Studies: Obesity Increases Breast Cancer Risk in Latina, Black Women


iStock_000007666790LargeTwo new studies provide compelling evidence that obesity increases the risk of the most common type of postmenopausal breast cancer among both black and Hispanic women, EMaxHealth reports.

The studies, which are being unveiled at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) annual conference Oct. 29-31, 2014, in Washington, show that associations between body weight and breast cancer risk seen among white women also hold true for black and Hispanic women.

In the first study, researchers at Cancer Prevention Institute of California found that “healthy-weight Hispanic women who gain pounds through adulthood have increased risk for estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) positive tumors after menopause.”

In the second study, researchers at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey found that black women’s excess weight is linked with a 31% increase of ER positive tumors.

“This is significant because most breast cancer research has been conducted among white women, yet African American and Hispanic women have a higher incidence of the more aggressive types of breast cancer that are more challenging to treat, such as estrogen receptor (ER) negative tumors,” according to the EMaxHealth report. “They are also more likely to die of the breast cancer than white women.”


How to Support the Growing Number of Latino Farm/Ranch Operators


2012AgCensusInfographics_No1_WHOThe number of Latino farm and ranch operators increased 21% in the past five years.

This good news because it highlights the vibrant, diverse agricultural future as it the system deals with two significant challenges: “an increased demand for production to feed the growing global and U.S. population, at the same time as much of the current farmer and rancher population is edging toward retirement,” Farm Credit reports.

Check out this infographic that explains the issue.

Here also are groups that support Latino farmers, according to Farm Credit:

The NLFRTA, for example, works with current Latino farmers and advocacy groups to represent this agricultural sector in agricultural policy decision-making. They also help promote sustainable farm policies that will ensure high quality and safe food into the future.

Study: Alcoholism a Problem among Recently Immigrated Hispanic Youth


Young man sitting drinking alone at a table with two bottles of liquorAdapting to life in the United States causes high levels of stress in Hispanic immigrant youth, who frequently turn to alcohol, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence and reported by Voxxi News, indicates that recently immigrated Hispanic youth often report struggling with self-identity and stress as they try to find “a balance between cultural roots and their new environment.”

“Enduring bicultural stress during adolescence—a vulnerable developmental phase in which adolescents are still forming their own identity—places them at risk for participation in risk behaviors,” the study’s lead author, Assaf Oshri of the University of Georgia, told Medical XPress. “We found that bicultural stress disrupts their identity consolidation over time, which leads to increased expectations that getting engaged with alcohol use would help them alleviate or cope with this stress.”

The researchers, who studied 302 Hispanics in Miami and Los Angeles, said peak alcohol use tends to occur between the ages of 18-20.

They hope findings can help create cutlurally relevant substance abuse prevention programs.

“There’s also a real-world implication here about how prevention and intervention program designers should consider designing their curriculum,” Josephine Kwon, a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, told Medical XPress. They should “take into account the potential of bicultural stress to negatively impact the development of self-processes and deal with that underlying issue.”

Tweet with #SaludTues 10/28/14: What All Latinos Need to Know about Mental Health


iStock_000014212037LargeMore than 16% of Latino adults experienced a mental illness during the previous year, and communities of color are more likely to lack access to care to meet their behavioral health needs.

This makes mental health awareness important in Latino communities.

Let’s tweet about the education and access Latinos have to mental health and wellness, as well as what cultural barriers Latinos face with addressing mental health issues:

We’ll open the floor to your stories and experiences as we explore:

  • Why mental health is important for Latinos
  • Cultural and other barriers to mental health treatment
  • What campaigns are helping Latinos improve their mental health
  • Resources

Be sure to use the hashtag #SaludTues to follow the conversation on Twitter, share your stories and resources.

#SaludTues is a new weekly Tweetchat about Latino health at 12p CST/1p ET every Tuesday and hosted by @SaludToday, the Latino health social media campaign for the team at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.The IHPR directs several Latino health programs, including Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children, Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network, and Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training.

In Spanish: How to Keep the Workplace Safe


workplaceWorkplace death rates are higher among Hispanics than other racial/ethnic groups, especially among Spanish speakers.

Hispanics often work in higher-risk industries, including agriculture and construction, and they face cultural and language barriers, which undermine “the effectiveness of safety materials and hazard warnings printed in a language they don’t speak or read,” the Albuquerque Journal reports.

This makes Spanish-language safety materials critically important.

So the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a Spanish website with workplace safety materials, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a wealth of Spanish publications and other resources for employers and employees.

Employers are urged to review these Spanish materials with their Spanish-speaking employees.

“The employer should reinforce written messages with visual materials and hands-on demonstrations and encourage workers to discuss and exchange safety information among themselves. Trainers should observe whether workers appear to understand the safety information being delivered. If necessary, bilingual workers should help translate anything that seems confusing,” according to the Journal.

“The most proactive employers make sure key supervisors are trained in conversational and industry-specific Spanish and offer incentives for Hispanic workers to take English classes.”

3 Reasons Why Latinos Struggle More with Eating Disorders


New PictureObese Latinos struggle more than four times as much with binge eating disorder than the overall population, according to a post by The Bella Vita Eating Disorder Program.

Why is binge eating a problem for Latinos?

Dr. Patricia Pitts, founder and CEO of The Bella Vita, mentions three reasons:

  1. Acculturation (the adjustment to a new culture). “The negative effects of acculturation to American culture on diet and substance use are emerging in the research. Acculturation also carries health risks for both obesity, type two diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”
  2. Income. “Low-income individuals must deal with barriers to affordable, quality fruits and vegetables, walking or exercising in unsafe neighborhoods, and finding the time to engage in healthy eating habits while struggling daily to make ends meet. In addition, food-insecure individuals may engage in a pattern of restricting food intake when food is scarce and engaging in overeating when food becomes available again, a pattern that increases the likelihood of obesity.”
  3. Racism/discrimination. “Racism is a chronic exposure to stress that creates both physical changes in the body and a need to find a way to cope with the stress. The daily oppression and discrimination faced by people of color has tentatively been linked to higher body mass index (BMI) and obesity in some newer studies.”

The Bella Vita is driving awareness of and collaboration to solve Latino eating disorders with a campaign called Eating Disorders Includes Me (#EDIncludesMe).

The have a new video about “Maria” that emphasizes the importance for the Latino community to identify the sign and symptoms of mental illness and eating disorders while bringing awareness to the need to seek treatment.

“As a community, we must recognize the health risk vulnerability of obesity, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle within the Latino/a community,” Dr. Pitts said in her post. “Addressing concerns such as acculturation, income and racism will help encourage Latinos/as to embrace treatment. Also, it is important to identify eating disorders behaviors which manage deeper underlying mental health concerns.”

Get additional support for eating disorders from The Bella Vita, National Institute of Mental Health, or the National Eating Disorders Association in English or Spanish.

Study: 27% of Hispanics Report High Levels of Depressive Symptoms; Puerto Ricans Most Depressed

Photo via UC Davis Health System (

Photo via UC Davis Health System (

About 27% of US Hispanics reported high levels of depressive symptoms, according to a new study, Medical Express reports.

The study, part of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), indicates that depression and anxiety rates differ widely among Hispanic groups.

The highest rates of depressive symptoms were reported by Puerto Ricans (38%).

The lowest rates were among Mexicans (22.3%).

“Our study has found that mental health problems differ among the various groups comprising this population, suggesting that healthcare workers should look more closely at subgroups of Hispanics and Latinos to deliver appropriate mental health services,” said lead author Dr. Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, co-principal investigator of HCHS/SOL at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, according to Medical Express.

The study also found that depression was more likely among Hispanics who were older, female, and/or suffering from heart disease risk factors (smoking, obesity, etc.).

Despite Hispanics’ high depression rates, the study found low rates of antidepressant use:

One of the study’s most compelling findings was the relatively low use of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications among Hispanics and Latinos. Overall, only 5 percent of the study sample used antidepressants, even though depression affected 27 percent of this population. Antidepressant usage varied widely according to insurance status: 8.2 percent of insured people used antidepressants vs. 1.8 percent of uninsured. (In contrast, 13.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites ages 12 and over take antidepressants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is a significant concern, as it suggests that depression and anxiety may not be adequately treated in the Hispanic/Latino community,” Dr. Wassertheil-Smoller said.

Tweet with #SaludTues on 10/21/14: “Healthier Recipes for Latino Foods”


In the Latino community, we love to share delicious home-cooked meals with our family and friends.

But sometimes it’s hard to plan a meal that’s both satisfying and healthy.

Do Latinos have to sacrifice bold traditional flavors to ensure their family has a well-balanced meal?SALUD_granddaughter_baking

Certainly not! With a little planning, openness, and creativity, Latinos can prepare tasty dishes the whole family will love.

Join us and our co-hosts as we tweet about healthy cooking and Latino foods at the next #SaludTues Tweetchat.

We’ll open the floor to your stories and experiences as we explore:

  • How can you make your favorite Hispanic dish healthier?
  • Which Latino foods actually fight disease and promote well-being?
  • What are ways to save money on healthy food at the grocery store?
  • Which Latino foods belong in every healthy kitchen?

Be sure to use the hashtag #SaludTues to follow the conversation on Twitter, share your stories and resources that can help more Latino families begin cooking and eating healthier.

#SaludTues is a new weekly Tweetchat about Latino health at 12p CST/1p ET every Tuesday and hosted by @SaludToday, the Latino health social media campaign for the team at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.The IHPR directs several Latino health programs, including Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children, Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network, and Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training.

Webinar 10/29/14: The State of Obesity and Health Disparities


bike kidYou’re invited to join a webinar exploring the current state of U.S. obesity and related health disparities, and the latest efforts to combat the problem.

Register here for the webinar at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014.

The webinar, hosted by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and Voices for Healthy Kids, will discuss a summary, key findings, and the latest research on obesity’s toll related to health disparities from a recent report, The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America.

The report found that adult obesity rates increased in six states over the past year and did not decrease in any. Furthermore, significant geographic, income, racial, and ethnic disparities persist, with obesity rates highest in the South and among Blacks, Latinos, and lower-income, less-educated Americans.


  • Ginny Ehrlich, Director and Senior Program Officer, Childhood Obesity Team, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director, Trust for America’s Health
  • Amelie Ramirez, DrPH, Director, Salud America! (based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday)
  • Jill Birnbaum, Vice President, State Advocacy & Public Health, American Heart Association & Executive Director, Voices for Healthy Kids
  • Debbie Hornor, Senior Manager Field Consultation, Voices for Healthy Kids

Please direct inquiries to Tim Hughes at

How To Raise Awareness of HIV/AIDS in Latino Communities on NLAAD & Year Round

CDC Latino Fam

(Source: CDC,

HIV/AIDS is a growing issue in the Latino community that we should all be aware of.

Every year, 21% of new HIV/AIDS cases are diagnosed among Hispanics in the US.

If trends continue, according to the CDC, 1 in 36 Latino men and 1 in 106 Latina women will be infected with HIV at some point in their lifetime.

While these numbers are startling, HIV/AIDS is preventable, but Latinos need to know the facts about their risk and take measures to protect themselves.

There also needs to be candid conversations with family and loved ones as well as increased communication about this topic in the Latino community.

October 15th National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD)

How can we change the stigma that exists around HIV/AIDS and how can we inform more Latinos about ways to prevent infections?

Every year The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) works with partners across the country to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community on October 15th.

This year’s theme is To End AIDS, Commit to Act – Para Acabar con el SIDA, Comprometete a Actuar

With multiple online resources and social media available at our fingertips, we can all play an important role in getting the word out to Latinos. We can tweet, post, and share pictures on social media to help spread the word about HIV/AIDS risk to Latinos on NLAAD and year round.

Do Latinos even use social media? According to the Pew Hispanic Center, yes!

Social Media Tools For HIV/AIDS Prevention Among

To equip Latinos with the tools they need to get the word out, has compiled a list of resources for NLAAD.

The resource page includes links to the NLAAD website, mobile apps from, and information about campaigns like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time/Podemos Deterner el VIH Una Conversación a la Vez  and the REASONS/RAZONES campaign. 

You’ll also find information about groups you can follow on Twitter as well as pictures and infographics you can share on social media.

By using these resources you can be a part of the national fight against HIV/AIDS in Latinos.

Learn more and access the NLAAD Resources page here.

If you missed our Tweechat with @AIDSgov, @NLAAD, and @talkHIV, on 10/14 see the recap here.

Watch the video below to learn more about the importance of having HIV/AIDS conversations with loved ones.


Go to Top