Posts tagged Los Angeles
With childhood obesity continuing to hit harder in the Latino community, 30 Hispanic journalists gathered in Los Angeles last month to hear experts talk about solutions. The panel discussion, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), was part of a daylong National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) Region 8 Conference at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism.
The journalists represented outlets spanning national and local broadcast, print and online media, including Univision, KCPP 89.9 FM (California’s leading NPR-affiliate station) and The Orange County Register.
Abelardo de la Peña, editor of LatinoLA.com, moderated the event. The panelists work on childhood obesity prevention at the community, school and research levels:
- Rosa Sosa is project director of Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities – Baldwin Park and regional director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. The Baldwin Park program has helped cut the number of overweight students by 13 percent during the past several years.
- Corina Ulloa is program coordinator of the El Monte School District’s Network for a Healthy California. El Monte includes Rio Hondo Elementary School, only the second school in the nation to receive the Alliance for a Healthy Generation’s Healthy Schools Program Gold award.
- Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanti, PhD, is associate professor of research at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and co-principal investigator of the USC Childhood Obesity Research Center’s MY LA (Minority Youth Leaders in Action) Camp Program.
The journalists asked about how to change Latinos’ attitudes toward weight and health and how obesity rates differ by communities and populations. The panelists addressed the cultural perception that “a chubby baby is a healthy baby” and stressed how this view shifts once parents better understood food choices.
They noted that although many traditional Latino recipes include healthy foods like mango and black bean salsa, families who immigrate from Central and South American countries often begin eating far less healthy in the midst of this country’s plentiful fast food restaurants.
The comparison was made to tobacco use and the impact of policy change on how the public views smoking. But Dr. Baezconde-Garbanati pointed out one key difference.
“You can tell people ‘don’t smoke,’ [but] you can’t tell people not to eat,” she said.
RWJF and NAHJ previously partnered on three regional conferences in New York and Miami, which covered childhood obesity and topics such as the social determinants of health and the need for a more diverse health care workforce.
The next regional conference is scheduled for San Antonio during Hispanic Heritage Month.
A Discussion of Childhood Obesity in the Latino Community: What Issues, Solutions Can Hispanic Media Highlight?0
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.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) are joining forces next week for an important discussion on childhood obesity in the Latino community.
The event will take place June 23 during the NAHJ Region 8 conference in Los Angeles and will focus on the role Hispanic media can play in reducing the epidemic.
Research shows Latino youth in the United States are more likely to be overweight or obese than their White peers and are at greater risk for developing heart disease, asthma, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and other health problems. The same holds true in California, where more than 46 percent of Latino fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders were overweight or obese between 2005 and 2010.
California was one of the first states to set strong nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold through school vending machines, à la carte cafeteria lines, school stores and other sources outside of school meals.
A recent study indicates California high school students consumed lower quantities of fat, sugar and calories in school than students in states with no such competitive food nutrition standards.
The childhood obesity discussion will be held at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. NAHJ President Michele Salcedo will open the panel with brief remarks. Abelardo de la Peña, editor and founder, LatinoLA.com, will serve as moderator.
Each of the panelists is a leader involved in efforts to improve the health of Latinos, including:
- Rosa Sosa, project director, Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities – Baldwin Park, and regional director, California Center for Public Health Advocacy
- Corina Ulloa, program coordinator, Network for a Healthy California, El Monte School District (which includes Rio Hondo Elementary School, only the third school in the nation to receive the Alliance for a Healthy Generation’s Healthy Schools Program Gold award)
- Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, associate professor of research, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, and co-principal investigator, USC Childhood Obesity Research Center’s MY LA (Minority Youth Leaders in Action) Camp Program
For more info, visit NAHJ.