November 26, 2013
A surprisingly large percentage of very young children in California, including 70 percent of Latino children, eat fast food regularly, according to a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. more
October 15, 2013
Consumers often don’t know how much alcohol they are actually drinking, according to “The Blurring of Alcohol Categories,” a new report from the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group (ARG) published by the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association. Many new beer and wine products have increased alcohol content—blurring what were once clear lines between the alcohol content of beer, wine and spirits.
Adding to the confusion, beer and wine brands aren’t required to list alcohol content – some do so voluntarily while others do not. As a result, many drink more alcohol than they realize and may unwittingly exceed the legal blood alcohol level for driving - increasing their potential danger of car crashes and harm to their safety and health, the report explains. Those who wish only to drink alcohol moderately might overdrink without knowing it. more
August 29, 2013
Breakthrough technologies that will enable women to better control fertility and simultaneously protect themselves and their families from HIV and other STIs are finally on the horizon. CAMI, (Coalition Advancing Multipurpose Innovations), has received a one million dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their international work coordinating the development and availability of products that provide contraception while preventing HIV and other STIs.
July 15, 2013
California’s main statewide health tracking system for environmental hazards and non-infectious disease, the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP), received notice this week from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that it will be cut by 35 percent effective August 1, undermining California’s capacity to analyze and respond to looming public health threats.
“This short-sighted cut to CEHTP is symptomatic of a broader dismantling of critical public health services and infrastructure that puts the health of Californians at risk,” said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of the Public Health Institute (PHI), which is funded by the CDC to administer CEHTP on behalf of the California Department of Public Health. “Cutting funding for CEHTP will leave public health programs and agencies without a critical early warning system that allows us to respond to hazards in time to actually protect people.” more
July 09, 2013
The White House honored Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH, today as one of 11 “Champions of Change” working on the front lines to protect public health in a changing climate. A nationally recognized public health physician and expert on climate change and public health, Rudolph leads the Public Health Institute’s Center for Public Health and Climate Change. more
July 09, 2013
The stunning defeat of gun control legislation in Congress – even after the public outcry for better gun control when schoolchildren were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December – doesn’t mean there isn’t more we can do. As a distinguished panel of national experts on gun violence will explain in a July 10 Dialogue4Health Web Forum, it is now time to recognize that the nation’s gun violence epidemic is a public health problem. more
PHI Joins Global Women’s Leadership Network to Launch Brainstorm Challenge to Advance Equity for Women and Girls
May 01, 2013
Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN), the Public Health Institute and other partners are launching a Brainstorm Challenge to crowdsource new ideas on how to radically accelerate the development of leadership capacity in women and girls around the globe. The Brainstorm Challenge will run from May 1-31 and $500 prizes will be awarded to the top two solvers who offer the best ideas to address the Challenge questions. more
April 10, 2013
The Public Health Institute will host a national web forum on April 16 on obesity prevention that will shine an urgently needed spotlight solely on why this is an important issue for the Latino community. The programming will air in both Spanish and English. more
March 20, 2013
Marin is the healthiest county in California and Lake is the least healthy, according to the fourth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The project assigns each California county a ranking based on health outcomes data and the various economic, social, behavioral and environmental factors that influence health. Similar to last year, several (although not all) counties in the Bay Area ranked high, while many rural counties remained low. more
February 20, 2013
Cereal companies, the third largest food marketer to children, are using sophisticated online marketing techniques to target kids with unhealthy products and get them to engage with brands in ways not possible through television advertising, a study by PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group and the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity found. The techniques include tracking children's online behavior and creating interactive ads disguised as entertainment. more
Research by the Public Health Institute Identifies New Communities Within California with Elevated Breast Cancer Rates
November 27, 2012
New research by the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) California Breast Cancer Mapping Project (CBCMP) has pinpointed four previously unidentified areas of California that have invasive breast cancer rates substantially higher than the state average. The four “areas of concern” encompass sections of Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties, as well as parts of the north and south Bay Area. more
First Time Data Analysis Reveals 1.1 Million Californians Have Been Diagnosed With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
November 01, 2012
An estimated 1.1 million Californians, with nearly 200,000 in Los Angeles County, have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, according to the first research of its kind by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research along with Survey Research Group, a project of the Public Health Institute. more
October 01, 2012
A new Public Health Institute (PHI) study indicates for the first time that a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer as a young adult, before age 50, is three times higher if she has a high fraction of one form of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in her blood during her reproductive years. 1 of 4 women studied fell into that group.
The study, published online Sunday in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, linked breast cancer development to chemical exposures, and identified risk due to exposure during a time when the breast is particularly vulnerable to toxins--during puberty, pregnancy, and just after giving birth. more
September 25, 2012
The Center for Technology and Aging announced today the launch of the online “ADOPT Toolkit©” and associated technical advisory and consulting services. These new initiatives build on the CTA’s experience of successfully managing technology demonstration programs and assisting health care organizations across the country adopt technologies for improving chronic disease management and reducing hospital re-admissions. more
August 22, 2012
The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs today awarded the 2012 Director’s Award for Innovative and Effective Approaches to Research to Lee Ann Kaskutas, senior scientist and director of training at the Alcohol Research Group at the Public Health Institute and adjunct associate professor at U.C. Berkeley's School of Public Health. The ADP Director’s Awards recognize valuable contributions by individuals and organizations to the substance abuse prevention, treatment, research and recovery fields. more
Low-income women lost health insurance coverage in recession, would benefit from Affordable Care Act, PHI brief reveals
June 25, 2012
Low-income California women lost health insurance coverage during the 2009 recession, leaving almost half with no insurance at all, a new PHI policy brief reveals. more
Mother's Heavy Coffee Drinking During Pregnancy Appears to Reduce Her Son's Semen Quality Years Later, Public Health Institute Finds
December 21, 2011
A son who is exposed to his mother's heavy coffee drinking - five cups or more a day - while she is pregnant with him is more likely to have poorer semen quality later in life, a new Public Health Institute study reports.
The study, which appears in the December issue of the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, found clear evidence for the first time that three key semen measures used to determine fertility declined for sons currently in their 40s whose mothers drank five or more cups of coffee daily while the sons were in utero. The measures were for semen concentration, motility (movement) and normal morphology (characteristics, such as sperm size and shape). more
Uninsurance Rate Climbed to Nearly One in Four California Women in 2009, Public Health Institute Reports
December 19, 2011
The proportion of nonelderly adult California women with no health insurance coverage grew to nearly one in four between 2007and 2009, a period that coincided with the national economic recession, a new policy brief from the Public Health Institute (PHI) reports.The rate of women uninsured all or part of the year increased from 21 percent in 2007 to 24 percent in 2009 as women lost access to employment-based coverage, according to the authors, Roberta Wyn, PhD, and Elaine Zahnd, PhD.
Altogether, approximately 2.8 million California women between the ages of 18 and 64 had no insurance for all or part of 2009. more
PHI's Adolescent Girls' Advocacy and Leadership Initiative Awards $50,000 to Improve the Lives of Young Girls and Women in Malawi
December 09, 2011
Supported by the United Nations Foundation and the Compton Foundation, the Adolescent Girls' Advocacy and Leadership Initiative (AGALI) of the Public Health Institute (PHI) has awarded $50,000 in funding to organizations in Malawi to implement new advocacy strategies aimed at improving adolescent girls' health, education and livelihoods.
"Adolescent girls in Malawi suffer from widespread physical, economic and social violence," said Denise Raquel Dunning, MPA, AGALI's Program Director. "Only by improving policies, programs and budgets to benefit girls will it be possible for girls to realize their full potential and contribute to Malawi's future." more
October 18, 2011
A white paper released by Food & Water Watch and the Public Health Institute challenges the common assumption that government subsidies to farmers growing corn, soybeans and other commodity crops is a primary factor in increasing rates of obesity.
Acknowledging that the current system of farm subsidies is in need of reform, the paper, Do Farm Subsidies Cause Obesity? Dispelling Common Myths About Public Health and the Farm Bill, finds that there is little to no academic research that supports he belief that crop subsidies make junk food cheaper and more plentiful, leading to higher rates of obesity. more