Hispanic mothers and fathers who were stressed saw the greatest impact on their children’s body mass index (BMI) compared to any other ethnicity in the new study, Voxxi reports.
The study, led by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that kids with high-stress parents have a 2% higher BMI than kids with low-stress parents. Researchers speculated that stressed parents were less likely concerned with healthy food options and exercise.
According to the article:
Hispanic children, who made up more than half of the test subjects, were the most predominantly affected by the stress of their parents, a finding study authors feel may indicate Hispanic children are more likely to experience hypherphasia — excessive hunger or increased appetite — and a sedentary lifestyle…
…While much of this health disparity has been attributed to lack of access and knowledge regarding healthy foods, stressed parents may be another factor previously overlooked. Hispanics and other immigrant parents have challenges unique to them including language barriers and the stress of acculturation.
“Childhood is a time when we develop interconnected habits related to how we deal with stress, how we eat and how active we are,” Dr. Ketan Shankardass said in a statement on the St. Michael’s website. “It’s a time when we might be doing irreversible damage or damage that is very hard to change later.”
But these health inequalities are preventable.
A new tool, A Practitioner’s Guide for Advancing Health Equity, can help public health practitioners work at the community level to tackle health inequities through policy, systems, and environmental improvements designed to enhance tobacco-free living, healthy eating, and active living among the underserved.
The guide, from the Prevention Institute and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, has practical tips on how you can build change for health equity:
- Tips to help you and your colleagues build organizational capacity; develop partnerships; foster meaningful engagement; and design and evaluate equity-oriented strategies.
- Strategies, based in evidence and honed by practice, that are designed to reduce health disparities and create healthy communities for all.
- Information about potential barriers and unintended consequences that can hinder chronic disease prevention efforts.
- Examples of successful equity-oriented approaches to improving public health and reducing disparities, drawn from communities across the country.
The guide also has dozens of examples of successful changes in health equity.
For example, in Louisville, Ken., Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness implemented the Healthy Hometown Restaurant Initiative, designed to encourage restaurants to provide healthier options for their patrons. Outreach efforts led many restaurant owners throughout the city, including in low-income neighborhoods, to alter their menus and provide nutrition labeling information for their menus.
The following is a Nov. 20 guest blog by Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (the team behind SaludToday), for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
I recently had the privilege of attending and presenting my Susan G. Komen-funded research on boosting Latina breast cancer survivorship through Patient Navigation at the 5th International Cancer Control Congress (ICCC) on Nov. 3-6, 2013, in Lima, Peru.
As a member of Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board, I was excited to be among the more than 400 health researchers and community leaders from throughout the world came together for this important meeting. Dr. Simon Sutcliffe of Vancouver, Canada, president of the ICCC and chair of the international steering committee, cited five key drivers for the group:
- improving human development;
- mobilizing a societal response to reduce cancer and other non-communicable diseases;
- improving population health;
- improving cancer treatment, management and care; and
- ensuring effective transfer of knowledge into action at a population level.
Dr. Carissa Etienne of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) also brought up the need to target three challenges: how to apply our current knowledge to reduce cancer; how to reduce cancer disparities; and how to implement comprehensive health care coverage to improve health for all.
How do we answer this call?
At the global level, Komen has invested more than $800 million in research and currently funds more than 500 active research grants. Since Komen’s inception in 1982, $89 million has been dedicated to more than 250 research grants focusing on health disparities. Komen is the largest non-governmental funder of breast cancer research, and its efforts to invest in translation from the lab into treatment, early detection and prevention align well with the goals of the ICCC conference.
My own Komen-funded research is addressing the burden among Latino populations.
Given that breast cancer is the top cancer killer of U.S. Latinas, my team at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is testing ways to reduce the burden on this population. In one National Cancer Institute-funded study, researchers from our Redes En Acción project found that a culturally sensitive patient navigation program reduces time from cancer diagnosis to initial treatment and increases rates of treatment initiation within 30 and 60 days of diagnosis—resulting in lives saved.
In our Komen-funded “Staying Healthy” study, we’re testing how Latina breast cancer survivors in an enhanced patient navigation program go on to participate in screening and treatment plans, and how their quality of life is affected. Preliminary results show increased quality of life, indicating that the “Staying Healthy” program has the potential to be a global model of survivorship care.
At the conference, another research project that caught my attention was a study of women with metastatic breast cancer in three Latin American countries (Mexico, Brazil and Argentina) that showed two-thirds of women felt no one understood what they were going through, 41% said their support from family and friends diminished over time after the original diagnosis, and 74% would like professionals to have more consideration for their emotional needs. In addition, 76% stated they needed more information on the secondary effects and systems of this disease. This study was supported by Novartis oncology.
I was refreshed to not only hear and learn from studies like this one, but also present my Komen-funded research.
Having a role in conferences like this can grow relationships that have the potential to generate collaborations to eradicate breast cancer across the globe.
The study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research examined survey data to examine kids’ dietary behaviors and the impact of parents on food choices.
The study found that:
- 60% of all kids between the ages of 2 and 5 had eaten fast food at least once in the previous week.
- 29% of all kids had eaten fast food two or more times in the previous week.
- Only 57% of parents reporting that their child ate at least five fruit and vegetable servings the previous day.
- Latino and Asian parents say they have less influence over what their child eats than other groups.
“A weekly happy meal is an unhappy solution, especially for toddlers,” said Susan Holtby, the study’s lead author and a senior researcher at the Public Health Institute. “Hard-working, busy parents need support to make healthy food selections for their kids.”
Hispanics suffer a heavier burden of health conditions like diabetes, uncontrolled blood pressure, and work-related deaths, according to a new federal report.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Supplement, released on Nov. 21 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highlights differences in mortality and disease risk for multiple conditions related to behaviors, access to health care, and social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, age, and work.
The report highlights several Hispanic-oriented issues or conditions:
- Preventable hospitalization rates were highest for Hispanics and blacks.
- Diabetes rates were highest among Hispanics and blacks.
- Rates of uncontrolled blood pressure were highest among Mexican Americans.
- The prevalence of periodontitis, a gum infection, is highest among Mexican Americans than other racial/ethnic groups.
- Flu vaccine rates increased for Hispanics ages 65 and older.
- Minorities and Spanish speakers were more likely to live near major highways—suggesting an increased exposure to traffic-related air pollution.
- Work-related deaths are highest for Hispanics.
- The highest percentage of adults not completing high school were Hispanic.
- The highest percentage of adults living below the federal poverty level were black or Hispanic.
- Racial/ethnic minority areas more often lacked at least one healthier food retailer within a half-mile than white areas.
“It is clear that more needs to be done to address the gaps and to better assist Americans disproportionately impacted by the burden of poor health,” said Dr. Chesley Richards, director of CDC’s Office of Public Health Scientific Services, which produced the report. “We hope that this report will lead to interventions that will allow all Americans, particularly those most harmed by health inequalities, to live healthier and more productive lives.”
View the full report here.
CPR training rates are lower in poor, rural, Hispanic and other minority-heavy U.S. regions, a new study shows, HealthDay reports.
Timely bystander CPR can boost the odds of survival for those who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, but the new study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found exceedingly low CPR training rates in its examination of 13 million people in across 3,100 counties.
Specific findings included:
…fewer people are trained in CPR in the South, Midwest and West…counties with the lowest rates of CPR training—less than 1.3 percent of the population—were also more likely to have a greater proportion of rural areas, black and Hispanic residents, and a lower average household income.
These areas also had fewer doctors and, on average, older residents, according to a journal news release.
“With regard to rural areas, more studies are needed on interventions that target the entire chain of survival,” the study authors concluded.
Read more here.
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.
Amy Cleveland, fresh out of college and just starting a career in marketing, discovered a coarse lump in her breast while putting on some tanning oil.
Only age 22, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It was a struggle for me because I was young and there was no one my own age I could relate to or confide in about having cancer. People always say, ‘My mom had that,’ or, ‘My grandma had that.’ But it’s tough for young people,” Cleveland said.
Fortunately, Cleveland—now age 28 and free of cancer—found some “Breast Friends Forever,” thanks to a unique support group for young breast cancer survivors developed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and Susan G. Komen San Antonio.
The BFF support group meets bimonthly to help young survivors bond with each other, get emotional support, and learn more about breast health from expert speakers.
“We want young survivors to build positive relationships with other survivors their age in a fun and educational setting, to improve their quality of life during and after breast cancer,” said Sandra San Miguel de Majors, a research instructor at the IHPR. “The BFF group is much-needed because breast cancer rates are rising about 2% a year in women ages 20-39.”
Breast cancer in younger women often is more aggressive with lower survival rates.
The estimated 250,000 U.S. breast cancer survivors diagnosed at age 39 or younger also face different challenges—such as dating and body image issues and starting a career and/or family and having to deal with chemotherapy treatment—than women diagnosed after 40.
San Miguel de Majors said young survivors often have few people to lean on.
“Through our research and outreach work I realized there are no support groups specifically for young breast cancer survivors. I thought, ‘Why not start one?’” said Sandra San Miguel de Majors, who oversees outreach for Redes En Acción, the IHPR’s national Latino cancer research network funded by the National Cancer Institute, and also sits on the board of directors for Komen San Antonio.
A few months ago, San Miguel de Majors brought her idea for a young survivors’ support group to Elyse Alaniz, mission director for Komen San Antonio. They recruited three young survivors—Cleveland, Brenda Garza, and Tanya Del Valle—and formed a planning committee.
They wanted to invite young survivors to meet periodically to share their cancer experiences, bond emotionally, and learn from each other.
But they wanted to offer more than just peer support.
“The element of practical support often is overlooked. At each BFF meeting, we bring in a medical expert to teach survivors about healthy lifestyles, or schedule community service projects,” Alaniz said. “We want to do even more, too, like conduct a healthy cooking demonstration or organize a group exercise session.”
At the first BFF meeting in June 2013, several survivors traded stories, laughed, and enjoyed food at Rosario’s Mexican Cafe y Cantina. At the second meeting in August, 15 survivors learned some nutrition and exercise tips from local oncologist.
Now more than 20 survivors regularly attend BFF meetings.
The BFF group now is reaching out to more young survivors through a web page and Facebook group page, while also giving back: On Oct. 30, 2013, the group will meet at a local eatery to increase cancer awareness, raise funds for underserved women and support one another.
“We really want to take a comprehensive approach to help young survivors in every way possible,” San Miguel de Majors said.
Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, who directs the IHPR and the Redes network and sits on Komen’s national scientific advisory board, is excited about the group’s potential.
“It is fantastic to see this group taking many angles to address the gap that exists for support for young cancer survivors, especially Latina survivors,” Ramirez said. “I’m proud of Sandra for taking the initiative to find another way to help cancer patients.”
Cleveland is glad young survivors have a place to go where they can feel comfortable.
“I’m always telling my friends about this group, and that, while cancer can strike at a young age, you’re not the only one,” she said. “There is a group out with women in it who have been through what you’re going through, and can help.”
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.