Posts tagged Connecticut
About 25% of Latino third-graders in the state are obese.
Some experts in the region are highlighting unhealthy marketing as a contributor, given Latino kids’ high exposure to media, the New Britain Herald reports.
“In my opinion, Spanish-speaking children are more heavily targeted by junk food, dessert and sugar-sweetened beverage ads because their community is very disempowered and does not have the means to advocate for changes in these unhealthy marketing practices that have been seriously questioned by groups that have a higher social position in the country,” Dr. Rafael Perez-Escamilla, director of the Connecticut Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos at the University of Connecticut, told the New Britain Herald.
The food industry in the U.S. “self-regulates” itself regarding content of advertisements targeting children, but some politicians and groups around the nation are working down on young Latinos’ exposure to marketing of unhealthy foods, according to the article.
Learn more about getting involved in marketing issues at ChangeLab Solutions.
Editor’s Note: This is a 20-part series featuring new research briefs on Latino childhood obesity, nutrition, physical activity and more by the 20 grantees of Salud America! Part 11 is Dr. Robert Dudley. Find all briefs here.
Dr. Robert Dudley
“Healthy Tomorrows for Latina Teens”
In his Salud America! pilot research project, Dr. Robert Dudley of Community Health Center, Inc., evaluated Health Tomorrows for Latina Teens, a five-year, federally-funded obesity prevention and advocacy training program for adolescent girls in New Britain, Conn.
To identify factors that promote or prevent physical activity among Latina teens, Dr. Dudley’s team taught girls Photovoice—a research method that puts cameras in people’s hands to assess community problems and assets, and then connects them to policymakers to pursue change.
Key preliminary findings include:
- barriers prevent Latina teen activity;
- photovoice can address these barriers; and
- photovoice can expedite policy change by facilitating direct, informal dialogue between policymakers and Latino youth.
The project spurred the local school district to add a P.E. credit recovery program. Two of the project’s participating teen girls also made a stirring presentation to their city council asking to clean and reopen two closed pools at local parks to add more activity options in town (see video below).
Results indicate that Photovoice is a viable, low-cost means of empowering Latina teens to develop leadership and advocacy skills. Further, the program helps to generate community support for increased physical activity.
Read more here.
Salud America! is an RWJF national program directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
Rosemarie Burgos and Melanie Benitez were a bit nervous.
The two teens—on a night when their friends might be home watching TV—were about to stand before the Common Council of New Britain, Conn., and argue that the city should plan to re-open pools to boost local physical activity options.
But they came prepared.
Months before that Sept. 8 city meeting, Benitez, Burgos and other Latina teens joined a pilot project led by the Community Health Center and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) through Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children.
As part of the project, the girls took photos of parks and the closed pools littered with trash and graffiti, interviewed kids, parents and city officials on the need for water-related exercise options, and got 100 signatures on a petition to re-open pools.
Then, at the meeting, Burgos and Benitez made their pitch.
Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, recently discussed challenges and solutions to Latino childhood obesity as a guest on “Conversations on Health Care,” a weekly radio show airing in Connecticut, Minnesota and Michigan made possible by the Connecticut-based Community Health Center, Inc.
The show features experts in health care innovation and reform.
Dr. Ramirez talks about the Latino childhood obesity epidemic and her Salud America! program’s efforts to reduce the epidemic.
Dr. Ramirez has spent 30 years directing many research programs focused on human and organizational communication to reduce chronic disease and cancer health disparities affecting Latinos.
As hospitals struggle to balance the books and social service groups cope with budget cuts and heightened demands, community health centers across the state are flourishing, the Hartford Courant reports.
Just ask Dr. Robert Dudley of the Community Health Center in New Britain, Conn.
Dr. Dudley, a grantee of Salud America!, a national network led by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, has seen his health center’s medical personnel multiply and move from an empty limosine garage to a renovated building that opened in June after a $6.3 million project to expand and upgrade the space.
He even dubbed the new exam rooms the “luxury suite.”
“You’re the third person to be in this room, ever,” he told his patient, a 12-year-old girl who has been his patient for her entire life, according to the Courant.
More from the Courant:
The health center serves as a “medical home.” The idea is to give patients a regular source of care that they can access easily, treating all aspects of their health and coordinating their treatment — making sure someone keeps track of referrals, medications and everything else related to the person’s health.
The federal health reform law includes provisions for developing medical homes. It offers states money if they develop a care coordination program through Medicaid for people with chronic illnesses, for example. The federal government is also launching a demonstration project for medical homes in Medicare.