Archive for April, 2012
Nearly a third of U.S. kids and adolescents are overweight or obese, especially minority groups, including Latinos.
Many are urged to get more exercise but can’t follow this advice very easily where they live. Schools, for instance, have many recreational facilities—gyms, soccer fields, tracks, basketball courts, playgrounds, even swimming pools—but they keep them closed after hours due to security, liability and maintenance concerns.
But communities around the country are resolving these issues through what’s known as a joint use agreement: a written contract between a school district and, usually, a city agency, spelling out a formal arrangement that lets the two share the costs and maintenance and liability responsibilities.
Playing Smart is a new nuts-and-bolts guide to opening school property to the public through joint use agreements.
Complete with model agreement language and success stories from communities around the country, Playing Smart provides a comprehensive overview of the most common ways to finance these arrangements, and guidance on how to overcome obstacles that may arise in negotiating and enforcing a joint use agreement.
Playing Smart was produced through a partnership between KaBOOM! and the National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Children Obesity, a project of Public Health Law & Policy.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series that will highlight the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work in Latino communities across the country.
On May 5, 2012, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) will team up to provide Hispanic media with an in-depth look at a health care issue that’s key to the Latino community.
The panel discussion, “Reflection in the Mirror: Latino leaders inspire young Hispanics to see themselves in the health and health care field,” will address the importance of diversifying this country’s health and health care fields.
Prominent Latinos will detail their respective journeys and the importance of having health professionals reflect the communities in which they serve.
Dr. Debra Joy Pérez, assistant vice president for research & evaluation at RWJF, will deliver opening and closing remarks. The discussion will be moderated by Anne Harding, who writes for Reuters Health, The Lancet, The Scientist and the British Medical Journal.
Panelists include Dr. Gabriel Rincón, president of Mixteca Organization, Inc., which provides health and education programs to thousands of Latino New Yorkers. Rincón was honored as a 2011 RWJF Community Health Leader.
Dr. Judith Aponte will also be on the panel. Aponte is the first Hispanic to graduate from the Doctor of Nursing Science program at Columbia University. In addition, she was the first Hispanic to receive tenure from Hunter College’s Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, where she is now an associate professor.
The third panelist will be Wanda Montalvo, clinical director for the New York State Diabetes Campaign. Montalvo chairs the National Diabetes Education Program, an effort by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and more than 200 partners to develop strategies and interventions to improve the lives of people living with diabetes. She is an alumna of RWJF’s Executive Nurse Fellows program.
NAHJ members, register today to be a part of this event! You’ll get ideas and contacts for stories that can help lead to a more diverse health care workforce.
Join the conversation on Twitter at #NAHJhealth.
Community recreation centers that develop culturally tailored programs that invite Latino families inside can increase sustained use of the center for physical activity in this population at heightened risk for childhood obesity, according to a new study in Childhood Obesity.
Living near community recreation centers (CRC) is associated with increases in adolescent and adult physical activity.
However, the efficacy of efforts to increase use among Latino parents and children is unknown.
So researchers, led by Dr. Shari Barkin, a Vanderbilt University researcher and grantee of Salud America!, compared 66 Latino parent–child pairs who had participated in a culturally tailored healthy lifestyle program at a community recreation center and completed a 12-month follow-up assessment to 62 pairs living within a 5-mile radius of the center.
About two-thirds of Latinos in the healthy lifestyle program reported more than monthly use of the center for themselves a year after programming ended, compared to one-third of those who didn’t.
Parents in the program also were four times more likely than the others to use the center with their children on a monthly basis.
Dr. Barkin is one of 20 grantee researchers of Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children. The network is based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center.
More types of food can now be certified as heart-healthy, including fish and nuts, to help meet the AHA’s goal of dramatically improving the nation’s cardiovascular health.
All shoppers need to do at the grocery store is look for the familiar Heart-Check mark to find foods that make the heart-healthy grade.
“With these enhancements, the Heart-Check program will help consumers easily identify and choose even more heart-healthy foods for themselves and their families,” said Dr. Rachel Johnson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and the vice chair of the American Heart Association nutrition committee.
Foods such as salmon and unsalted, unoiled peanuts are eligible to be use the American Heart Association’s seal of approval right away. Further down the road, in 2014, products that are already certified will have time to phase in the more rigorous criteria that require even lower amounts of sodium, more fiber and fewer added sugars.
And it’s easier than ever to spot this trusted American Heart Association symbol in the grocery store. When you see the Heart-Check mark on food packaging, you’ll instantly know the food has been certified to meet the AHA guidelines for a heart-healthy food. It’s a good first step in creating an overall sensible eating plan.
Check out a list of certified products here.
Or check out this news in Spanish.
The study, published recently in Public Health Nutrition, compared the availability, quality and cost of healthy and unhealthy foods in 10 tiendas and 15 supermarkets in San Diego County, Calif.
Researchers found that tiendas were smaller, charged more for a gallon of skim milk, and offered less lean ground beef than supermarkets.
However, they also found that tiendas had similar fresh produce offerings at lower prices.
“These results highlight the potential that tiendas have in improving access to quality, fresh produce within lower-income communities,” the researchers concluded. “However, efforts are needed to increase the access and affordability of healthy dairy and meat products.”
To find out, the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio is enrolling Hispanic survivors of breast cancer for a 16-week clinical research exercise study conducted in South Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley to address this topic.
Changed thinking that leads to self-confidence leads to changed behavior—that’s the idea behind the study.
The study requires two visits to the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Regional Academic Health Center campus in Harlingen to answer questionnaires, do a complete physical fitness assessment and develop each woman’s individualized comprehensive exercise program. Also, based on the answers, each woman receives a personalized newsletter geared just for her.
“The goal is to motivate the Hispanic women to increase their physical activity, as studies have shown this improves quality of life and reduces the risk of developing other cancers and diseases,” said Gabriela Villanueva, research area specialist associate with the IHPR, who is working on the National Cancer Institute-funded study led by the IHPR’s Dr. Daniel Carlos Hughes. “It’s a really good program for our women.”
Hispanic women 18 and older who completed their cancer treatment at least two months prior are invited to inquire about eligibility. Several Hispanic women have joined the study since it began early this year, but researchers are looking for more.
Study participants will be compensated up to $75 in gift cards for participating.
But perhaps the best part is they get a prescription of exercise that they can carry on long after the study has ended.
For more information, contact Villanueva at (956) 365-8699 or email@example.com.
- Researchers contribute to policy changes for healthier cities? (Pg 1)
- Hunger and obesity become the focus of a TV series? (Pg 3)
- Latino tiendas differ in healthy food options? (Pg 4)
Also check out much more news, research and funding inside the E-newsletter, and discover the preliminary research results of a quartet of Salud America! grantees working in Latino after-school programs, community recreational centers and more.
Salud America!, which is dedicated to preventing Latino childhood obesity, is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and is headquartered at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the report on selected nutrient intake and chronic health conditions among Mexican-American adults.
The report, Trends in Nutrient Intakes and Chronic Health Conditions Among Mexican-American Adults, a 25-year Profile: United States, 1982–2006, in this time span, the percent kilocalories from total fat, saturated fat, and protein intake among Mexican-American adults decreased, while carbohydrate and mean total energy intake increased. During this same time period, the prevalence of obesity and diabetes among Mexican-American adults increased and the prevalence of high blood pressure remained stable.
The overall prevalence of high total serum cholesterol among this group did not differ significantly from 1988–1994 to 1999–2006.
Researchers concluded that monitoring trends in diet and health conditions among Mexican-American adults can inform the development of targeted prevention efforts to improve the health of this rapidly increasing population.
LIVESTRONG has published the case study behind its successful Latino outreach campaign that seeks to close the gap in health disparities for Hispanics diagnosed with cancer.
The case study on the campaign, Navigating the Cancer Experience: Reviewing the Impact of LIVESTRONG‘s Navigation Services, indicates that in 2010 more than 25,000 Latinos were served through LIVESTRONG‘s direct support, print or online resources at LIVESTRONGEspanol.org.
Also, the number of Latino survivors accessing LIVESTRONG’s free, confidential navigation services increased by 40%.
The campaign also received an honorable mention for Multicultural Marketing Campaign of the Year at the recent PRWeek Awards.
“LIVESTRONG is honored to be recognized by PRWeek for our work on behalf of vulnerable and underserved communities,” said Katherine McLane, LIVESTRONG senior director for communications and external affairs, in a statement. “This public education campaign is helping to bridge the gap in healthcare resources for Hispanic cancer survivors and, equally important, addressing the need for culturally relevant communications to at-risk populations. By publically sharing the study behind our successful campaign, we hope people can use this information to benefit Hispanics affected by cancer.”
Cancer is the second leading cause of death for U.S. Latinos, accounting for about 20 percent of all deaths, statistics show. Research shows that many Latinos fail to recognize symptoms of cancer, which frequently leads to late detection and therefore poor treatment outcomes.
Factors contributing to the high rate of deaths from cancer among Latinos include: language barriers, cultural beliefs, among others.
To address this alarming trend, LIVESTRONG in November 2010 launched a national public education campaign to generate awareness of its free resources available in English and Spanish for Hispanics/Latinos affected by cancer.
The campaign—aided by the input of Sandra San Miguel de Majors, a research instructor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, which partnered with LIVESTRONG through its National Cancer Institute-funded Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network—was comprised of various highly targeted outreach initiatives and anchored by a community health worker (or promotores) training program designed to empower cancer survivors by equipping them with the necessary resources.
LIVESTRONG now has a growing network of promotores who work in the community to help spread the word about these services, having trained 500 promotores in 16 states and plans to train 750 more in 2012.
Read the full case study here.
Throughout the country, people are coming together with a shared vision, strong leadership, and commitment to making needed and lasting changes that broadly improve community vitality.
This is happening in large urban settings and small rural ones; it’s happening in places with tremendous resources and in places with few resources to draw from; it’s happening in places with relatively few health challenges and in places where the challenges are many and daunting.
One place is San Bernardino, Calif.
In 2006, officials launched the San Bernardino Healthy Community Initiative. Since then, 17 of the county’s 24 cities have launched their own healthy city initiatives, including features such as Safe Routes to School, community gardens, shared resources and more.
Watch more about their effort here in this video from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Another county getting healthier is Hernando, Miss., where city leaders have been improving the city’s physical environment. Not only have all city parks been revamped, but they now have athletic facilities, community gardens and a local bike club. The city has also undertaken initiatives to stripe bike lanes, widen roads, and expand sidewalks to encourage residents to lead more active lives.
Watch more about Hernando’s efforts here.
The launch of the 2012 County Health Rankings and County Health Roadmaps also coincides with the release of the call for applications for the Roadmaps to Health Prize, another component of the County Health Roadmaps project that recognizes and honors the efforts and accomplishments of communities in the U.S. working at the forefront of better health for all residents.
Up to six Roadmaps to Health Prize winning communities will be honored in early 2013 and each will receive a no-strings-attached $25,000 cash prize.