Find the latest advances in Latino health—from a new support group for young cancer survivors to obesity prevention—in IHPR Noticias, the newsletter from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
IHPR Noticias has these stories and more:
- Story: “Breast Friends Forever” Support Group for Young Cancer Survivors in San Antonio (Pg 1)
- Profile: Inspired by Grandparents…The Story of the IHPR’s Rosalie Aguilar (Pg 2)
- Study: Obesity, Diabetes Biggest South Texas Health Threats (Pg 3)
- Video: Dr. Amelie Ramirez on the Future of Latino Health Care (Pg 4)
- Study: Síclovía Events Encourage Healthy Behaviors (Pg 6)
- Study: Racial/Ethnic Disparities Remain in Breast Cancer Rates (Pg 7)
- Resource: MiPlato Food Prep Tips, Recipes, Coloring Pages (Pg 9)
IHPR Noticias is jam-packed with even more info on the latest local and national health disparities-related news, resources and events.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have story ideas.
The videos, which are also available in English, explore the latest research into how six critical topics—marketing, school snacks, sugary drinks, neighborhood food environments, active play and access to active spaces—impact Latino child health.
The videos also feature evidence-based recommendations on how to address the problem.
The child-narrated videos are part of a six new packages of research materials produced by Salud America!, a national research network on Latino childhood obesity that is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Each topic’s package contains: a research review, an assessment of all available scientific evidence on the topic; an issue brief, a short summary of the research review; an animated video narrated by Latino children; and an infographic, a visual summary of the topic.
Materials are available for download here.
Latinos have higher risk of diabetic eye disease.
That makes it important to have an annual dilated eye exam—when an eye care professional dilates, or widens, the pupil to check the retina in the back of the eye for signs of damage, such as a cataract (clouding of the lens of the eye), diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina), and glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve).
November, which is National Diabetes Month, makes a perfect time to schedule dilated eye exam, according to the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) of the National Eye Institute (NEI).
“Half of all people with diabetes don’t get annual dilated eye exams. People need to know that about 95 percent of severe vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented through early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up,” said Dr. Suber Huang, chair of the Diabetic Eye Disease Subcommittee for NEHEP.
Diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of diabetic eye disease, is the leading cause of blindness in American adults.
If you have diabetes, NEHEP suggests a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year, as these other health tips to help control diabetes:
- Taking your medications.
- Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Adding physical activity to your day.
- Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
- Kicking the smoking habit.
For more information on diabetic eye disease, financial assistance for eye care, and how you can maintain healthy vision, go here.
Also check out the NEHEP’s new infographic.
One sugary drink a day for a year is equal to 7,300 sugar cubes—the length of four blue whales—according to a new online campaign to promote more water and fewer sugary drinks from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Brita USA.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugar in the diets of US youth.
Parents, caregivers, and role models for the next generation can set the right example and relay the right message about sugar consumption to kids, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation blog post.
“It’s easy to overlook the amount of sugar we consume in a single day when we look at it as just flavor. Remove that sugar from the drink and give it a physical form, and it turns into something that we would not as quickly put into our bodies. Think 14,600 teaspoons of sugar or maybe 7,300 sugar cubes,” according to the blog post.
Spanish-language fast-food advertising to Hispanic preschoolers increased by 16%, according to Fast Food FACTS 2013. The report, by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, examines the nutritional quality of fast food and how 18 top chain restaurants market their foods and drinks to kids.
In 2012 the fast food industry spent $4.6 billion to advertise mostly unhealthy products, and children and teens remained key audiences for that advertising.
The report highlights a few positive developments, such as healthier sides and drinks in most restaurants’ kids’ meals, but also shows that restaurants still have a long way to go to promote only healthier fast-food options to kids.
“There were some improvements, but they have been small, and the pace too slow,” said Marlene Schwartz, Rudd Center director. “Without more significant changes, we are unlikely to see meaningful reductions in unhealthy fast food consumption by young people.”
Key overall findings include:
- Children ages 6 to 11 saw 10% fewer TV ads for fast food, but children and teens continued to see three to five fast food ads on TV every day;
- Healthier kids’ meals were advertised by a few restaurants, but they represent only one-quarter of fast-food ads viewed by children; and
- Less than 1% of kids’ meals combinations at restaurants meet nutrition standards recommended by experts, and just 3% meet the industry’s own Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and Kids LiveWell nutrition standards;
Among Latinos, kids are a particularly attractive target to food marketers because of their increasing population size, spending power and media exposure.
Digital marketers in particular are savvy about using music, Latino spokespeople and other means to link cultural values and beliefs with certain food brands and products—the new report shows that fast food marketing via mobile devices and social media has grown exponentially from 2010.
“The marketing of unhealthy food concerns the Latino community because nearly 40% of Latino youths are overweight or obese,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America!, a national Latino childhood obesity research network based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. “Everyone wants their kids to live long and healthy lives, and we know that being overweight or obese children are at greater risk for serious health problems.”
View the full report here.
The study, published in BioMed Central Public Health, examined the nutritional value and marketing tactics of all child-oriented snacks in 55 stores immediately surrounding four public schools. Researchers identified 826 child-oriented snack foods, at least one in each of the 55 stores. They further analyzed 106 of the snacks.
The most common method of marketing to children was placing characters to promote snacks (92.5% of the products), including brand-specific characters, cartoon characters, and creatures/animals. Most character branding was prominently displayed on the front of products, and covered a quarter of the package’s surface.
“Promotional characters have been found to influence children’s food choices as they are more likely to choose a snack with a character on the packaging compared to one without a character,” the researchers said.
Most of the snacks (97.1%) were classified as “less-healthy.”
Researchers also found that the motivation to purchase snack foods in Guatemala may not be related to price, because: savory snack foods were more expensive than regular grocery items like bread; companies are still offering toys as giveaways in their product sales; and 20% of the snacks in the study didn’t have legally required nutritional labeling.
More restrictions on marketing less-healthy snacks is needed, the researchers concluded.
“Due to the effects on food preferences and overall nutritional quality, restricting the use of child-oriented licensed and brand-specific characters on the packaging of snack foods is needed to discourage consumption of less-healthy snacks,” according to the study.
Read the full study report here.
…research build a case for addressing Latino childhood obesity? (Pg 1)
…a Latina get more Latinos into national parks for culture, physical activity? (Pg 3)
…schools give kids healthier choices during and after class? (Pg 5)
Find out in the latest Salud America! E-newsletter.
Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program aims to unite and increase the number of Latino stakeholders engaged in community change and research on environmental and policy solutions to the epidemic. The network is directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Don’t forget to share your “healthy change” stories with Salud America!, which can write up your story, possibly film it, and help you get a national audience for your work.
For more info, go here.
#FoodFri is a weekly tweetchat hosted by MomsRising on Twitter every Friday to provide a platform for our food policy partners and the larger food justice community to address food and beverages in schools, food marketing to children and other topics.
For instructions on how to join a #FoodFri tweetchat, go here.
For Salud America! research on sugary drinks and Latino kids, go here.
Sesame Street characters like Elmo and Rosita can now be used for free to market fresh produce in food stores by mid-2014 thanks to a new partnership aimed at encouraging children to eat more fruits and vegetables.
The two-year partnership—between the Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative—allows PMA’s community of growers, suppliers and retailers to utilize the strength and influence of the Sesame Street brand without a licensing fee.
That means characters like Big Bird, Elmo, Rosita and Abby Cadabby can adorn produce sections and products to showcase fresh fruits and vegetables to kids.
“Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store, and they see Elmo and Rosita and the other Sesame Street Muppets they love up and down the produce aisle,” said First Lady Michelle Obama, according to a news release. “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips.
The First Lady also called for stakeholders to leverage the power of marketing to promote healthy products to kids.
In her remarks, the First Lady referenced a recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine conducted by researchers at Cornell University. Researchers gave kids a choice between eating an apple, a cookie, or both and the vast majority of the kids chose the cookies. But when the researchers put Elmo stickers on the apples and let the kids choose again, nearly double the number of kids went for the apple.
“It’s no secret that many parents have a hard time getting kids excited about eating their fruits and vegetables,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “Today’s commitment helps all of us promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption, and gives parents and families a powerful, positive tool to help get kids excited about eating healthier foods.”
A new documentary by Mexican-American filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz delves into the lives of six Latino students to uncover the challenges and successes Latinos face in graduating and taking steps to improve their communities, NBC Latino reports.
Ruiz’ two-part documentary, The Graduates, takes a detailed look at the lives of three Latino male and three female students from different regions of origin, geographic areas, and socio-economic status. It also showcases nonprofit agencies and role models who are committed to providing resources to and helping Latino youth.
The film also includes interviews with successful Latinos, such as actor Wilmer Valderrama and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who reflect on their own experiences as students.
The documentary airs nationally on PBS on Oct. 28 and Nov. 4.
Watch clips from the film and an interview with the filmmaker here.