Salud America! and ‘Chef Johnny’ Team Up to Share Kid-Friendly Summer Healthy Recipes

Did you know kids gain more weight during their summer vacation than they do the entire school year?Kid-Friendly Recipes (1)

That’s why Salud America! and San Antonio celebrity Chef Johnny Hernandez are partnering to launch #SaludSummer, a social media recipe-sharing campaign to promote healthy—and fun—eating for families during the summer.

Starting on July 1, the campaign will use #SaludSummer to share one new kid-friendly recipe a week on social media by Chef Johnny, who puts his passion for Latino flavors, including fresh fruit cups, licuados (smoothies), and tortas into practice at his restaurants in San Antonioand Las Vegas.

People also can share photos of their own healthy foods on social media using #SaludSummer and be entered into a random drawing for a grand prize—a Jawbone fitness tracker.

“Chef Johnny and I know the critical role fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods have in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and we want to show that eating healthy doesn’t have to stop when summer arrives,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud America!, a Latino childhood obesity research network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center.

Ramirez said the campaign is a response to emerging evidence that shows children gain more weight during summer months than they do during the school year, and fitness gains children achieve during the school year are erased over the summer.

Chef Johnny, a guest judge on Season 9 of Bravo’s Top Chef and a top-5 Hispanic Chef by Siempre Mujer Magazine, aspires to increase healthy food options for children.  

 He celebrates Mexico’s traditional foods, ingredients, and techniques in his San Antonio eateries, including The Fruteria – Botanero, which has a menu crafted to highlight the fresh and vibrant flavors of locally sourced, seasonal frutas and verduras, and features lighter fare.

Get each of Chef Johnny’s new #SaludSummer recipes by following Salud America! (@SaludToday on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and Chef Johnny (@IamChefJohnny on Twitter and Instagram).

“Don’t miss this chance to cook some tasty, healthy meals this summer together with Salud America! and Chef Johnny,” Ramirez said.



Q&A: Reny Diaz, VP of Insights & Strategy at NBCUniversal

SaludToday Guest Blogger

We know the scary statistics: 1 out of every 5 Hispanic Americans adults suffers from Diabetes, over 75% are affected by obesity, strokes are the fourth leading cause of death, and it openideogoes on. And we know it’s time to take action and approach tackling these preventable diseases in a new way.

NBCUniversal, NBCUniverso, and Telemundo have partnered with an organization called OpenIDEO to do just that.

Instead of driving action through fear, they’ve turned the urgency into something approachable, collaborative, and fun.

OpenIDEO is an innovation platform, based on IDEO‘s design methodology, which enables people everywhere to help address pressing global issues. Together with NBCU, NBCUniverso, and Telemundo they’ve created the question:

“How might we use technology to inspire all socioeconomic and multicultural groups to lead healthier lives?”

Visit the challenge to submit a few sentences of your own idea for how to create healthier lives or comment on others ideas before July 20, 2015. The thinking behind this challenge is that innovation starts with collaboration, so the more people in the mix the better.

We’re excited to see where this process goes in the next month and were also curious how the whole effort started. OpenIDEO interviewed Reny Diaz, VP of Insights & Strategy at NBCUniversal, about he’s most excited about during the challenge (including getting his abuela healthier!) and we love the insights he provides. Check them out!

Read the Q&A here: OpenIDEO

El ejercicio puede reducir riesgo de diabetes gestacional

El ejercicio puede reducir la probabilidad de padecer de diabetes gestacional, el cual afecta a muchas latinas, reporta Health Day.

En un estudio reciente por investigadores españoles publicado en BJOG: an International Journal of Obstretics and Gynaecology, encontró que dentro de 2,800 mujeres que participaron en el estudio, las que ejercitaron durante su embarazo redujeron su riesgo de padecer de diabetes gestacional por más del 30 por ciento.

Mujeres embarazadas que combinaron aerobics, pesas, y flexibilidad durante sus ejercicios redujeron su nivel de riesgo aún más.

“El ejercicio no es algo que se deba temer durante el embarazo. El nivel moderado de ejercicio usado en estos estudios tuvo efectos significativamente positivos sobre la salud, y se encontró que eran seguros tanto para la madre como para el bebé”, señaló en un comunicado de prensa de la revista la autora líder, Gema Sanabria Martínez, del Hospital Virgen de la Luz en Cuenca, España.

La diabetes gestacional afecta entre el dos al diez por ciento de mujeres embarazadas, de acuerdo a cifras de Baby Center.

Taking ‘Community Quarterbacking’ to the Nation

quarterbacksLike a football quarterback who calls plays to get a team working together to win a game, the community quarterback unites local groups to work for the good of the community.

Salud America!, a Latino childhood obesity prevention network funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, is excited to take the “community quarterback” concept—championed by the Investing in What Works for America’s Communities project—to a national level for holistic Latino health.


Salud America! understands the value of community quarterbacks, and is working to develop a cadre of such quarterbacks across the nation.

We call them Salud Heroes. A Salud Hero is a person, organization, company, or coalition that has made an effort to develop a healthy change in a Latino community in one of six areas: sugary drinks, healthier marketing, active play, active spaces, better food in neighborhoods and healthier school snacks.

Take, for example, Shape Up San Francisco (Shape Up SF).

Shape Up SF, a community quarterback/Salud Hero model, is a public-private health partnership led by the city’s health department and involving more than 50 community groups and city and school partners. The coalition aims to address the epidemic of chronic disease through primary prevention and environmental strategies, with an emphasis on physical activity and nutrition, among Latino and other minority populations.

Salud America! is putting a national spotlight on the work of Shape Up SF by developing Salud Heroes stories about the coalition’s work.

Our first Salud Hero story shows how Shape Up SF worked with school and other officials to boost the quality and quantity of physical education (P.E.) for local students. Responding to research that many schools don’t get enough P.E. time, partners worked together to train 38 teachers in the district to become P.E. specialists and expand P.E. opportunities.

Our second Salud Hero story shows how Shape Up SF, local Latino and black youth, and other local health leaders stepped up against the sugary drink industry with a counter-marketing campaign called the Open Truth. In 2013, beverage companies spent $866 million to advertise sugary drinks in ways associated with feelings of fun and happiness, many targeting youth of color.

Salud America! shares these Salud Hero stories nationally on our Growing Healthy Change website and on our SaludToday social media campaign.

In this way, we’re becoming a clearinghouse of Salud Heroes/community quarterbacks who have each partnered in some way to drive change in their community. Visitors to our site, in turn, see these stories and become inspired to make their own partnerships and changes, essentially building a pipeline of future community quarterbacks.

With holistic approaches like these we can help win the game against childhood obesity and improve Latino health.

Meet SaludToday’s Social Media Coordinator

carlos valenzuelaCarlos Valenzuela, with dreams of becoming the next Jorge Ramos, got a degree in broadcast journalism and worked as a community affairs TV reporter.

But he soon found a way to use his skills to improve people’s lives.

Impressed by the passionate health advocacy of his mentor, Floyd Robinson, who directs health and wellness at the University of Houston, Valenzuela started developing health prevention campaigns for the city of Houston’s health department.

“I learned the big impact health campaigns can have in minority communities in areas like obesity, diabetes, and sexually transmitted infections,” he said.

Today Valenzuela is taking health communications to a new level as social media coordinator at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

He develops content for SaludToday, the IHPR’s social media campaign for Latino health, which includes a blog and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Latinos are very active on social media, using it more than whites or blacks. Latinos also tend to be populous in some of the segments who use social media sites the most, including 18-29-year-olds, those with less than a high-school education or some college, and those making less than $30,000 a year, studies have shown.

“We know this is an opportunity to reach Latinos with health messages where they spend a large amount of time,” Valenzuela said. “This is especially significant because Latinos suffer from many health disparities, such as higher rates of obesity.”

SaludToday is becoming a go-to source of Latino health information, from cancer prevention to healthy lifestyles to demographic trends.

“It motivates me to know that, thanks to my work and the work of the communications team and the whole staff at the IHPR, we’re helping the Latino community and Latino children and families live a healthier and more active lifestyle,” Valenzuela said.

#SaludTues Tweetchat 1p ET 6/30/15: “Breaking the Taboo: Prostate Cancer among Latino Men”

Prostate cancer is among the most common types of cancer diagnosed in Latino men in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.#SALUDTUES (14)

Although fewer Latinos are diagnosed with prostate cancer than white non-Hispanic, Latino men are more likely to die from it.

How can we change that?

Join the discussion this coming Tuesday, June 30 as explore ways to make Latino men more aware that yearly prostate screenings can save lives.

  • WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Breaking the Taboo: Prostate Cancer among Latino Men”
  • DATE: Tuesday, June 30, 2015
  • TIME: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT)
  • WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues
  • HOST: @SaludToday
  • CO-HOSTS: National Cancer Institute (@NCICRHD), the National Cancer Institute en español (@NCIespanol)

Be sure to use the hashtag #SaludTues to follow the conversation on Twitter and share your strategies, stories, and resources that can help Latinos quit using tobacco.

#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 University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.


Niños latinos y otras minorías menos probables a utilizar casco de protección

Niños con Medicaid y otras minorías son menos probables a usar cascos de protección, que niños con seguro privado o niños blancos, reporta Reuters.boybike smaller

Investigadores analizaron más de 7,000 casos de accidentes en bicicleta en jóvenes y niños menores de 16 años y encontraron que solo el 22 por ciento de los accidentados habían utilizado  un casco.

“Nuestros descubrimientos son tristes pero no sorpresivos,” dice el autor del estudio Dr. Obinna Adibe, un investigador en cirugía pediátrica en el centro médico de la Universidad de Duke. “Lesiones en la cabeza son las más letales en niños afectados y una de las más comunes,” continua Adibe.

Los investigadores también encontraron que hay disparidades dependiendo en la región.

Niños afectados por lesiones traumáticas por no usar casco son más  comunes en el sur o “midwest” de Estados Unidos que en el este del país.

“Disparidades en uso del casco están basadas en raza e ingresos y no son sorpresivas porque la inequidad persiste entre muchas otras lesiones que afectan a los niños,” dice el Dr. Greg Parkinson, pediatra y especialista en prevención de lesiones en Falmouth, Mass.

Doctores y expertos recomiendan que padres e hijos utilicen un casco cada vez que se montan en bicicleta.

Study: Authoritarian Parenting can Lead to Anxiety and Depression Among Latino Children

Mexican American children and Dominican American are found to be at a higher risk of experiencing depression and somatization due to authoritarian parenting, according to a new research from The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work.girl drinking milk

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, examined the prevalence of anxiety and depression and somatization (when a person has physical symptoms, but no physical cause can be found) in children aged 4-6 from Mexican and Dominican descent.

According to the study Latino children experienced higher levels of anxiety, depression and somatization than the general population. According to the researchers 50 percent of Latino youth are at risk of anxiety and 10 percent are at risk for depression and somatization.

“Our study suggests that the disproportionate risk for anxiety, depression and suicide attempts observed among Latino, compared to non-Latino, youths begins way before adolescence. By understanding how parenting can promote healthy emotional development starting early in a child’s development, we hope to develop programs to support Latino families in preventing these serious negative mental health outcomes,” said Esther Calzada, lead researcher and professor of social work at The University of Texas at Austin.

Depression among Mexican American children was correlated with strict parenting which is often not responsive to the child’s feelings.

“Parents’ adherence to respeto may impact children not only by fostering authoritarian parenting styles but also directly, by making young children more nervous or distressed during interactions with adults who hold clear authority, such as teachers,” Calzada explained.

FDA Approves Brain Stimulation Device for Patients Battling with Parkinson’s Disease

Photo Credit: Medscape

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a brain stimulation device to help patients battling with Parkinson’s disease, which disproportionately affects Latinos, Health Day reports.

The BRIO Neurostimulation system is “an implantable deep brain stimulation device to help reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, a movement disorder that is one of the most common causes of tremors,” the FDA said in a news release.

The Brio System was approved by the FDA after two clinical trials, one involving 127 patients with essential tremor who used the device for six months, and one involving 136 patients with Parkinson’s disease who used the Brio system for three months.

“Both groups showed statistically significant improvement on their primary effectiveness endpoint when the device was turned on, compared to when it was turned off,” the FDA said.

The FDA reports that the device does come with a few risks such as intracranial bleeding, which can lead to stroke, paralysis or death.”

According to a study reported by Kaiser Permanente “Hispanics had the highest rate (Parkinson’s disease) at 16.6 cases per 100,000, followed by non-Hispanic whites at 13.6 per 100,000.”

5 Ways to Eat for a Healthier Smile

Portrait Of Young Happy Woman Eating Salad At Cafeteria

SaludToday Guest Blogger
Jefferson Dental Clinics

Crispy veggies and sweet fruits make great-tasting, healthy treats.

But did you know, they can also give you a healthier smile and fight gum disease?

Nearly 67% of Mexican Americans suffer gum (periodontal) disease, an exponentially higher rate than other races/ethnicities. Periodontal disease forms pockets around the teeth, where bacteria and buildup accumulate, and if untreated can lead to bone and tissue erosion in the jaw. In severe cases, sufferers may experience tooth loss.

What should you eat for proper oral health?

Oral health experts from Jefferson Dental Clinics, in honor of National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month in June, recommend incorporating these five essential vitamin- and mineral-rich foods to support oral health:

Snack on spinach for iron (promotes tongue health). This classic veggie delivers a great source of iron; along with a good dose of a half dozen other essential vitamins. Try tossing spinach into omelets, quesadillas, pasta and rice dishes, stir-fry and more.

Munch on mango for vitamin C (strengthen gums). This tropical wonder is a yummy way to take in your daily vitamin C. Whether you eat it on its own, in a salad or a salsa, mangos make a bold and healthy addition to any meal.

Consume kale for calcium (strengthens teeth and bones). This leafy green packs a whopping amount of absorbable calcium. Try tossing kale into green salads or sautéed with your favorite additions.

Pick portabella mushrooms for vitamin D (reduces inflammation of the gums). A cup of these mushrooms delivers over 60% of your recommended daily value of vitamin D. Portabellas taste great marinated and grilled like fajitas.

Crunch cucumbers for phosphorous (essential for calcium and vitamin D absorption). High in phosphorous and in crunch this veggie is great in salads or as a snack on its own.

For more oral wellness tips, go here.

Go to Top