Posts tagged sedentary
Latinos’ obesity and diabetes rates continue to be alarming, experts say.
But the news isn’t all bad: Latinos’ rates of premature death, death due to cancers, cardiovascular deaths and infant mortality all improved, according to an NBC Latino report on the new America’s Health Rankings.
The rankings, which comes from the United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention, looks at 24 measures of health, including tobacco and alcohol abuse, exercise, infectious diseases, crime rates, premature birth rates and cancer and heart disease rates. The report ranks the states based on those indicators.
Vermont tops the list of healthiest states for the fourth-straight year. Vermont’s strengths include its number one position for all health determinants combined, which includes ranking in the top 10 states for a high rate of high school graduation, a low violent crime rate, a low incidence of infectious disease, etc.
Hawaii is ranked as second-healthiest, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Minnesota.
Texas ranks 40th.
Mississippi and Louisiana tie for 49th as the least healthy states. Mississippi ranks in the bottom 5 states on 12 of the 24 measures including a high prevalence of obesity, a high prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle, a low high school graduation rate, limited availability of primary care physicians, a high prevalence of low birthweight infants, and a high prevalence of diabetes.
On a positive note, New Jersey (18% Latino) and Colorado (21% Latino) were two of the states that saw great improvement in health ranking measures, with New Jersey improving on nine different measures and Colorado improving across five different categories, according to the NBC Latino report.
See how your state ranks here.
Salud America! pilot researcher Dr. Nelda Mier documented a lack of sidewalks, street lights and parks along the poverty-stricken Texas-Mexico border—an environment that she found contributes to obesity and sedentary behavior among Latino children.
But this story doesn’t end with just research results.
To change the local environment to make it easier to engage in physical activity, Dr. Mier—armed with lessons from Salud America! on how to promote research-based policy change—brought her project research results to community leader and policy advocate Anne Williams Cass.
The research helped guide advocacy efforts of local organizations dedicated to affordable housing, including Cass’ Proyecto Azteca, which plans to communicate with Texas legislators about the need for sidewalks, street lights and garbage collection along the Mexico-Texas border.
Dr. Mier’s research also prompted changes in the design of an affordable-housing neighborhood, where Proyecto Azteca is working with planners to add trails for hiking and biking, a recreation center and outdoor exercise areas.
“These are things that we more than likely would have neglected in our planning had it not been for the research Dr. Mier shared with us,” Cass said.
This is just one example of how the 20 Salud America! pilot investigators are using their research to stimulate policy changes to reverse Latino childhood obesity. Other Salud America! researchers are using their research to change policies in communities across the country.
Read more about Dr. Mier’s and the other grantees’ achievements in policy change here.
Salud America!, which is dedicated to preventing Latino childhood obesity, is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and is headquartered at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
Girl Scouts, parents and community members gathered in San Antonio recently to review the girls’ photos of barriers to physical activity, and discuss ways to overcome barriers and encourage activity.
Below are some of the girls’ with their photos.
The girls’ photo presentations and the information gathered at the recent community retreat will be used by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as part of a broader effort to get young girls, particularly young Hispanic girls, moving.
The project is led by two researchers from the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the Health Science Center, Deborah M. Parra-Medina and Laura Esparza. Parra-Medina, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, studies health disparities in underserved communities and works to create behavioral interventions.
Read more about the effort here.