Archive for October, 2011
Children and teens—especially Hispanics—are exposed to a substantial amount of marketing for sugary drinks, such as full-calorie sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks, according to a new report from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.
The report indicates that sugary beverages are specifically targeting Hispanic and black youth:
- Beverage companies have indicated that they view Hispanics and blacks as a source of future growth for sugary drink product sales.
- Marketing on Spanish TV is growing. From 2008 to 2010, Hispanic children saw 49% more ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks, and teens saw 99% more ads.
- Hispanic preschoolers saw more ads for Coca-Cola Classic, Kool-Aid, 7 Up and Sunny D than Hispanic older children and teens did.
The report recommends ways that parents can make a difference, as well as indicates that beverage companies must change their harmful marketing practices.
Get the full report here.
In the late 1980s, Dora Alicia Gonzalez helped do one of the first assessments of socioeconomics and health care locations in her native Brownsville, Texas.
She even helped write a 300-page report—page by page—on a typewriter.
Gonzalez said the experience, even despite its arduous typing task, sparked her interest in public health and improving the lives of the underserved.
Over the last 20 years she has helped meet the needs of uninsured residents as part of a primary health care agency, and also fostered community-based partnerships and developed and implemented cancer education training sessions along the Texas-Mexico border for the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Today, Gonzalez builds community health as a program coordinator at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
“The need of services for the underserved, uninsured, and low-literacy Hispanic populations motivate me to continue to work in this field,” Gonzalez said.
At the IHPR, Gonzalez coordinates ¡Salud del Valle!, an NCI-funded project that uses her skills as a community health educator to do educational presentations that increase the knowledge of breast and cervical cancer screening among Latinas in South Texas.
She also brings cancer prevention messages to residents via clinics, churches, cancer support groups, heath fairs and more, and recruits Latino cancer survivors to use LIVESTRONG cancer navigation services.
“I most enjoy being able to educate Hispanics about available resources and make sure that they know all about cancer prevention and screening,” Gonzalez said. “I also enjoy maintaining partnerships with community, regional and state groups.”
To help address health among Spanish-speaking Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) has launched an easy-to-read Spanish-language website with vital health info and disease prevention tools based on scientific and medical research.
The website, healthfinder.gov en espanol, is an online health information resource designed for Spanish-speaking communities. Offering 46 different health topics from acupuncture to vaccinations, the site provides tools and information for people to be healthy and stay healthy.
Hispanics are the largest U.S. minority. Hispanics also lead the nation in childhood poverty—painting a grim picture when it comes to Hispanics and health.
Tools on the new site include:
- Tu guia de salud—A Spanish-language version of the Quick Guide to Healthy Living with info on more than 40 different health topics.
- miBuscador de salud—A free, personalized health and wellness info tool, where users enter age, sex, and pregnancy status to get customized health recommendations based on the U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce and the Bright Futures Guidelines.
Additional features available at healthfinder.gov en espanol include “Recursos de salud,” “Noticias de salud,” and “Busca una clinica cerca de ti.”
Latinas and older, poorer women all are more likely to have lymph nodes under the armpit removed unnecessarily during breast cancer surgery, according to a new study, Reuters reports.
That’s despite 2005 guidelines recommending a gentler surgery that spares most of the lymph nodes, avoiding side effects like pain, swelling and numbness down the line.
Based on a California cancer registry, researchers found that more than a third of about 18,000 women who had undergone mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer had had their lymph nodes removed as well.
Yet all of these women had node-negative tumors, meaning the cancer had not spread beyond the breast.
Diabetes affects nearly 26 million people in the U.S. Another 79 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes.
Diabetics are at risk for diabetic eye disease, a leading cause of vision loss.
While all people with diabetes can develop diabetic eye disease, Latinos, African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and older adults are at higher risk of losing vision or going blind from it.
“The longer a person has diabetes the greater is his or her risk of developing diabetic eye disease,” said Dr. Suber Huang, chair of the Diabetic Eye Disease Subcommittee for the National Eye Institute’s (NEI) National Eye Health Education Program. “If you have diabetes, be sure to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Diabetic eye disease often has no early warning signs, but can be detected early and treated before noticeable vision loss occurs.”
Clinical research, supported in part by NEI, has shown that maintaining good control of blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol can slow the development and progression of diabetic eye disease. In addition to regular dilated eye exams, people with diabetes should do the following to keep their health on TRACK:
- Take your medications.
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
- Add physical activity to your daily routine.
- Control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
- Kick the smoking habit.
For more information on diabetic eye disease and tips on finding an eye care professional or financial assistance for eye care, visit the NEI website in English or Spanish or call NEI at 301-496-5248.
To address the needs of Latino cancer survivors, the LIVESTRONG organization created a cancer survivorship training curriculum to increase the number of Latino community health workers, otherwise known as promotores, and their skills, knowledge and confidence on the physical, emotional and day-to-day concerns of cancer survivors.
To date, LIVESTRONG has trained more than 500 promotores across the country.
What exactly is a promotora?
Watch this video of Guadalupe Cornejo, a promotora at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, who explains what she does and who she helps.
Be sure to check out a new event, Nursewise: Tobacco Cessation, Nutrition and Physical Activity, at 8 a.m. Nov. 12, 2011, at Courtyard by Marriott in San Antonio, Texas.
The event will initiate discussion on current recommendations and evidence-based techniques for every nurse.
The registration fee is $50 for nurses and $25 for promotores, community health workers and students.
The program is presented by the Nurse Oncology Education Program (find out more here) and made possible by a grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
Margaret Moran, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), explored the often-frightening term “breast cancer” among Hispanics in a recent Huffington Post article.
She notes that, even though Latinas have lower breast cancer rates, they are screened less and are diagnosed at later disease stages. Breast cancer is alos the most-diagnosed cancer among Latinas.
When I was a young girl, we didn’t talk about breast cancer. Now, we must not only talk about it, but be sure that all women have access to proper screenings and treatments. We need to ensure that Hispanic women have the knowledge and medical care to put an end to this disease. Breast cancer affects everyone, not just the person diagnosed. Likewise, everyone needs to do their part to minimize the risks within our community.
Latina TV star Ana Maria Polo, host of the popular Telemundo show Caso Cerrado, will appear in a new public service announcement (PSA) for Stand Up to Cancer, bringing her signature courtroom resolve to the fight against cancer.
Polo, a breast cancer survivor herself, joins a long list of national and international celebrity supporters of the Stand Up to Cancer initiative, which raises awareness and funds for collaborative cancer research.
Watch the video here or below:
Check out this new video from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) focusing on cancer health disparities—differences in the rates of disease and death among minorities compared to other population groups.
The video features perspectives from numerous Congressional officials, federal agency leaders, and a clinician on possible policy prescriptions that are necessary to help reduce cancer health disparities.
Also featured is Latino Congressman Raul Grijalva from Arizona: