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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

UCSF is Phasing out Sugary Drinks and Phasing in Healthy Options

The University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) is the only university in the UC system exclusively focused on health science and includes two hospitals. As the second largest employer in San Francisco, UCSF feels a close tie to the bay area community, where Latinos make up 23% of residents. UCSF recently announced a new way they will be setting a healthy example on campus and off. Starting July 1, UCSF will start phasing in a program to sell only zero-calorie beverages or non-sweetened drinks with nutritional value, such as milk and 100 percent juice, and will phase out the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in its onsite cafeterias and food vendors, vending machines and retail locations. According to research assessed by the UCSF-led SugarScience project, Americans ...

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UPDATE: Youth & Healthy Food Advocates Fight Proposed Taco Bell in Latino Community


Latinos make up the majority of residents in Watsonville, California---around 80%. Although many people in the city struggle with obesity (Watsonville's childhood obesity rate is 49%), local youth have been working to make amazing, healthy changes. Jóvenes SANOS, a youth advocacy and leadership group in Watsonville, has worked hard to encourage healthy dining options, help a corner store stock and market healthy foods and get junk food and sodas out of city METRO facilities. Despite these successes, the food environment in Watsonville is still being threatened. On June 2nd, the Watsonville Planning Commission will vote on allowing another fast-food restaurant in downtown: Taco Bell. But the youth of Jóvenes SANOS and city residents are rallying together to oppose the addition ...

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New Graphics Highlight Similarities Between Food & Tobacco Industries

Many healthy food marketing advocates say the food industry's marketing tactics are eerily similar to the tactics used by the tobacco industry before ad regulations became more strict. Wanting to highlight these similarities, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) launched four graphics that compare quotes by tobacco and food companies about marketing to children, the healthfulness of their products, and personal responsibility. Latino kids are a particularly attractive target to food marketers because of their increasing population size, spending power, and media exposure. Yet, the majority of food advertised to Latino kids is unhealthy. Read more about CSPI's new graphics here. Learn more about food marketing to Latino kids ...

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Corner Store in Memphis is Stocking and Marketing Healthier Foods

kids in grocery store

In low-income areas lacking full-service grocery stores that sell healthy foods, the neighborhood corner store can be a powerful tool. Latino neighborhood tend to have more corner stores and about one-third the number of supermarkets as non-Latino neighborhoods. In Memphis, Tennessee, one corner store owner is working to make his store a place to buy healthy, affordable foods. Thanks to a grant from the Centers for Disease Control, the YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South is helping Yousef Alabsi bring fresh fruits and vegetables to his corner store, El Amigo Supermarket. Bananas, apples and even some frozen vegetables were brought in for the neighborhood. Alabsi said that this customers want these new options and the problem now is keeping the bins full. According to a local ...

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Report: What is the Food Industry Marketing to Children?

Children see 10 to 13 food-related advertisements per day on television, half of which air during programs specifically for children. Research shows Latino kids see more junk food advertisements than their peers. The industry-based Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) and the government-based Interagency Working Group (IWG), have each created voluntary nutrition guidelines for food and beverage products advertised on children’s programs.  Although many food and beverage companies participate in the CFBAI, improvement in the nutritional content of advertised food and beverage products has been limited. Researchers wanted to compare the CFBAI's list of food and beverage products approved to be advertised on children’s television programs with the federal ...

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UPDATE: Davis Passes “Milk or Water First” Kids’ Meals Policy

Previously: California has been a leader in creating and enacting policies that encourage individuals and organizations to cut down on sugary drinks. The city of Davis, California, which has a Latino population around 12%, is continuing the trend by moving forward with a policy that would require milk to be the default beverage choice in kids' meals rather than soda. The city ordinance could require all of Davis’ 120-plus restaurants to offer milk or water first. First 5 Yolo, a county organization that advocates for children’s health, is working with Davis leaders to craft the legislation. They envision the policy playing out like this: a restaurant server would ask the parent ordering if they would like milk or water with the kids' meal. Parents would have to specifically ...

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School Lunch Advocates Push for Re-authorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Some say the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010 hasn't been effective, but data from USDA and academics show that most schools across the country are actually serving healthier food and kids are eating it. This is good news for Latino students, who are more likely to eat school-provided lunch than their White peers. Since the Act, school lunches have gotten makeovers across the country. These days, 95% of school districts are serving healthier school lunches. School lunches are not only healthier, but are looking and tasting better than ever in most schools. Yet, some law makers want to roll back these healthy standards. Congress will debate whether to re-authorize the law this year. If you support the new school food standards, the American Heart Association has a ...

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More Summer Meals Coming to Kids in Arizona

For many kids across the country, food provided at school might be the only balanced meals they eat in a week. When school's out, these kids are left without guaranteed healthy meals. In Kingman, Arizona, where Latinos make up about 13% of the population, more kids will be getting meals this summer, thanks to the expansion of the local Summer Food Service Program. According to a news article, last year's summer meals program lasted 39 days and averaged 310 children a day, or 12,067 meals throughout its entirety. This year, the food service coordinator for Kingman Unified School District is planning to accommodate about 800 children a day during the 43-day period, or about 34,400 meals. City officials say the increase is coming from students enrolled in summer school, the ...

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Lakewood Surveys Residents About Healthy Food Access

For many folks living in Lakewood, Colorado, a small city near Denver, a quick trip to the grocery store to buy fresh, healthy produce just isn't a reality. Between West 17th and West Arkansas avenues, a 31 block stretch, families in this area are forced to buy groceries at the dollar store---a large grocery store does not exist. However, Lakewood is in the midst of an effort to make life easier for families in this area. The city, in partnership with LiveWell Colorado, is assessing how accessible healthy food is to its nearly 150,000 residents. Latinos make up 22% of residents in Lakewood. The City is encouraging residents to fill out a healthy foods survey online. The deadline to fill out the 10-minute questionnaire is Friday May 29. Results will be released in ...

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