A longer-term look at obesity could convince more legislators to support prevention policies

Obesity rates in the United States have doubled among adults over the last two decades – and tripled among kids in just one generation. The related health care spending is estimated to be as much as $210 billion annually.

Evidence-based obesity prevention strategies have been identified, but policymakers are hesitant to adopt these strategies because they don’t properly understand the cost-savings benefits. That’s partly because the Congressional Budget Office looks at obesity policies over a ten-year window. The cost savings actually accumulate, in huge numbers, over a longer period of time. So, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released a new report that maps out the savings over 75 years, a much longer period than the CBO considers. (RWJF, 4/24)

RACE | At the Council on Foundations conference this month, 26 foundations made a groundbreaking pledge to address issues facing boys and men of color in the United States. Tamara asked two local philanthropic leaders for their thoughts on the pledge – Nat Williams of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, an expert on social justice, and Nicky Goren of The Women’s Foundation, who understands the value of a gender-specific philanthropic goal. (Daily, 4/24)

Related: Read the pledge here.

Related: City Paper highlights a massive racial disparity. A whopping 91 percent of marijuana charges in the District were against black residents. Over the last few years, the paper reports that “charges filed against blacks rose 6 percent and declined 10 percent for whites between 2005 and 2011.” To give some context, the number of white residents has increased as charges have decreased. (CP, 4/24)

GIVING | Walmart has become an increasingly influential philanthropic presence in our region over the last few years. The company has just announced that its total national giving last year, between the company and its foundation, exceeded $1 billion for the first time.

HEALTH | A new report finds that non-English speakers are at a disadvantage at D.C. pharmacies, even when language assistance is offered. New legislation calls for over-the-phone interpretation services. (WAMU, 4/24)

Aren’t non-native language speakers generally at a disadvantage in most situations in most countries? The phone-based solution seems like a simple but innovate solution, and a scalable one for other situations.

EDUCATION
U.S. News and World Report’s annual list of top public high schools is out, and a lot of schools in the region made the list. Thomas Jefferson in Alexandria is ranked as the fourth best in the country. (WTOP, 4/24)

Related: The racial demographics at Thomas Jefferson has shifted significantly recently, which is quite relevant to the articles above about racial disparities. (WaPo, 4/22)

Report claims Rhee’s reforms harmed D.C. schools (Examiner, 4/24)

TRANSIT | The Columbia Pike streetcar project seemed to hit a speed bump when it wasn’t included in the federal Small Start grant program  And speed bumps (or “humps” if you’re from New England) are probably really bad news for railed vehicles! But fear not, because Greater Greater Washington assures that the project is in good shape and may still get federal funds. (GGW, 4/24)


I was in a store yesterday and heard, for the first time, a song called Arizona by Paul Revere and The Raiders. It’s pretty catchy! Listen just once and I bet you’ll have the chorus stuck in your head.

Since we’re already (or only?) halfway through the week, here are two amusing things to keep you going. First, a list of 19 reasons that your day probably isn’t so bad. Let the page load fully so that the animations play. Second, liars claiming to be fans of fake bands for a Jimmy Kimmel segment.