the Obama Administration's blueprint to improve and strengthen early learning programs, and announced their support for efforts in Congress to answer the President's challenge to invest $10 billion in the Administration's early learning reforms. Read More

  • Washington Post: Ky. Schools' Healthy Example Could Shape a National Policy

    June 29, 2009

    As Congress moves to reauthorize childhood nutrition programs this summer, it is again taking up the issue of whether sugary sodas, chips and candy should be allowed in schools. Legislators have tried to limit junk food in schools since 1994. But each time the measures were blocked by powerful food lobbies, and conventional wisdom has long held that such snacks are a necessary evil because they provide key revenue to supplement the federal school-lunch program and help pay for sports and arts programs. Read More

  • USDA Report to Congress: Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food—Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences

    June 25, 2009

    The report summarizes findings of a national-level assessment of the extent and characteristics of food deserts, analysis of the consequences of food deserts, lessons learned from related Federal programs, and a discussion of policy options for alleviating the effects of food deserts. Overall, findings show that a small percentage of consumers are constrained in their ability to access affordable nutritious food because they live far from a supermarket or large grocery store and do not have easy access to transportation. Read More

  • Sen. Harkin Op-Ed: Shifting America from sick care to genuine wellness

    June 25, 2009

    With the Senate health committee convening daily to craft a comprehensive health reform bill, the basic outline of this landmark legislation is now clear. Yes, it will ensure access to affordable, quality care for every American. But, just as important, it will hold down health care costs by creating a sharp new emphasis on disease prevention and public health. Read More

  • Washington Post: Young Eaters Mind Their Peas & Cues

    June 17, 2009

    "This gorgeous, bountiful garden has given us a chance to not just have some fun -- and we've had a lot of it -- but to shed some light on the important food and nutrition issues that we need to address as a nation," she told [the students] yesterday from a lectern in the First Lady's Garden. "I want you to continue to be my little ambassadors in your own home and your own communities." Read More

  • New York Times: With a Little Help, Greens Come to Low-Income Neighborhoods

    June 17, 2009

    Until a clean and airy ShopRite opened a year ago in Parkside, her low-income west Philadelphia neighborhood, Christine Gilliard used to pay someone to drive her several miles to the closest supermarket so she could avoid a long bus ride. Now she can walk to the new 69,700-square-foot store as often as she likes. Read More

  • EPA, DOT and HUD Announce Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities

    June 16, 2009

    "Creating livable communities will result in improved quality of life for all Americans and create a more efficient and more accessible transportation network that services the needs of individual communities. Fostering the concept of livability in transportation projects and programs will help America’s neighborhoods become safer, healthier and more vibrant," said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. Read More

  • Politico: Barack Obama Says Shape Up Now

    June 10, 2009

    Any health care reform plan that Obama signs is almost certain to call for nutrition counseling, obesity screenings and wellness programs at workplaces and community centers. He wants more time in the school day for physical fitness, more nutritious school lunches and more bike paths, walking paths and grocery stores in underserved areas. Read More

  • Acting Surgeon General Issues ‘Call to Action To Promote Healthy Homes’

    June 9, 2009

    Acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H. today issued The Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Promote Healthy Homes at a press conference from the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. The Call to Action looks at the ways housing can affect health; its release will initiate a national dialogue about the importance of healthy homes. Read More

  • Washington Post: A Fresh Break For the Needy; Market Vouchers Aid Families on Assistance

    June 1, 2009

    Holyoke is not the kind of place where you'd expect to find a thriving farmers market. The western Massachusetts city is one of the poorest in the country, with high rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. But the Thursday market is busy and growing. And new revenues come from an unlikely demographic: families on federal food assistance. Read More

  • Leading School Food Service Company Pledges to Fight Childhood Obesity

    May 29, 2009

    Sodexo, a leading food and facilities management services company and a leader in student nutrition, today is the first food service provider to sign on to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's School Beverage and Competitive Food Guidelines. The guidelines were created to improve the nutritional quality of school snack foods and beverages, allowing more nutritious and less caloric options during the school day. Read More

  • New York Times: Getting Healthy, With a Little Help From the Boss

    May 22, 2009

    Get ready to get well. Boss’s orders. Once upon a time, corporations offered generous health benefits as a way to woo employees into their ranks. Now, most companies have turned from amorous suitors into stern parents — shifting more costs, and more responsibilities, to their employees. Read More

  • TIME: More Companies Are Paying Workers to Stay Healthy

    May 21, 2009

    If you're like most people, you probably have a mile-long to-do list that includes items such as "Get blood pressure and cholesterol checked" and "Start walking 20 minutes per day." Who knows when you'll get around to all that? But if your employer offered to pay you cold, hard cash for taking better care of yourself, you'd probably start right now. Read More

  • San Francisco Chronicle: California's residents don't feel so good

    May 6, 2009

    If states were graded on health status, California would flunk. A report released today looking at the connection between health status and education found that California ranked 39th of all states based on the nearly 48 percent of adults who described themselves in "less than very good health." Read More

  • WebMD: More Education, Better Health

    May 6, 2009

    Going back to school may belong on your to-do list for good health, because better health tends to go along with more education, a new report says. Read More

  • New York Times: Selling Obesity at School (Editorial)

    April 27, 2009

    More must now be done to fight the childhood obesity epidemic, which has triggered a frightening spike in weight-related disorders like diabetes, high-blood pressure and heart disease among young people. And the place to start is the schools... Read More

  • Medical News Today: Alabama Strategic Alliance For Health Program Will Work To Create A Healthier BlackBelt/West Alabama

    April 21, 2009

    The state's Black Belt and West Alabama counties will receive federal funding of up to $3.9 million over the next five years through the Alabama Strategic Alliance for Health Program to help reduce chronic diseases and health disparities. Read More

  • Washington Post: Schools Should Increase Exercise and Track Weight Data, Study Recommends

    April 9, 2009

    Local schools need to do more to get students moving and track their weight data, according to a regional survey on childhood obesity released yesterday. Read More

  • Nebraska: Governor Announces New Wellness Plan for State Government

    April 8, 2009

    (Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman outlined a wellness program for state employees and the option to choose a health insurance plan offering better coverage for preventative health and wellness. Nebraska is one of the first states to offer state workers a comprehensive plan for health insurance designed to encourage wellness and healthy lifestyles. Read More

  • HealthDay News: School Lunches Too Fatty and Sugary, Critics Say

    March 4, 2009

    Despite some improvements, U.S. school meal programs are still laden with unhealthy fat, salt and sugar, nutrition experts contend. Read More

  • USA Today: 'Eat your vegetables': For kids, it means fries

    March 2, 2009

    Kids aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables, and when they do consume produce, they are more likely to eat french fries than nutrient-rich dark green or orange vegetables, a study shows. Read More

  • HealthDay News: More Fast-Food Joints in Neighborhoods Mean More Strokes

    February 27, 2009

    Living in neighborhoods packed with fast-food joints could increase your risk for stroke by 13 percent, compared to residing in places where such restaurants are less plentiful, a new study suggests. Read More

  • AP: Moving Nation from Sick Care Toward Wellness Care

    February 23, 2009

    Popping a pill can cut your cholesterol. But did the doctor also prescribe cutting the stress that's eroding your immune system? Or teach you how to exercise without worsening painful joints? Read More

  • Washington Post: School Reform That Works

    January 29, 2009

    By Bill Gates. How many kids don't get the same chance to achieve their full potential? The number is very large. Every year, 1 million kids drop out of high school. Only 71 percent of kids graduate from high school within four years, and for minorities, the numbers are even worse -- 58 percent for Hispanics and 55 percent for African Americans. Read More

  • Washington Post: Study Links Cleaner Air to Longer Life

    January 22, 2009

    Reducing air pollution has extended average life expectancy by five months for urban residents in dozens of U.S. cities over the past two decades, researchers found. Read More

  • Reuters: Access to Healthy Foods Worse in Poor Areas

    January 21, 2009

    People who live in poorer neighborhoods in the U.S. are less likely to have easy access to supermarkets carrying a wide variety of fresh produce and other healthy food, an analysis of 54 studies confirms. Read More

  • New York Times: Moving From Team Sport to Lifelong Fitness

    January 11, 2009

    West Babylon is one of a growing number of school districts across Long Island that have revised their physical education curriculums, moving away from team sports and skills mastery toward activities that school officials say can generate enthusiasm for lifelong fitness. Read More

  • Washington Post: Targeting Obesity Alongside Hunger

    December 24, 2008

    The worsening economic crunch is causing the tab for food assistance programs to balloon, and with the rising costs has come an intensifying debate over whether -- and how -- the U.S. government can tackle simultaneously the paradoxically linked problems of hunger and obesity. Read More

  • New York Times: Obama Pledge Stirs Hope in Early Education

    December 16, 2008

    The $10 billion Mr. Obama has pledged for early childhood education would amount to the largest new federal initiative for young children since Head Start began in 1965. Read More

  • Time: America's Health Checkup

    November 20, 2008

    What is the measure of a country's health? How do you take the temperature of a population that sprawls across nine time zones, 50 states and a global rainbow of cultures and communities? One way is by taking a close look at yourself. Read More

  • Reuters: Parks can cut health gap between rich and poor

    November 7, 2008

    Parks, playing fields and forests greatly narrow health gaps between the rich and poor, and governments should do more to promote and invest in green areas, researchers said on Friday. Read More

  • New York Times: Infant Deaths Drop in U.S., but Rate Is Still High

    October 16, 2008

    Infant deaths in the United States declined 2 percent in 2006, government researchers reported Wednesday, but the rate still remains well above that of most other industrialized countries and is one of many indicators suggesting that Americans pay more but get less from their health care system. Read More

  • October 6 is National Child Health Day

    October 6, 2008

    Child Health Day is celebrating its 80th anniversary of helping kids to eat healthy and be active - read more below. Also, visit the Resources section to read the Commission's issue brief on early childhood experiences and health for background on this important factor. Read More

  • USA TODAY: Federal Agencies Start Summit on Healthy Homes

    September 15, 2008

    The U.S. government is ramping up efforts to promote the building of healthy homes free of lead, chemicals, mold, moisture and pests. Four federal agencies are hosting the first national summit on the topic, beginning Monday in Baltimore. Read More

  • TIME: Narrowing World Health Disparities

    August 28, 2008

    On average, a black man living in Washington, D.C., does not live as long as a man in India, and he certainly doesn't live as long as a white man in his hometown. The reasons — just like the reasons that the Japanese and Swedes live longer than the Ukrainians, and why aborigines in Australia on average die 17 years earlier than non-aborigines — are almost entirely social, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) released today. Read More

  • Washington Post: Poverty Rate Held Steady Last Year, Census Says

    August 27, 2008

    The nation's poverty rate held steady as median household income edged upward last year, according to annual census data released yesterday. The number of children in poverty increased by 500,000 to 13.3 million. Read More

  • Washington Post: Healthy Lunches Help Kids' Concentration in School

    August 25, 2008

    Healthy foods should be included on the list of back-to-school supplies for your children, says a University of Michigan Health System expert. Read More

  • Washington Post: For Many Kids, There's No Free Lunch in Summer

    August 19, 2008

    In the 2006-2007 school year, 16.3 million children benefited from free or reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program. But what happens when schools let out for the summer? The hunger does not end for many of these kids, but their access to free lunches does. Read More

  • New York Times : Patterns: In Older Neighborhoods, Less Weight Gain

    August 5, 2008

    Can where you live play a role in how much you weigh? A new study finds that it can, and reports that people who live in older neighborhoods appear less likely to be overweight. Read More

  • Los Angeles Times: Council bans new fast-food outlets in South L.A.

    July 30, 2008

    The one-year moratorium, proposed by Councilwoman Jan Perry, is aimed at attracting restaurants serving healthier fare to the area, where a study found 30% of children are obese. Read More

  • MSNBC: Heavy? Your neighborhood may be to blame

    July 29, 2008

    It could be your neighborhood that's making you fat — or keeping you slender. A new study found that the year your neighborhood was built may be just as important as diet and exercise for shedding pounds. Read More

  • Wall Street Journal: Exiling the Happy Meal

    July 22, 2008

    Despite its health-crazy reputation, parts of Los Angeles are plagued by obesity rates that rival any city in America. Now, the city may join a growing roster of local governments aiming to put their residents on diets by cracking down on the fast-food industry. Read More

  • Associated Press: Report: Invest $10 a Person for Better Health

    July 18, 2008

    Investing just $10 per person — roughly the price of a six-pack of beer and some chips — could greatly fuel community programs that get couch potatoes moving, prevent smoking and improve nutrition, researchers say. Read More

  • Washington Post: L.A. Official Wants a Change of Menu

    July 13, 2008

    Citing alarming rates of childhood obesity and a poverty of healthful eating choices, a city councilwoman is pushing for a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in South-Central Los Angeles. Read More

  • The Baltimore Sun: An Uphill Nutrition Fight

    July 11, 2008

    Johns Hopkins University's attempt to get better food into inner city runs into difficulties, including customer resistance. Read More

  • USA TODAY: CDC Campaign Hopes to Make USA Healthier Nation

    July 9, 2008

    Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wants to get this message out to Americans: Health care isn't only what takes place in a doctor's office, a clinic or a hospital. Read More

  • New York Times: Diabetes Cases Increase 15 Percent In 2 Years

    June 30, 2008

    The number of Americans with diabetes increased by 15 percent in two years to 24 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 8 percent of the population now has the disease, mainly Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and sedentary living, the agency said in a report using data from 2007. Read More

  • Chicago Tribune: New York to Issue Licenses for 500 Veggie-Only Food Carts

    June 29, 2008

    In an effort to get New Yorkers to eat better, the city is preparing to issue licenses for 500 food carts that will be allowed to sell only fresh fruit and vegetables. The carts, which are expected to start appearing on the streets later this summer, are restricted to low-income areas that have the fewest sources of fresh produce in the city. Read More

  • HealthDay: Education, Income Affect Heart Attack Survival Rates

    June 25, 2008

    Being well-off and well-educated may improve your chances of surviving a heart attack, according to new report. Read More

  • Los Angeles Times: Education level makes a difference in your BMI

    June 2, 2008

    When it comes to a healthy body weight, education matters. Highly educated men and women in the U.S. have a lower average body mass index than their less-educated counterparts, according to a new comparison of international data. Conversely, highly educated men and women in poor countries where malnutrition is prevalent tend to have a higher BMI than less-educated people. Read More

  • Washington Post: Obesity Threatens a Generation; 'Catastrophe' of Shorter Spans, Higher Health Costs

    May 21, 2008

    With one in three children in this country overweight or worse, the future health and productivity of an entire generation -- and a nation -- could be in jeopardy. Read More

  • Washington Post: The Less the Education, the Higher the Risk of Dying Early

    May 14, 2008

    The difference in death rates between highly educated and poorly educated people in the United States is very wide and growing wider, according to new research. For Americans with less than a high school education, the risk of dying prematurely is on the increase -- rising most quickly for white women in that category. In contrast, the risk of premature death among college graduates is falling -- fastest of all for black men. Read More

  • LA Times: UCLA Study Links Poor Health to Fast-Food Neighbors

    April 29, 2008

    Higher rates of diabetes and obesity occur in neighborhoods -- regardless of the residents' income, race or ethnicity -- where fast-food restaurants and convenience stores greatly outnumber grocery stores and produce vendors, according to a statewide study released today. Read More

  • New York Times: Counting Birthdays: The Short End of the Longer Life

    April 27, 2008

    Throughout the 20th century, it was an American birthright that each generation would live longer than the last. Year after year, almost without exception, the anticipated life span of the average American rose inexorably, to 78 years in 2005 from 61 years in 1933, when comprehensive data first became available. But new research shows that those reassuring nationwide gains mask a darker and more complex reality. A pair of reports out this month affirm that the rising tide of American health is not lifting all boats, and that there are widening gaps in life expectancy based on the interwoven variables of income, race, sex, education and geography. Read More

  • USA TODAY: Life Spans Decline in Some U.S. Areas

    April 22, 2008

    While most Americans enjoyed a clear jump in life expectancy from 1960 to 2000, a startling number — especially women — living primarily in the Deep South and in Appalachia actually saw a drop in life spans beginning in 1983, says a study that came out Monday. In sum, where you live makes a difference in how long you can expect to live. Read More

  • Florida Times-Union: Bad Food, Not Just Hunger, Is Literally Killing The Poor

    April 16, 2008

    According to the Duval County Health Department study, "Place Matters," people who live in the urban core are more likely to die from heart disease and diabetes - maladies that are directly related to diet and lack of access to foods that don't cause high blood pressure and obesity. Read More

  • Newsweek: What's Race Got To Do With It?

    April 11, 2008

    We're all the products of our environment and our genes. But when it comes to health, which factor is the trump card? Would a woman with a family propensity for ovarian cancer avoid coming down with the disease if she were raised on a macrobiotic diet in pollution-free rural North Dakota? Or on the flip side, could a white woman adopted from a middle-class family in Idaho into a poor Hispanic family in New York suddenly become vulnerable to diabetes or asthma? Read More

  • San Francisco Chronicle: PBS to air study on link between money, health

    March 27, 2008

    Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, a four-part PBS series that explores why social factors - economic status, race, neighborhood conditions - can be more powerful predictors of health and life expectancy than biology or even some behaviors such as smoking. Read More

  • USA Today: Can Wealth Affect Health

    March 24, 2008

    Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? concludes that, contrary to popular belief, your health is not just the sum of your genes, your health habits and the quality of your health insurance plan. Your income, education and race matter; so does your address, your job title and the status your parents had when you were small. Read More

  • New York Times: Gap in Life Expectancy Widens for the Nation

    March 23, 2008

    New government research has found “large and growing” disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling the growth of income inequality in the last two decades. Read More

  • Brownsville Herald: Study: McAllen Area Hispanic Children Have Fewer Opportunities

    March 11, 2008

    In the March/April issue of the journal Health Affairs, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health conclude that the McAllen metropolitan area is one of the five worst regions of the country in its proportion of Latino children who live in "low-opportunity" neighborhoods compared to white children. Low-opportunity neighborhoods tend to have fewer grocery stores with fresh produce, poorer schools, fewer parks and playgrounds and higher crime rates than high-opportunity neighborhoods, said lead researcher Dolores Acevedo-Garcia. Those factors contribute to children's overall health as they grow up, she said. Read More

  • Washington Post: Life Expectancy Tied to Education

    March 11, 2008

    Life expectancy in the United States is on the increase, but only among people with more than 12 years of education, a new study finds. In fact, those with more than 12 years of education -- more than a high school diploma -- can expect to live to 82; for those with 12 or fewer years of education, life expectancy is 75. Read More

  • Associated Press: New Report Details Health Challenges Facing Urban Indians

    March 5, 2008

    Rich or poor, American Indians in cities across the country are facing startling health challenges unlike those of any other urban population, according to a new study of federal data. Read More

  • New York Times : Council Vote for Good Health May Weaken Business at Groceries in Poor Neighborhoods

    February 28, 2008

    They are fixtures of New York City life: sidewalk peddlers and the grocers who try to shoo them away from their storefronts. The City Council grudgingly added to that time-honored clash on Wednesday, approving a bill that will increase the number of fruit and vegetable carts in the city’s poor neighborhoods. Read More

  • Washington Post: Very Premature Babies Don't Get Follow-Up Care

    February 13, 2008

    A groundbreaking study reports that most very low birth-weight babies born to low-income women failed to get critical follow-up care within their first two years of life. Read More