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PCD News Summary for Thursday, November 30, 2017

PCD logo - preventing chronic disease

About the Journal: Published every Thursday, Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is a peer-reviewed online journal established by CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The News Media Branch prepares press summary packets each week. To receive these press summaries on an embargoed basis, send an e-mail to Please note that this e-mail list is for credentialed journalists only. All others, please visit Hookup to Health to sign up for e-mail updates.

Notice to News Media – PCD Release Time and Embargo Policy:
CDC’s News Media Branch releases to reporters the PCD media packet every Tuesday afternoon between 12 and 2 pm.

Embargoed until Thursday, November 30, at 12:00 PM ET

Sun Smart Schools Nevada: Increasing Knowledge Among School Children About Ultraviolet Radiation

A community partnership to conduct sun-safety education, integrated with policy and environmental changes, has helped change Nevada youths’ attitudes toward sun protection and tanning behaviors. To decrease the incidence of skin cancer in Nevada, the Nevada Cancer Coalition piloted the Sun Smart Schools program during the 2015-2016 school year in seven schools across the state. The goal of this program was to establish healthy sun safety habits to prevent skin cancer later in life by integrating sun safety education with school policy changes. The Sun Smart Schools pilot program increased a broad range of knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about protection from ultraviolet radiation (UV) among elementary and middle school students. Students in high school reported more of the selected protective behaviors. However, high school students also maintained a positive attitude toward the appearance of tanned skin, indicating susceptibility to competing influences. High school students also did not report any evident change in knowledge about sun-protection strategies. Parents reported a decrease in knowledge about UV protection but an increase in adoption of certain protective behaviors.

Melissa Newton


Physical Activity as a Vital Sign: A Systematic Review

In a review of published articles examining physical activity as a vital sign – an indicator of general physical condition – researchers identified five tools for measuring physical activity. They found that the tools were generally simple and quick to administer and could be easily incorporated into a clinic visit, showing promise for their clinical use in identifying physical inactivity and promoting physical activity. Electronic databases were searched for English-language literature from 1985 through 2016 using the terms physical activity, exercise, vital sign, exercise referral scheme, and exercise counseling. Of the 838 articles identified for title and abstract review, nine articles qualified for full text review and data extraction. Five brief physical activity measures were identified: Exercise Vital Sign, Physical Activity Vital Sign, Speedy Nutrition and Physical Activity Assessment, General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire, and Stanford Brief Activity Survey. Although evidence to support these measures (e.g., validation with accelerometry, comparisons with other measures and outcomes, testing in real-word settings) is still emerging, results from this review suggest the possible effectiveness of these tools for clinical assessment.

Melissa Newton


Note: Not all articles published in PCD represent work done at CDC. In your stories, please clarify whether a study was conducted by CDC (“a CDC study”) or by another institution (“a study published by CDC”). The opinions expressed by authors contributing to PCD do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CDC or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated. PCD requests that, when possible, you include a live link to the article in your stories. 



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