More than 350 Live Well partners united to make Allegheny County healthy for all to live, learn, work and play!
The Fall update contains information to help make Allegheny County a healthier place for all. Please feel free to share.
Welcome New Live Well Partners
We Welcome Our Newest Live Well Partners:
Breaking the Curse (B.G.C) is a non-profit organization focused on strengthening the holistic well-being of youth through mentorship, education, and advocacy. They do this through providing safe spaces where youth feel empowered to reach their full potential. The organization promotes the Live Well mission through education on how to live healthy lives for the youth they serve. For more information, visit their webpage.
South Park Township Library’s mission is to be the hub of lifelong learning. They do this through free and equal access to information, resources, and materials in traditional, technological, and innovative formats. They also focus on providing information on how to stay healthy at all ages. The library aligns with the Live Well Allegheny mission by providing educational lunch and learns to educate their clients on chronic disease prevention through modifiable behaviors like education on diet and exercise. For more information, visit their webpage
Live Well Allegheny Story
Youth Tobacco Use
According to data from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than three million middle and high school students currently use tobacco products. The report showed that in 2022,, more than one in 10 middle and high school students had used a tobacco product during the past 30 days. E-cigarettes were the most common form of tobacco used. Among current youth e-cigarette users, more than one in four use e-cigarettes daily and 85 percent use flavored e-cigarettes.
Youth use of tobacco products, in any form, including e-cigarettes is unsafe. These products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm the developing brain. Nicotine use can also affect teens’ mental health. When a teen is dependent on, or addicted to, nicotine and stops using it, their body and brain have to get used to not having nicotine, this is known as nicotine withdrawal. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can include irritability, restlessness, feeling anxious or depressed, trouble sleeping, problems concentrating and craving nicotine. The symptoms can lead teens to continue use tobacco products containing nicotine to relieve these symptoms. However, quitting e-cigarettes can improve mental health by decreasing anxiety, depression, and stress symptoms, and increasing a positive mood.
Aside from the addictive qualities of nicotine, e-cigarettes come with other risks to teens. Because of how new e-cigarettes are, scientists and researchers are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes. Some of the ingredients in e-cigarette aerosol could also be harmful to the lungs in the long term. Defective e-cigarette batteries have also caused some fires and explosions; a few have caused serious injuries.
To combat the increase of consumption of tobacco products in teens, we can educate them early about the harmful effects of tobacco. It’s also important to remember that no matter how it’s delivered, nicotine is addictive and harmful.
For additional resources, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) resource page on smoking and tobacco use.
Live Well Allegheny Community Wins
Borough of Dormont passes Complete Streets Policy
On June 5, 2023, Dormont Borough, a Live Well Community, became the eighth municipality in Allegheny County to pass a Complete Streets Policy. Complete Streets encourages safe streets for all users. These include people of all ages and abilities, and their chosen mode of transportation. Complete Streets policies are for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and public transportation riders. Dormont’s Complete Streets policy aims to create a safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation network that encourages trips by foot, bike, mobility devise or transit.
Verona Borough participates in Active People, Healthy Nation Champions Institute
Verona Borough secured funding to improve pedestrian access by installing three crosswalks with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps and signage adjacent to a daycare, preschool, and senior center. The Active People, Healthy Nation initiative seeks to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. The borough plans to implement strategies including activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations, access to places for physical activity, and youth programs implementing a combination of approaches to increase physical activity before, during and after school.
If you’re a Live Well Community that would like to share a success story with us, send them to Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live Well Feedback Needed
Rethink Your Drink Updates
“Rethink Your Drink” is a campaign that promotes education on the effects of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages and to encourage healthier beverages choices. Materials are available to participate in the campaign through the use of our toolkit with activities, sharable social media messages promotional water bottles and stickers.
See the images below from some of our partners from the campaign showing how they “Rethink Their Drink”!
Homewood Community Sports youth athletes show off their “Rethink your Drink” water bottles.
Rethink Your Drink demo at Homewood Community Sports.
Public health dental hygiene practitioner Betsy Franz presenting “Rethink your Drink” activities to the SHIM Summer Camp.
Health educator Julia McAfee at the Pittsburgh Manchester K-8 Wellness Day with infused water samples.
Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Children
Benefits of Healthy Eating for Children
Chronic Disease Spotlight
According to the CDC, six in ten adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease and four in ten adults have two or more chronic diseases. Each month this section will highlight a common chronic disease and provide educational resources. This month the focus is on risk factors that can be linked to chronic disease.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a broad term that describes conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Types of IBD
|Chron’s Disease||Ulcerative Colitis|
Can affect any part of the GI tract (from the mouth to the anus) most often it affects the portion of the small intestine before the large intestine/colon
|Occurs in the large intestine (colon) and the rectum|
|Damaged Areas||Damaged areas appear in patches that are next to areas of healthy tissue||
Damaged areas are continuous (not patchy) – usually starting at the rectum and spreading further into the colon
|Inflammation||Inflammation may reach through the multiple layers of the walls of the GI tract||Inflammation is present only in the innermost layer of the lining of the colon|
- Persistent diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding/bloody stools
- Weight loss
For additional resources visit the CDC’s page dedicated to IBD information.