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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Update: Chicago Considers State-Wide Sugary Drink Tax

Latino kids consume more sugary drinks than the national average, but a change in the cost of sugary drinks could reduce consumption of added sugar. Sugary Beverage tax is being re-introduced in Chicago. The state is working to reduce obesity as well as bring in dollars to the city's budget deficit. The proposed tax is estimated to have the potential to raise $134 million dollars a year. The tax will only be on bottled and packed sugary drinks, not on fountain drinks or drinks within restaurants. Taxing drinks can have benefit Latino communities dealing with obesity, as studies have shown the link between drinking sugary beverages and obesity and diabetes. To learn more about the new proposed taxes, click here.   Previously: May 27, 2014 In February 2014, ...

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Taste & Presentation Matter for School Lunch

A recent study shows that two key factors -- taste and choice -- are instrumental in improving school childrens' lunchtime  nutritional choices. You need both, the researchers found. Absent tasty food, choice alone is doomed to fail.The study was published in the March 2015 issue of JAMA Pediatrics. When children exercise their small measure of independence in the school lunch line, they do respond well to choice, according to the study. So giving kids a range of options for fruits and vegetables -- and presenting the healthiest options in attractive ways -- prompts these tough customers to pick them more often. But when it comes to getting kids to not just pick but actually eat more fruits and vegetables over the long haul, there's no substitute for a tasty food, the ...

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School Based Health Center Approved for Houston-Area School District

Access to easy, affordable health care makes living a healthy life a little easier. But for many families, including Latinos, visits to healthcare professionals don't happen, often because of transportation issues, negative perceptions, or other factors. A Houston school district, a local non-profit health center and other community partners are coming together to make regular medical care a little easier. The Cypress-Fairbanks school board has agreed to a partnership with Good Neighbor Healthcare Center (GNHC) to establish the district's first school-based health center. GNHC, a non-profit 501(c)3 United Way agency that provides a full range of primary & preventive health care, will run the health center. Later this year, GNHC will begin construction on a ...

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Study Finds a U.S. Sugary Drink Tax Might Save Money and Increase Life Expectancy

According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, a national penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) “could substantially reduce body mass index (BMI) and healthcare expenditures and increase healthy life expectancy.” Researchers estimated that the tax would reduce SSB consumption by 20 percent and mean BMI by 0.16 units among youth and 0.08 units among adults. They also estimate the tax would result in $23.6 billion in healthcare cost savings, generate $12.6 billion in annual revenue, and gain 871,000 quality-adjusted life years. Latinos would likely benefit substantially from a nationwide soda tax, considering they are more likely to drink sodas, be overweight/obese and not have adequate health care. Read the full SSB tax ...

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Farmers’ Market is Growing in Tyler, TX

The local farmers' market in Tyler, TX is expanding! The 21% Latino east Texas town now has 2 farmers' markets, one on Tuesdays and another on Saturdays, both from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Rose City Farmers' Market was started by Tyler's Food and Farm Coalition. The market’s director, Carmen Sosa, has been working to connect farmers to the community to not only stimulate the farming economy but also to offer fresh, local food. Many residents in the area don't have easy access to grocery stores, limiting their healthy food options. But farmers' markets are a viable alternative. According to an article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, the market accepts SNAP benefit cards and participates in the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which gives $30 ...

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Latino Student Leaders Work to get Healthier Lunch Options at School

When Latino kids choose to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less soda and chips, they set a good example for friends and family. But what if they can’t maintain their healthy lifestyle at school? Read what happens when youth leaders work with their school board to get healthy, vegan and vegetarian-approved lunch items into their cafeteria, not only to satisfy their desire to eat healthy but to empower other students to make healthier choices. EMERGENCE Awareness/Learn: For Sandra Garcia, it took planting a garden to realize just how powerful healthy food can be, not only for a community, but for a culture. “When SWU [Southwest Workers’ Union] started the Roots of Change Garden in 2007, I realized how beautiful it was to grow your own naturally organic food,” said ...

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Update: Three Sugary Drink-Related Proposals are Gaining Steam in San Francisco

San Francisco may soon see new legislation that would help Latino kids make healthier drink choices. Studies find that Latinos kids drink more disease-causing sugary drink than their peers. Three different city proposals are aimed at decreasing sugary drink consumption, especially among children. One proposal would ban spending city money on sugary drinks. Another would ban sugary drink advertising on city property. The third proposal would place a warning label on any sugary drink ads throughout the City. "My proposal is to require that sodas and sugary beverages ads have health warnings, very similar to cigarette ads,” said city Supervisor Scott Wiener who is sponsoring the  third bill. In early June, the land use committee approved recommending the measures be adopted ...

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Santa Fe Food Policy Council Encourages Growing Native, Healthy Food

Latinos make up over half the population of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and many live without fresh, healthy foods nearby. One way to bring healthy foods back into neighborhoods is to grow them. The Santa Fe Food Policy Council, established in 2008 by a city resolution, is encouraging residents to get out and garden. According to an article in The Santa Fe new Mexican, the food policy council says solutions to the area's food deserts lie in “getting food,” “learning about food” and also in simply “growing food.” Last year, the Santa Fe Food Policy Council released Planning for Santa Fe’s Food Future: Querencia — A Story of Food, Farming, and Friends, a comprehensive food plan that address both growing food and improving food accessibility. According to the ...

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Healthy Corner Store Program is Growing in Vineland

Studies find that Latino neighborhoods tend to have lower access to fresh, healthy foods. Communities in New Jersey, like communities across the the country, are working hard to find ways to bring fresh fruits and vegetables into neighborhoods that need them. In Vineland, where 38% of the population is Latino, city and health officials have been working with local corner stores to make fresh, healthy food available and easy to grab. The New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative, launched by Live Healthy Vineland, the American Heart Association, the Food Trust and New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, has worked with corner stores statewide, teaching store owners how to properly store and push fruits, vegetables and even food options with less sodium. The program also teaches ...

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