Legislative-Briefs-Government-actions-on-obesity

Legislative Briefs: Government actions on obesity

April 2016

Bike share coming to New Orleans.
A new system of renting bikes from fixed, public stations across New Orleans is in the works, with city officials officially starting the process to find a company to set up the system, commonly called bike share. Bike share systems have been identified as an affordable and effective tool for increasing urban mobility and improving economic, environmental and health issues when integrated with an existing transportation network. New Orleans now boasts more than 100 miles of completed bikeways, including trails, shared lanes and bike lanes.
In conjunction with the 5th Annual New Orleans Bike to Work Week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced on April 19 the release of a Request for Proposals for the private operation and financing of a comprehensive bike share system. The system is expected to serve a wide range of residents and visitors across neighborhoods and provide year-round, equitable access to worksites and destinations. New Orleans has demonstrated a high level of bike share readiness. In 2012, local bike advocacy nonprofit Bike Easy released a preliminary feasibility study sponsored by the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute. In 2013, the city received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to explore the development of bike share. Additionally, Resilient NOLA, the city's resilience strategy, and the government-funded Livable Claiborne Communities Study, which examined future land-use and transportation along the Claiborne Avenue corridor, both cite bicycle share as a tool for connecting people, employment and essential services.
“Bike Easy is very excited to see New Orleans take this step towards a bike share system with a strong focus on equity that will increase affordable, accessible transportation options for everyone,” said Dan Favre, Executive Director of Bike Easy. “We especially look forward to bike share in New Orleans becoming an easy, healthy choice for the many citizens who currently lack viable ways to get to work, the grocery store, the park, and other destinations.”
To submit a proposal to operate bike share in New Orleans, visit the city’s Open Bids page.

State lawmakers considers Louisiana farm to school bill.
Bringing fresh, local food to Louisiana schools is the focus of a new program making its way through the state legislature this spring. Senate Bill 420's goal is to assist schools and child nutrition staff in identifying and utilizing all available resources to support and increase the use of locally grown or raised agricultural products in school nutrition programs. The program will be a collaborative effort implemented by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana Department of Education in consultation with various stakeholders. The Louisiana Farm to School Program is supported by Sen. Francis Thompson, (D-Delhi), Chairman of the Louisiana State Senate Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development Committee Chairman.
A few highlights of the program include an inventory of farms for schools, guidance for schools to develop relationships with farmers, and a plan for integrated curriculum with regard to agriculture, food, health and nutrition. A Louisiana Farm to School Handbook would also be created.
To read more about the program, click here to visit the Louisiana Farm to School blog or click here to read the original bill here.

Safety of 'vulnerable road users' is goal of proposed state bill.
Louisiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would punish careless drivers who injure or kill someone else using the road not in a vehicle, such as walking or using a wheelchair, motorcycle or bicycle. The proposed law, Senate Bill 171, provides protection for "public road users," also called "vulnerable road users." The bill would provide several possible penalties for drivers operating their vehicles in a "careless manner" and causing the injury of a public road user, such as license suspension for up to one year, up to $2,000 in fines, three months in jail and other orders, like a community service. For killing someone, the fine would be up to $5,000 and five years in prison, or both. The bill also would require suspects in a crash to attend a court hearing. The bill, authored by Sen. Gary Smith, (D-Norco), has passed the Senate and will be heard in the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice on May 11 at 9:30 a.m.
Read the bill here.

Residents can help update New Orleans Master Plan for transportation, housing, retail and more.
The New Orleans Master Plan, a document designed to guide future growth across the city, will get an update this year. The city's charter requires the document, titled The Plan for the 21st Century: New Orleans 2030, must be reviewed once every five years. The City Planning Commission is holding an amendment application period now through July 30. Proposed changes will undergo a public review process that involves meetings held in the community as well as formal public hearings. The entire process may take a full year.
The Master Plan affects the city's priorities for large-scale construction or development projects, the location and design of transportation work, environmental regulations, housing policy, and other elements of city functions. The Master Plan's identification of a goal or strategy leads to implementation through laws or departmental budgets and actions. More specific issues or area plans may be incorporated into the Master Plan as it is considered a “living document” that is amended over time. Having an adopted Master Plan also assists the city in obtaining both public and private grants because it shows the community has laid the groundwork for specific actions.
Read more about Master Plan amendment news through the CPC website: www.nola.gov/cpc. Or sign up for email announcements by sending a request to cpcinfo@nola.gov.

By Kevin Crooks, Tulane PRC Graduate Student Assistant, and Naomi Englar, Tulane PRC Staff

Topics:   community health , policy , built environment , food environment , school food , obesity , diet , nutrition , physical activity

Other Related Posts

Tulane-partners-with-The-Food-Trust-in-launching-Center-for-Healthy-Food-Access-

Tulane partners with The Food Trust in launching Center for Healthy Food Access

Food Environment Research

Published: February 21, 2017

Food helps bring people together. But accessing healthy food is a challenge, particularly for people living in underserved neighborhoods. While improvements have been made across the country to bring healthier food to more people in more places, a new coordinated national effort – which includes New Orleans and Tulane University – is seeking to build upon the work of organizations, institutions and businesses by sharing lessons learned, sparking inspiration and testing groundbreaking ideas. Diego Rose,…

Read More

Residents-urged-to-get-Movin-for-LIFE

Residents urged to get Movin' for LIFE

Physical Activity Research Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 21, 2017

The Tulane University Prevention Research Center (PRC) is encouraging residents of New Orleans to walk more with a new campaign that highlights maps of walking routes throughout the city's Ninth Ward. An outdoor advertising campaign using billboards, bus shelters and street poles was also conducted from January to February 2017 as part of a five-year initiative called Movin' for LIFE (Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy). The initiative is led by the PRC with input…

Read More

Louisiana-promotes-toolkit-for-daycare-centers-to-reduce-screen-time-

Louisiana promotes toolkit for daycare centers to reduce screen time

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 21, 2017

Children spend an average of seven hours per day using electronic devices including TV, videos, DVDS, computers, tablets, and other handheld devices. Too much screen time can lead to reduced physical activity, thus increasing a child's risk for being overweight or obese. In 2015, Tulane Prevention Research Center faculty co-investigator, Jeanette Gustat, PhD, MPH, partnered with Louisiana Department of Health and the Louisiana Department of Education to begin looking at strategies to reduce screen time…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 21, 2017

I gave up on magazine subscriptions a long time ago. I just never could find the time to keep up with the reading. So, I was pleasantly surprised recently when I received three magazines in the mail in one day. Pleasantly because they were free, and surprised because all three were about health, more or less. I thought I would scan quickly through them and into the recycling bin they would go. But I found…

Read More

Community-Partner-Updates

Community Partner Updates

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 20, 2017

See what our Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and partners have been up to! Click on the photo for a gallery of pictures, view a video and read updates. To find out more about our partners, click here to visit our Community Partners page. PHOTOS 1-4: FitLot built its first outdoor fitness park along the Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans in late January, thanks to volunteers – including Saints NFL punter Thomas Morstead – working…

Read More

Legislative-Updates

Legislative Updates

Policy & Education

Published: February 17, 2017

New members join Louisiana Obesity Commission At its January 2017 meeting, the Louisiana Obesity Prevention and Management Commission voted in two new members: Partnership for a Healthier Southwest Louisiana Southwest Louisiana and the Louisiana State University AgCenter. They will hold two seats designated for community-based groups. The January meeting also resulted in the co-chair nomination of Denise Holston of the LSU AgCenter to join current co-chair Melissa Martin of the Louisiana Department of Health's Bureau…

Read More

Staff-Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 17, 2017

Dr. Jylana L. Sheats, PhD, MPH is a behavioral scientist and educator with a passion for working with racial/ethnic and vulnerable populations to reduce health disparities and promote health equity. Within the broader fields of nutrition and physical activity, her research is focused on: 1) examining psychosocial, social, environmental, and policy-related determinants of obesogenic behaviors and chronic diseases; 2) developing and testing technologies to deliver obesity and chronic disease-related behavior change interventions; and 3) utilizing…

Read More

CDC-staff-visit-Tulane-PRC

CDC staff visit Tulane PRC

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 16, 2017

For a little over three days in late January, the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) hosted three staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The out-of-town guests who visited New Orleans all work for the CDC’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Centers Program, the network that funds all 26 PRCs around the country. The site visit included meetings with the Tulane PRC staff, community partners, government health officials, and Tulane University administration…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Tips-on-how-to-eat-healthier-and-save-time

Nutrition Bites: Tips on how to eat healthier and save time

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 16, 2017

In a perfect world, all your responsibilities – personal and professional – can be completed with time to spare. In reality, responsibilities need to be prioritized, and what often falls by the wayside is personal health. While there may be nothing wrong with eating the occasional junk food to indulge a sweet tooth, this indulgence can often begin a junk food cycle, in which any individual with a busy schedule can become a victim. So…

Read More

Active-Steps-Staying-active-during-Mardi-Gras-season

Active Steps: Staying active during Mardi Gras season

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 16, 2017

You've made your New Year's resolution to exercise more often. You've made it through January and you've settled into your new exercise routine – congratulations! As those pounds slowly come off and your energy gradually increases, you're feeling really good. But then it's February, and King Cake and Mardi Gras season are fully upon us. How can you balance having fun with staying active? While it's important to maintain a regular workout routine, sometimes the…

Read More

canary