Image description Office of Nutrition & Fitness Newsletter
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Image description Image description March-April 2012
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ShapingNJ Welcomes New Partners

  • Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey
    Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey is a non-profit agency designed to prevent child abuse in all forms. It offers a broad range of programs, including home visitation programs; training, technical assistance and quality assurance services; and educational outreach.

  • Salem Health and Wellness Foundation
    The Salem Health & Wellness Foundation's mission is to invest in sustainable initiatives that promote the overall health of Salem County residents. The Foundation's vision is to be a financial resource for organizations specializing in servicing the health needs that are deemed to be unmet or underserved.

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    Note from the Director:
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    It's Spring - time to get outside and get moving - walking, biking, running, hiking and whatever else you can think of that is safe and enjoyable!

    I recently spent a week in Atlanta at the Coordinated Chronic Disease Program meeting hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and am excited by the ambitious work that will take place developing an integrated chronic disease plan for New Jersey for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.  I anticipate that the ShapingNJ partners will add tremendous value to this process.

    I want to congratulate and thank the NJ Council on Physical Fitness and Sports for another successful Leaders Academy this past Friday.  It was very well attended, and I look forward to seeing the funding proposals for creating healthier communities throughout New Jersey.

    At the moment, we are busy planning for the ShapingNJ Annual Partnership Meeting on June 1, and hope to see many of you there. Also, congratulations to Elmer Hospital, the FIRST baby-friendly hospital in NJ, and Capital Health for achieving their certification shortly after!

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    Office of Nutrition and Fitness (ONF) and ShapingNJ News:
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    Child Care

    • The proposed New Jersey child care center regulations are posted for a 60-day public comment period in the NJ Register through April 21, 2012.
      • Special thanks to those ShapingNJ partners, including American Heart Association, who already submitted comments.
      • Please submit comments in writing by April 21, 2012 to: Gary Sefchik, Chief, Office of Licensing, Department of Children and Families, PO Box 717,Trenton, New Jersey  08625-0717

    • The Child Care Setting Work Group met on March 6 to continue its work on a Tool Kit of child care best practices related to obesity prevention to share at the June 1, 2012 ShapingNJ partnership meeting.


    Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

    • Two NJ hospitals, including one of our grantee hospitals, are now certified Baby-Friendly hospitals!
      • South Jersey Healthcare - Elmer Hospital was the first to receive certification.
      • Capital Health Hospital - One of our 10 grantee hospitals, received certification on March 14, 2012.

    • We are awaiting word from Baby-Friendly USA about the status of inspections conducted at two more of our grantee hospitals during February 2012.

    • Educating Professionals in the Community-Breastfeeding Education, Support and Training (EPIC BEST) modules are completed and reached 129 participants at pediatric and OB-GYN offices statewide. 
      • Preliminary evaluation results indicate that the module increased knowledge and skills to support exclusive breastfeeding, to identify community support partners for a breastfeeding family, and to make referrals to lactation consultants.


    Community Pilot Project: Local Health Environmental and Policy Change

    • The final meeting of the ShapingNJ community pilot project took place on March 29, 2012. Representatives from all ten ShapingNJ sites, as well as our three ShapingNJ funding partners, shared and celebrated their accomplishments and lessons learned. Some highlights include:
      • In Red Bank, five local bodegas are marketing healthy products. Shaping Red Bank worked with business owners to find out what the customers wanted as well as develop bi-lingual signs posted on shelves and "bag stuffers" to entice customers to buy healthy products.

      • The Cape May County Health Department worked with their local parks and recreation department to add healthy options to the Safari CafĂ© at the local zoo. To ensure the healthy options continue to remain available, county freeholders adopted new contract language that applies to all future vendors.
      • The Warren County Health Improvement Coalition used their grant to create a community garden on land provided by the local food bank in Phillipsburg. To sustain the garden, the local garden club developed a business plan that allows community members to rent space in the garden to grow fresh vegetables. Excess produce is donated to the food bank for local senior citizens.

      • Montclair and Nutley focused on bicycle infrastructure. In Montclair, New Jersey Transit bought and the health department installed the bike racks at three local train stations. The Nutley coalition installed innovative bike rack "medallions" on parking meters to create bike parking for two bikes at a time at low cost.

    • ONF and the NJ Health Officers Association are developing a video that will integrate the visual successes - gardens, trails, etc. - and the evaluation findings from the pilot projects.

    4th Leaders' Academy for Healthy Community Development is a Success
    Nearly 200 people attended the fourth Leaders' Academy, held on Friday March 23, 2012. Convened by the New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, ONF and ShapingNJ, the Academy provided training and information about ways to create healthier communities through health, nutrition, recreation and physical activity programs. The day culminated with a release of an application for mini-grant funding that will open to the public in April.  

    Atlantic Cape Community College conference looks to bring Jersey Fresh produce to schools (Press of Atlantic City)


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    ShapingNJ Partner News:
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    New Jersey Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program Revises Rules to Allow More Vendors
    The Department of Health and Senior Services approved and released revisions to the WIC rules to address a barrier to acquiring new WIC licenses. Spearheaded by the New Jersey Food Council, the rule adjustment increases the number of WIC vendors allowed in urban and rural areas. As a result of this change, more vendors will be WIC approved, increasing food options for New Jersey's underserved population.

    Enhanced Public/Private Partnership Aims to Increase Access to Healthy Food
    Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno formally launched an expanded NJ Food Access Initiative on March 29, 2012 at the site of New Brunswick's first full service supermarket in two decades. In addition to this announcement, the event launched the New Jersey Food Marketing Task Force policy recommendations to bring grocery stores to New Jersey communities that have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables.


    Cities a Test Kitchen for Fighting Childhood Obesity

    Towns Look to Walk, Cycle to Prosperity and Health

    Healthy U Program Aims to Reduce Childhood Obesity

    Counties Plan Streets Workshops 

    Long Branch Middle School Honored for Healthy Lunches

    Grants Help South Jersey Schools Provide Exercise Programs, Plan Gardens to Fight Childhood Obesity


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    New Jersey News:
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    The Community YMCA Launches the 2012 Strong Kids Campaign

    Newark to Open First Supermarket in Decades


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    National News:
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    Institute of Medicine Releases Measuring Progress in Obesity Prevention - Workshop Report
    An Institute of Medicine-formed group reviewed the IOM's past obesity-related recommendations, identified a set of recommendations for future action, and recommended indicators of progress in implementing these actions. The group held a workshop in March 2011 for members to discuss opportunities and challenges related to measurement and to hear from experts in relevant fields. This document summarizes the workshop.

    American Academy of Pediatrics Introduces New Policy on Breastfeeding and Human Milk
    The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published a policy statement that emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding as both a lifestyle choice and a public health issue. 

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Release National Obesity Data for Adolescents
    The 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that 19.6% of males and 17.1% of females aged 12-19 years were obese. More than one quarter (26.5%) of Hispanic males were obese, compared with 22.6% of non-Hispanic black males and 17.5% of non-Hispanic white males. Obesity rates were higher among non-Hispanic black females (24.8%) than among non-Hispanic white females (14.7%); 19.8% of Hispanic females were obese.  

    United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Unveils the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass
    The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF) Compass is an interactive web-based document and map highlighting USDA support for local and regional food projects. It also serves to highlight and share successful producer, business and community case studies. 

    Technical Assistance and Training Results in Healthier Schools
    An evaluation of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Schools Program found that the technical assistance included in the program was linked with the adoption of policies and programs related to physical activity and nutrition in schools. Results also indicated that schools that accessed and participated in technical assistance and training more frequently made more progress and made progress more quickly than schools that accessed the training less frequently.

    Report Recommends Obesity Cost Estimates over 25 Years, Not 10 Years
    The report, Assessing the Economics of Obesity and Obesity Interventions, examines the rising rates and costs of obesity in the United States and reviews effective programs already in existence. Most notably, it recommends that for policymakers to accurately determine effective and cost-effective obesity prevention policies and programs, cost estimates should be extended to a 25-year window as opposed to the traditional 10- year window.  

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    April 14, 2012
    Healthy Bodega/Corner Store Showcase
    Living Hope Empowerment Center
    Trenton, NJ
    The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and Living Hope Empowerment Center are hosting this event to distribute information about the importance of a healthy diet and to introduce corner store customers and bodega owners to the "Healthy Bodegas/Corner Stores Project."

    Introduction to a Wellness-Based Health and Physical Education Program
    The New Jersey Department of Education will conduct two best practices workshops to: identify the components of a wellness-based health and physical education program, learn how to align to a wellness-based health and physical education program with the core curriculum, and learn how to incorporate fitness into a health and physical education program. The workshops are open to all health and physical education teachers.

    Southern Session
    April 16, 2012
    Egg Harbor City Community School
    Egg Harbor City, NJ

    Northern Session
    April 26, 2012
    Raritan Bay Area YMCA
    Perth Amboy, NJ

    April 19, 2012
    Sixth Annual Healthy Choices for Children Conference: Linking Research and Practice in Childhood Obesity Prevention
    New York Academy of Medicine, Room 20
    New York, NY
    The conference focuses on the school-aged child. Conference topics include; common myths and misperceptions about foods and beverages; the new federal nutrition standards for schools; the health and academic benefits of Breakfast in the Classroom; and creative ways to increase nutrient-rich food consumption in school cafeterias. Breakfast, lunch and all conference materials are included. The conference has been approved for 4.5 Continuing Professional Education Units.

    April 20-22, 2012
    La Leche League of the Garden State's Annual Breastfeeding and Parenting Conference: Celebrating 50 Years in New Jersey
    Crowne Plaza Monroe
    Jamesburg, NJ
    To celebrate 50 years of the La Leche League in New Jersey, this weekend conference features both education and enrichment around breastfeeding and parenting. Featured speakers include La Leche League co-Founder Mary Ann Kerwin, author Catherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC, and journalist and educator Lu Hanessian. Click here to register.

    Designing Healthy Communities: Your Role in Local Government
    This series of workshops is designed to help local government officials link land use and health. Topics include: health and built environment, physical and healthy food options, traffic-related crashes, affordable housing, and the effects of sprawl.

    April 21, 2012
    Middlesex County Fire Academy
    Sayreville, NJ

    April 28, 2012
    Morris County Fire Academy
    Morris Plains, NJ

    May 19, 2012
    Cape May Technical High School
    Cape May, NJ

    April 21, 2012
    Family Wellness Conference: Moving Forward to Help Build Healthier Families
    Robert Treat Hotel
    Newark, NJ
    Come learn valuable information to help support our children's emotional, behavioral, and physical well-being.  This event will provide a day filled with learning, fun and networking with other parents and professionals.

    April 24-26, 2012
    New Jersey Training: "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design"
    Middlesex County College
    Edison, NJ
    ShapingNJ, the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association are proud to announce the offering of a three-day free training targeted towards large New Jersey cities with public safety concerns that hinder physical activity. For more information or to find out if your community is eligible, please email Janet Heroux at

    April 26-27, 2012
    Symposium on Planning Healthy Sustainable Communities
    Heldrich Hotel
    10 Livingston Ave.
    New Brunswick, NJ
    As part of its 20th anniversary celebration, the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University will host a two-day symposium, designed to showcase the research and policy development initiatives undertaken in the area of sustainability planning and policy by Bloustein School affiliates and other leading experts.

    April 27, 2012
    Healthy Living for All: Bringing Healthy Eating and Active Living to Your Faith Based Community
    Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health & Wellness
    Mercerville, NJ
    In collaboration with the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health, ShapingNJ is holding a faith-based conference designed to discuss how to make New Jersey congregations healthier and more active. The conference will feature examples of ongoing efforts as well as tools, resources, and programs that anyone can use in their own congregations.

    April 29, 2012
    Move It to Lose It - 2012
    James Madison Primary School
    Edison, NJ
    This event, organized in collaboration with the Shri Krishna Nidhi (SKN) Foundation and the Rhythmic Arts Center for Dance highlights the various ways dance can be a healthy additional alternative to traditional dieting. Dance and fitness demonstrations include Bhangra, Hip-Hop and Zumba. The April 29th event will kick off a 6 week pilot program at the school for the afterschool program to motivate children to fight childhood obesity.

    May 17, 2012
    Women's Caregiver Retreat
    Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health & Wellness
    Mercerville, NJ
    This event, in collaboration with ShapingNJ partners, Family Support Center of NJ, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, DHSS Office on Women's Health, ONF and Division of Aging & Community Services recognizes women caregivers during National Women's Health Week (May 13-19), and includes dynamic speakers, health screenings, resources and exhibits.  Registration begins April 16, 2012 - call 800-372-6510 or register here.

    May 20, 2012
    13th Annual Health and Safety Fair
    NJ Convention and Exposition Center at Raritan Center
    Edison, NJ
    The 13th Annual Health and Safety Fair once again will be a part of the Edison Family Day, which seeks to relay health promotion and disease prevention information services while providing fun and excitement for the whole family. The fair will include health and safety information, disease and immunization information, fire and safety information, entertainment, food, and giveaways. For further information about the event please contact Dr. Naveen Mehrotra at 732-819-8800/ 732-738-1341 or click here

    June 1, 2012
    2012 Annual ShapingNJ Partnership Meeting: Sustainability Through Strategic Partnerships
    Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health & Wellness
    Mercerville, NJ
    Please join us for ShapingNJ's annual partnership meeting. This year we will focus on sustaining the work by highlighting accomplishments and providing tools and resources to further the effort.

    Through December 30, 2012
    Generation Fit: Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle
    Newark Museum
    Newark, NJ
    The Newark Museum is featuring an interactive family exhibition that explores issues of nutrition and exercise. The exhibit includes animation and exercise challenges to learn about a healthy lifestyle.


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