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Borough of Queens, NY, United States

Perlman S.E.,2 09 28th Street | Nonas C.,42 09 28th Street | Lindstrom L.L.,42 09 28th Street | Mckie H.,The New School | Alberti P.M.,58 East 115th Street
Journal of School Health | Year: 2012

Background: The high prevalence of obesity puts children at risk for chronic diseases, increases health care costs, and threatens to reduce life expectancy. As part of the response to this epidemic, the New York City (NYC) Department of Education (DOE)-the nation's largest school district-has worked to improve the appeal and nutritional quality of school food. This article highlights some of the structural and policy changes that have improved the school food environment over the past decade, with the aim to share lessons learned and provide recommendations and resources for other districts interested in making similar modifications. Methods: This article details changes DOE has implemented over 10 years, including revised nutrition standards for school meals and competitive foods; new school food department staffing; food reformulations, substitutions, and additions; and transitions to healthier beverages. Results: NYC's revised nutrition standards and hiring of expert staff increased availability of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy and decreased sugary beverages, and foods high in saturated fats and added sugars-the major contributors to discretionary calorie intake. DOE also introduced healthier beverages: switching from high-calorie, high-fat whole milk to low-fat milk and increasing access to water. Conclusions: NYC has successfully improved the quality of its school food environment and shown that healthier food service is possible, even under budgetary constraints. Several broad factors facilitated these efforts: fostering community partnerships and inter-agency collaboration, implementing policies and initiatives that target multiple sectors for greater impact, and working to make incremental improvements each year. © 2012, American School Health Association.

Bartley K.,2 09 28th Street | Jung M.,Yeshiva University | Yi S.,2 09 28th Street
Ethnicity and Disease | Year: 2014

Objectives: Our study examined: 1) racial/ ethnic differences in sodium and potassium intake; and 2) racial/ethnic differences in the relationship between dietary intake and blood pressure. Design & Methods: Data were collected in New York City in 2010, and included a telephone health survey, a 24-hour urine collection and an in-home clinical exam. Linear regression was used to examine the association of sodium and potassium intakes with blood pressure separately by race/ethnicity, age and sex among 1568 participants. Results: The results indicate large differences by population subgroup in: 1) nutrient intake, and 2) the relationship between sodium and potassium intake and blood pressure. Black and Hispanic males aged ≤50 consume considerably more sodium and less potassium than their White counterparts. The regression results indicate a strong association between diet and blood pressure among Blacks and Hispanics only. Conclusions: Based on our assessment of the association of sodium and potassium intakes and blood pressure measurements, we find that young Black and Hispanic males aged ≤50 years have the poorest diet quality and may be the most at risk for developing diet-related hypertension.

Narciso H.E.,University of Utah | Pathela P.,2 09 28th Street | Morgenthau B.M.,2 09 28th Street | Kansagra S.M.,2 09 28th Street | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Urban Health | Year: 2012

In the spring of 2009, New York City (NYC) experienced the emergence and rapid spread of pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus (pH1N1), which had a high attack rate in children and caused many school closures. During the 2009 fall wave of pH1N1, a school-located vaccination campaign for elementary schoolchildren was conducted in order to reduce infection and transmission in the school setting, thereby reducing the impact of pH1N1 that was observed earlier in the year. In this paper, we describe the planning and outcomes of the NYC school-located vaccination campaign. We compared consent and vaccination data for three vaccination models (school nurse alone, school nurse plus contract nurse, team). Overall, >1,200 of almost 1,600 eligible schools participated, achieving 26.8% consent and 21.5% first-dose vaccination rates, which did not vary significantly by vaccination model. A total of 189,902 doses were administered during two vaccination rounds to 115,668 students at 998 schools included in the analysis; vaccination rates varied by borough, school type, and poverty level. The team model achieved vaccination of more children per day and required fewer vaccination days per school. NYC's campaign is the largest described school-located influenza vaccination campaign to date. Despite substantial challenges, schoollocated vaccination is feasible in large, urban settings, and during a public health emergency. © 2012 The New York Academy of Medicine.

Kansagra S.M.,2 09 28th Street | Papadouka V.,2 09 28th Street | Geevarughese A.,2 09 28th Street | Hansen M.A.,2 09 28th Street | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

Objectives: We determined the success of the school-located vaccination (SLV) program, implemented in 2009 in New York City to deliver pandemic influenza A (H1N1) monovalent vaccine (pH1N1), versus provider offices in reaching children who had never previously received influenza vaccine. Methods: We compared the immunization history of children vaccinated in school versus provider offices. We included records in the Citywide Immunization Registry with pH1N1 administered between October 2009 and March 2010 to elementary school-aged children. Results: In total, 96 524 children received pH1N1 vaccine in schools, and 102 933 children received pH1N1 vaccine in provider offices. Of children vaccinated in schools, 34% had never received seasonal influenza vaccination in the past, compared with only 10% of children vaccinated at provider offices (P <.001). Children vaccinated in schools were more likely to have received a second dose of pH1N1 in 2009-2010 than those vaccinated in provider offices (80% vs 45%). Conclusions: The SLV program was more successful at reaching children who had never received influenza immunization in the past and should be considered as a strategy for delivering influenza vaccine in routine and emergency situations.

Perlman S.E.,2 09 28th Street | Friedman S.,2 09 28th Street | Galea S.,Columbia University | Nair H.P.,2 09 28th Street | And 4 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2011

The New York City terrorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001 (9/11), killed nearly 2800 people and thousands more had subsequent health problems. In this Review of health effects in the short and medium terms, strong evidence is provided for associations between experiencing or witnessing events related to 9/11 and post-traumatic stress disorder and respiratory illness, with a correlation between prolonged, intense exposure and increased overall illness and disability. Rescue and recovery workers, especially those who arrived early at the World Trade Center site or worked for longer periods, were more likely to develop respiratory illness than were other exposed groups. Risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder included proximity to the site on 9/11, living or working in lower Manhattan, rescue or recovery work at the World Trade Center site, event-related loss of spouse, and low social support. Investigators note associations between 9/11 exposures and additional disorders, such as depression and substance use; however, for some health problems association with exposures related to 9/11 is unclear. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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