#SaludTues Tweetchat 4/21/15: Eliminating Latino Health Disparities During the Early Years

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Building a healthy foundation during the early years is important for all children. Yet research shows that Latino kids continue to suffer from higher rates of obesity compared to children of other race/ethnicities.

So where does the problem begin and how do we tackle it at its root?

Between the ages of 0-5 years is when a child reaches key milestones in their physical, social and emotional development. Therefore, efforts to create a safe and healthy environment for children must start as soon as possible.

This Tuesday is National Kindergarten day. Join us for a #SaludTues Tweetchat to talk about ways to give our children hope for the future. By working to ensure that all children enter kindergarten at a healthy weight, we can improve their chances of staying healthy later on in life.

Follow this week’s Tweetchat on Twitter (via @SaludToday, @KidsHealth, @MomsRising) to learn ways to help kids enter primary school with good health.

You’ll hear from Kids Health, Moms Rising and Salud America! about what we can work to address issues such as health, safety, stress, poverty and education in underserved communities. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your ideas, resources, stories and examples of ways to work towards a healthier environment for kids 0-5 years in age.

  • WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Eliminating Latino Health Disparities During the Early Years”
  • DATE: Tuesday, April, 21, 2015
  • TIME: Noon CST (1:00 PM ET)
  • WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues
  • HOST: @SaludToday
  • CO-HOSTS: @KidsHealth @MomsRising

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

  • Why the early years are so important for the health of Latino children.
  • Some of the challenges associated with the health of pre-school aged children.
  • How we can help shape a healthier school environment for Latino kids in childcare settings.
  • How we can work towards building a culture of health for kids 0-5 years.
  • What’s working to create a healthier school environment for Latino kids.

Be sure to use the hashtag #SaludTues to follow the conversation on Twitter, share your stories and share resources that can help improve Latino health and fitness.

#SaludTues is a 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 is the team behind Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network, funded by the National Cancer Institute.

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Making Awesome Changes: Teen Gets Healthy Breakfast Cart at School

breakfast cartA nutritious breakfast is important for on-the-go kids.

Michaelie Love, a junior at Lee High School in San Antonio, found few of her peers ate breakfast, so she helped bring a breakfast cart with fast, low-fat, low-sugar, and whole-grain options at her school.

Love’s efforts are now featured in the new “Making Awesome Changes” TV series, which partners KSAT-TV and Salud America! to feature Salud Heroes—people and groups who are pushing for healthy changes—on the evening news.

Salud America! is a Latino childhood obesity research network supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and directed by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

making awesome changesPast “Making Awesome Changes” stories include:

Michelle Love, meanwhile, hopes more of her peers now eat a healthy breakfast.

“The morning, it’s time for you to hang out with your friends before you have to go into class, so you don’t want to have to spend time in the cafeteria,” Love said.

Stay tuned for more stories from Salud America! and KSAT-TV!

Tell Taco Bell: Quit Pushing Sugary Drinks

revised main photo small - blogOne word can describe Taco Bell’s drink lineup: Sugary.

Taco Bell recently added six new sugary drinks and became the first fast-food giant to offer Manzanita Sol, an apple-flavored soda most popular in Mexico, a nod to its Latin-inspired cuisine.

Manzanita Sol packs a whopping 56 grams of sugar in a 16-ounce drink, and four of the six new drinks contain more than 20 grams of sugar in the chain’s smallest available size.

Tell Taco Bell to stop offering Manzanita Sol and other sugary drinks to customers!

Latino kids don’t need more sugar-bombs disguised as thirst-quenchers, they already drink more sugary drinks per day than their white peers and have higher rates of obesity.

Taco Bell continues to launch new unhealthy beverages, including new flavors of sugar-filled slushy drinks called Freezes. The company promotes Freezes aggressively on Facebook and Instagram, and research shows Latinos use these channels more than other populations.

The two newest Freezes, Starburst and Snapple Lemonade, each pack more than 45 grams of sugar in a 16-ounce serving.

Tell Taco Bell to stop adding sugary drinks, and instead add a healthy option like no- or low-fat milk!

This campaign is directed by Salud America!, a Latino childhood obesity network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Report: Access to Health Care is Improving for Hispanics, but More Work Remains

hpv psa redesAccess to health care after the Affordable Care Act is improving among all racial/ethnic groups, especially Hispanics, but more work remains, according to a new report.

According to the report, the 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, the nation’s rate of uninsured people has declined. The decline was greater among Hispanics and blacks, who historically have had higher rates of unsiuninsurance rates compared with whites.

For Hispanics, the rate of those uninsured dropped from 40.3% to 33.2%, and for blacks dropped from 24.6% to 15.9%.

“These findings indicate that the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces is making health insurance available to millions of Americans who might otherwise have been uninsured,” said AHRQ Director Dr. Richard Kronick in a news release.

The report, which features annual trends on more than 250 measures of quality, access and disparities covering a broad array of health care services and settings, also found that disparities among racial groups for certain health services have been reduced to zero.

For example, Hispanic adults with obesity received nutrition counseling and advice to eat fewer high-fat foods at similar rates as other adults with obesity, compared to 2004 when 41% of Hispanic adults and 50% of white adults received counseling.

However, compared with whites, blacks and Hispanics still had lower access to care for about half of the access measures tracked in the report, which include encountering difficulties or delays in receiving care.

To read the full report, click here.

To read a news release, click here.

#SaludTues Tweetchat 4/14/15: Latinos and Alcohol Awareness and Prevention

Happy cheerful group of friendsLatinos are less likely to drink alcohol at all than non-Latinos.

That’s the good news.

The bad news?

Latinos who choose to drink are more likely to consume higher volumes of alcohol than non-Latinos, and about 8.3% of Latinos needed treatment for alcohol problems in the past year, federal statistics show.

For Alcohol Awareness Month (April), let’s use #SaludTues on April 14, 2015, to tweet information, resources, and tips that can help reduce alcohol abuse among Latinos:

  • WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Alcohol Awareness and Latinos”
  • DATE: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
  • TIME: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT)
  • WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues
  • HOST: @SaludToday
  • CO-HOSTS: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (@NCADDnational), Institute for Research, Education, and Training in Addiction (@IRETApgh)

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

  • The state of Latino alcohol consumption and binge drinking
  • What elements, such as acculturation, impact Latino alcohol consumption
  • The consequences of alcohol abuse
  • Resources to get help for alcohol issues, and help Latino parents talk to teens about drinking

Be sure to use the hashtag #SaludTues to follow the conversation on Twitter and share your strategies, stories, and resources that can make Latinos aware of the problems of alcohol.

#SaludTues is a 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 Salud America! and the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

32% of Hispanic Teens go Online ‘Almost Constantly’

texting - Copy (2)About 90% of U.S. teens go online daily and 32% of Latino teens go online “almost constantly,” a higher rate that white teens (19%) and comparable to black teens (34%), according to a new Pew Research report.

Much of this frenzy of access is facilitated by mobile devices.

Overall, more than 70% of Latino, black, and white teens ages 13-17 have access to a smartphone, which has become a top driver of teen Internet, texting, and social media use.

Patterns of social media use seem to be affected by socioeconomic status, as teens from lesser-income households (those earning less than $50,000) are more likely than others to say they use Facebook the most. Teens from high-higher households are somewhat more likely to visit Snapchat and Twitter more often than those from lesser-income homes.

Texting remains popular among teens, as 90% of smartphone-accessing teens exchange texts. A typical teen sends and receives 30 texts a day, and many use messaging apps. In fact, Latino (46%) and black teens (47%) with phones are substantially more likely to use messaging apps than white teens (24%).

View the full report here.

Watch and Vote: Best Way for Kids to Get Healthy Food

6 vertical - CopyLatinos tend to live in areas with more junk food and sugary drinks, and fewer healthy options.

That’s why Salud America! is presenting six new #SaludHeroes who helped bring more nutritious food and drinks to their schools, cities, and even bus stations!

WATCH and VOTE for your favorite “#SaludHeroes of Healthy Food and Drinks” by April 29, 2015, and be entered in a random drawing to win a FREE T-shirt and jump rope!

#SaludHeroes of healthier food are:

  • Sweeter than Soda. Boston city leaders crafted a campaign to urge residents to choose healthy drinks over sugary beverages because “kids are sweet enough already.”
  • A Salad Rap. Students launched into song because they were so happy with their cool new “fresh food station,” the brainchild of parents in Fairfax County, Va.
  • A Healthy Bite on the Bus. Faced with few healthy food options, teens pushed for more nutritious snacks and drinks at bus and transit stations in Santa Cruz County, Calif.
  • High Schools vs. Sugary Drinks. School leaders and teens worked together to cut back on sugary drink options and promote healthy ones at Chicago-area high schools.
  • Dangling a Carrot. Lonnie Sclerandi, a high-school teacher in Austin, Texas, took a small garden and created a big change to teach students about growing healthy produce.
  • Turning Fish into Fresh Fruit. At-risk youth and schools leaders started an aquaponics garden—which uses fish to help grow fresh produce—in Santa Ana, Calif.

The #SaludHeroes with the most votes will be announced in an email and a social media messages from Salud America! by May 6, 2015.

To vote, enter the random drawing, and see contest rules, go here.

Salud America! is a Latino childhood obesity network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Salud America! runs a periodic voting contest for its stories of Salud Heroes, people who have made healthy changes in their town. Contest voters are entered into a random drawing for a prize, and winning Salud Heroes get a social media and e-shout-out.

23,000+ People Tell Kellogg’s that Latino Families Want Healthier Food Options!

More than 23,000 people across the nation recently wrote letters to urge the Kellogg Co. to stop marketing sugary foods to Latino families on their Dias Grandiosos website.

The letters, which highlighted how Kellogg’s targets Latina moms with cultural- and family-oriented messages for meals that are high in sugar and salt, were collected by Salud America!, a Latino obesity research network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Salud America! leaders delivered the 23,000 letters to Kellogg’s this week.

We will post their response here in coming days.

Why is this effort so important?

Food and beverage marketing influences Latino kids’ diets and disproportionately focuses on unhealthy products, studies show.

We believe Latino families need healthy food options—rather than many of the recipes promoted to them on Kellogg’s Dias Grandiosos website, where 19 of the 29 recipes qualify as desserts based on their high sugar content, according to an independent nutritionist.

Visit our Salud America! Growing Healthy Change website to get involved in fighting Latino childhood obesity, and enter your address to see healthy local changes and Salud Heroes.

Winning Video: Run, Chicago, Run!

Alicia Gonzalez of Chicago Run

Alicia Gonzalez of Chicago Run

Alicia Gonzalez wanted kids to run—a desire that turned into Chicago Run, an group that has gotten more than 16,000 kids moving.

Now she’s won the Salud America! #SaludHeroes voting contest!

Read Gonzalez’s story or watch her winning video about how she identified the problem of unfit kids, planned for and mobilized change, and took actions that are helping Latino kids stay fit across Chicago through daily running activities, online mileage trackers, incentives and citywide running events.

“I think the excited part of watching Chicago Run over the past six-and-a-half years is that it’s really started to engage our communities,” Gonzalez said. “It’s very simple, easily replicated, and it’s not intimidating.

“A lot of our kids are coming home and they’re feeling better about themselves because they’re being physically active to create a healthy body.”

Go here to learn how to make similar changes in your town!

Salud America! is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded research network on Latino childhood obesity based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday. Salud America! runs a periodic voting contest for its videos of Salud Heroes, people who have made healthy changes. Contest voters are entered into a random drawing for a prize, and winning Salud Heroes get a social media and e-shout-out. Learn more here.

Making Awesome Changes: See What Happens When Healthier Vending Machines Come to High Schools

cecil

Cecil Whisenton, Salud America! Salud Hero

Cecil Whisenton helped bring healthy vending machines to give students healthy options at South San High School, an effort to help children eat healthier and fight obesity that is now spreading to other school districts in San Antonio.

Now his work is featured in the new TV series, “Making Awesome Changes.”

“Making Awesome Changes” regularly spotlights Salud America! Salud Heroes—people, like Cecil Whisenton, and groups who are pushing for healthy changes—on the KSAT-TV San Antonio evening news. KSAT-TV partners on the series with Salud America!, a Latino childhood obesity research network supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and directed by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

making awesome changesTogether, KSAT-TV and Salud America! continue to spotlight awesome Salud Heroes and inspire more changes across San Antonio.

Past spotlights include:

  • Cesar Valdillez, a Salud America! Salud Hero who worked with neighbors, the city, and others to seek a community garden that would bring healthier food options for their Southtown community in San Antonio.
  • Dante Jones, a Salud America! Salud Hero who started the Roll Models bike club for youth and mentors them and takes them on regular bike rides across San Antonio.

Stay tuned for more stories from Salud America! and KSAT-TV!

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