Posts tagged NCLR
Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series that will highlight the work the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supports in Latino communities across the country.
SaludTodayGuest Blogger: John Govea
Childhood obesity and child hunger both plague the U.S. Latino community. Today, nearly 40% of our nation’s Latino children are overweight or obese. Latino children also account for about 40% of the one million children in this country who are living with hunger. Through its video project, Comer bien: The Challenges of Nourishing Latino Children and Families, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) sheds light on these problems and the need for far-reaching solutions to help families and children eat well.
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the project features parents and caregivers from families in Texas, Idaho, and Washington, D.C. They describe their efforts to provide their children with nutritious food, as well as the many challenges families in their communities face, like buying healthy foods when living in poverty and finding healthy foods in neighborhoods where there are no grocery stores or supermarkets.
NCLR released the opening 10-minute video, which explains the project, at its annual conference in July. Five vignettes have been released since then (Food Deserts, Pinching Pennies, Eating Well, Through Great Lengths, and Connecting the Dots) with five more coming on a weekly basis.
A $2 million initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is bringing together five civil rights organizations with the prominence and strength to help reverse childhood obesity, especially in African-American and Latino communities where the epidemic continues to hit hardest.
Over the next 16 months, the groups will aim individually and collaboratively to advance the public advocacy and policy changes critical to creating healthier communities. The initiative recognizes the power of their work to solve systemic issues of racial and social injustice.
The organizations include the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); National Council of La Raza (NCLR); and National Urban League (NUL).
“These national organizations are coming together to take a stand,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Foundation. “They will help ensure that all communities benefit from the policy and environmental changes we know are necessary to reverse childhood obesity.”
RWJF’s announcement of the initiative coincides with September’s designation as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Prevention is acutely needed in communities of color given the troubling disparities that persist in rates of childhood obesity and related health problems.
RWJF also has a national program, Salud America!, led by the team behind SaludToday, to increase the number of researchers and the amount of research to reduce the childhood obesity epidemic among Latinos.
RWJF also has a Multicultural Newsroom covering Latino and African-American health care issues.
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., has introduced the third edition of its “Profiles of Latino Health” series, titled Profiles of Latino Health: A Closer Look at Child Nutrition.
The 12-part weekly series examines critical factors affecting Latino children’s nutrition, including trends in hunger and obesity, as well as family access to healthy foods and other resources that play important roles in children’s nutritional outcomes.
“Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that obesity rates—already alarmingly high—have increased yet again. The nation is also experiencing unprecedented rates of hunger, particularly in the wake of an economic crisis that has devastated many American families,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “America’s children are suffering as a result. As U.S. leaders combat the crises of childhood hunger and obesity, NCLR hopes to inform the national discussion by providing insight into trends within the Latino community.”
Hispanic children currently make up more than one in five children in the U.S. and are expected to represent nearly one in three children by 2030. They are also the hungriest in America—composing almost 40% of the one million children living in hunger. Ironically, they have one of the highest risks of obesity; researchers estimate that nearly two-fifths (38.5%) of Latino children ages two to 19 were overweight or obese in 2008.
Issue 1 of the new series deals with Latino child hunger and family food insecurity.
For more details on NCLR’s series, go here.
The National Council of La Raza will present a family expo Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.
It is free and open to the general public.
The expo hall will be divided into seven different pavilions, allowing participants to experience a variety of activities in theme areas including community, culture and history, technology and environment and health and fitness, which will feature cooking demonstrations, health screenings focusing on vision, lung health, and blood pressure, and group exercise classes.
Career resources will include networking opportunities and access to more than 20 national and local companies with job opportunities.
Go here for more information.