Wellness programs keep employers competitive in job market | Ore. firefighters focus on good nutrition, fitness | D.C. holds title as fittest city in US for 3rd year
May 19, 2016
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief
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Wellness Programs & Trends
Wellness programs keep employers competitive in job market
Having a wellness program may make the difference when job seekers are choosing among companies, said Sue Karpinksi, health promotions coordinator at Mayo Clinic Health System -- Franciscan Healthcare. La Crosse County, Wis., personnel director Mary Marco said the county needs to offer wellness services to be competitive in the job market, but it also needs to be conscious of how it spends taxpayer dollars.
WXOW-TV (La Crosse, Wis.) (5/18) 
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Ore. firefighters focus on good nutrition, fitness
Firefighters at the Rosemont Station in Portland, Ore., are cooking healthier meals while shopping for sales at the grocery store to stick to a budget. As part of the department's commitment to wellness, it also supported six firefighters becoming certified as Peer Fitness trainers so they can offer guidance to colleagues.
Portland Press Herald (Maine) (5/18) 
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Fitness
D.C. holds title as fittest city in US for 3rd year
The American Fitness Index, published by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation, declared Washington, D.C., as the fittest city in the country for the third consecutive year, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., and Denver. The index, which ranked Indianapolis and Oklahoma City lowest in the top 50 metro areas, is based on health behaviors and environmental factors that provide residents with opportunities for healthy lifestyles.
USA Today (5/18) 
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Health News & Research
Study finds slowing decline in birth defects after folic acid fortification
A study found that the rate of decline for neural tube defects dropped from nearly 9 cases per 100,000 annual births before a 1998 law mandating folic acid fortification of grains to 2 per 100,000 births after fortification. The rate of gastroschisis, which had been increasing by a rate of nearly 4 cases per 100,000 births annually before fortification, saw an annual increase of 1 per 100,000 births after fortification. The findings, based on 1989 to 2010 data involving all live births and stillbirths in central California, were published in Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology.
Reuters (5/18) 
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Daytime naps tied to elevated hypertension risk
A meta-analysis of nine studies with more than 112,000 participants found that adults who regularly napped during the day had a 13% increased risk of developing hypertension and studies that specifically assessed daytime napping showed a 19% increased risk of hypertension. However, the risk was reduced 21% in night-shift workers who took nighttime naps. The findings were presented at the American Society of Hypertension annual meeting.
Medscape (free registration) (5/18) 
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Fiber supplements help reduce chronic constipation, analysis finds
An analysis of seven clinical trials testing fiber supplementation as a treatment for chronic idiopathic constipation found it was moderately effective at softening stool consistency and increasing stool frequency but also led to more flatulence compared with a placebo. Studies did not reach a conclusion about which type of fiber was most effective, but the strongest evidence pointed to psyllium, researchers reported in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
Healio (free registration)/Gastroenterology (5/17) 
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Childhood obesity tied to prenatal BPA exposure, study finds
Children with prenatal exposure to bisphenol A were more likely to have increased measures of obesity, including percent body fat, fat mass index and waist circumference, at age 7, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers used a cohort of 1,301 children, whose urine samples were measured in the prenatal period and at ages 3 and 5.
Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (5/18) 
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Schools & Community
Wash. students feed community
A Washington high school's Family, Career and Community Leaders of America chapter has dedicated itself since January to providing gourmet meals plus other food items for food-insecure homes in the community. The chapter estimates it has fed about 2,000 people since starting the project.
The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) (5/17) 
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Other News
Wellness Industry Developments
AHIP News
Take advantage of key AHIP conference sponsorships
Reach the hundreds of health care decision makers who attend AHIP conferences to learn and network by taking advantage of sponsorship opportunities at AHIP’s 2016 Institute & Expo, June 15 to 17 in Las Vegas. Contact AHIP’s Business Development Team at BusinessDevelopment@ahip.org or 866-707-AHIP (2447) for details.
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Reach health plans as an Affiliate Organization
Health plans are looking for innovative products and services as they focus on high-quality, affordable care for their members. Becoming an AHIP Affiliate Organization Member is an ideal way to reach these plans. Contact AHIP’s Business Development Team at BusinessDevelopment@ahip.org to learn more.
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