Prevention Policy Matters Blog

The Prevention Policy Matters Blog helps translate public health policy into practice, offering innovative ways to make national guidelines work in communities across the nation. Discover insights and practical tips from experts across all of ODPHP’s divisions, as well as compelling stories from other professionals.

Every spring, 4-H clubs send delegates to the National 4-H Conference for leadership and professional development. The delegates separate into groups to address a challenge posed by a federal agency. ODPHP challenged a group of 4-H members to provide the youth perspective for how to communicate the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to adolescents.
Stroke takes a serious toll on the health of Americans: Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Every 4 minutes, someone dies of a stroke. All health care providers — physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and others — play an important role in preventing this deadly disease. And May, as National Stroke Awareness Month, is the perfect time to reflect on what each of us can do to prevent, detect, and treat stroke.
Last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a new Nutrition Facts label loaded with information designed to help people make healthier food and beverage choices. As the updated Nutrition Facts labels begin appearing in the marketplace, your patients and clients could use your help in learning how to understand and use it to improve their food and beverage choices.
Underage alcohol use (also known as underage drinking) is a serious public health problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young people abuse alcohol more than any other drug — and more than 4,300 young people die from alcohol-related causes each year. The problem of underage drinking is even more significant for American Indians, and major health disparities related to alcohol exist for this population. In addition to having higher rates of alcohol-related deaths, American Indians are more likely to start drinking alcohol at a younger age than other groups — a significant risk factor for alcohol problems later in life.
Representatives from more than 20 federal departments, agencies, and offices worked under the coordination of the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy to update the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, 2017 – 2020. The Action Plan provides a strategic framework to work collaboratively across diverse sectors to achieve four key goals: 1) Prevent new hepatitis B and C infections, 2) reduce deaths and improve the health of people living with viral hepatitis, 3) reduce viral hepatitis health disparities, and 4) coordinate, monitor and report on implementation and viral hepatitis activities. The Action Plan identifies strategies and recommended actions to help focus and guide the efforts of federal, state, tribal, county, city and organizational partners and indicators to track the progress in achieving these goals. In addition, the Action Plan includes 19 indicators to promote transparency and accountability for results and movement toward the 2020 goals.
If you ask Mark LoMurray what he likes most about his job, he doesn’t have to think about it much. “Watching young people find their voice,” he says, “sometimes in as little as 3 or 4 hours. We often have kids who can barely say their name at the beginning of an activity, and by the end they’re standing up presenting ideas that they’re proud of. It’s just really amazing to watch that happen.”
There is confusion among many Americans, particularly women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and parents and caregivers of young children, regarding seafood consumption. You can help to clear up confusion and encourage patients and clients—particularly women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and parents and caregivers of young children—to include seafood as part of an overall healthy eating pattern.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is filled with resources that professionals can use to help patients make healthier food choices and establish healthy eating patterns. Get started by reviewing For Professionals: Recommendations At-A-Glance (also available in Spanish). Then follow the tips below to help your patients get 2017 off to a healthy start!