Posts tagged healthy eating
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 group has launched a new Spanish-language blog about diabetes and those inspired to stop it, called No Más Diabetes.
The have a great Facebook page in Spanish, too.
Also, the ADA’s por tu familia program, described in this video, contains Spanish-language, culturally relevant information on diabetes risk factors and warning signs. Contents focuses on healthy eating, understanding the link between heart diseases and diabetes, and the importance and impact of increasing physical activity.
The program also encourages appropriate testing among those at risk and treatment for those diagnosed with diabetes.
Check out these videos about how a Latino family—the Eguez Hopkins family—is planting their own produce garden and eating healthy on a budget.
The videos are from Manantial de Salud, a federally funded Latino grassroots health network sponsored by the Latino Healthcare Forum in the Dove Springs neighborhood in Austin, Texas.
A new pubcast, “Obesity Control in Latin American and United States Latinos: A Systematic Review,” examines research programs that combined physical activity and healthy eating to address obesity can help guide efforts to tackle the epidemic in the United States and Latin America.
The pubcast, published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is from the Institute for Behavioral and Community Health at San Diego State University.
Read more about this research here.
Creating school food environments that support healthy eating among children is a recommended national strategy to prevent childhood obesity, and is shown to have positive effects on student behavior, development, and academic performance.
To help children learn life-long healthy eating habits, researchers developed the Healthy Eating Design Guidelines for School Architecture.
These guidelines provide practitioners in architecture and public health as well as school system administrators with a practical set of spatially organized and theory-based strategies for making school environments more conducive to learning about and practicing healthy eating behaviors.
Watch how the Buckingham Elementary School redesign project in Dillwyn, Va., used the tool to improve its ability to adopt a healthy nutrition curriculum and promote healthy eating.
At the school, every aspect of the architecture—the furniture, color pallet, and materials—was designed to promote healthy behaviors, such as:
Some of the design principles incorporated include:
- A food lab where kids can learn how to prepare healthy foods;
- A cafeteria which facilitates fresh food production;
- A school garden for kids to grow food for the school cafeteria and burn a few calories;
- A lower-stress environment to address light, noise levels, air quality and crowding; and
- Layouts that encourage more movement and the use of attractive water fountains.
This project is the first of its kind and represents a brand new way of thinking about childhood obesity prevention.
¡Por Vida!, launched in October 2010, is a San Antonio restaurant recognition program that aims to help adults and children make healthier food choices by identifying menu items that meet certain nutritional guidelines. The obesity prevention program is one arm of a larger city effort that implores residents to “Find Your Balance” and get healthy.
Since it started, a dozen restaurants have joined the program.
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 14 is Dr. Myriam Torres. Find all briefs here.
Dr. Myriam Torres
“Voices of Latina Mothers and School Staff on Childhood Obesity”
In her Salud America! pilot research project, Dr. Myriam Torres of the University of South Carolina brought together public health researchers, community leaders and Latino families to study and develop effective policy recommendations regarding physical activity among Latino children from a growing immigrant settlement in West Columbia, S.C.
Key preliminary findings include:
- main barriers to healthy eating and physical activity among Latino children include lack of infrastructure that supports walking and biking and unhealthy school lunches; and
- community stakeholders and school staff agreed that lack of transportation, Spanish-speaking parents and the cost of out-of-school sports were the main barriers that keep Latino children from participating in organized sports.
The study suggests that Latina mothers understand the variety of factors that impact their children’s diets and levels of physical activity. These barriers demonstrate the need to develop policies that support healthy changes in our environments and schools.
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.
Food access and mobile food vendors make eating healthy food a challenge in Texas colonias—rural, predominantly Latino settlements along the U.S.-Mexican border that often lack water, electricity, and other infrastructure.
Check out a video discussion of colonia issues with Dr. Joseph Sharkey, a professor at The Texas A&M Health Sciences Center and a Healthy Eating Research grantee.
The Utah Department of Health recently released several videos, “For Me, For Us,” to offer reliable health care information to racial/ethnic minorities, the Daily Herald reports.
Each video tackles healthy eating, access to health care and healthy births, and other health challenges facing minorities in Utah.