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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Youth Help Popular Corner Store Advertise the Good Stuff in Massachusetts

In the small, multicultural city of Lynn, Mass., minorities make up almost half the population, with Latinos making up almost a third. With obesity on the rise in the area, many groups are stepping up to make healthy changes where they live, work, and play. Local corners stores, where many kids hang out before and after school, are well-positioned to make a positive impact on kids’ food choices—if they are marketing the right foods. A group of high-school students chose one popular corner store to help promote healthy snacks and make it easier for teens to pick apples over chips—contributing to a wave of new healthy markets sweeping over Massachusetts. EMERGENCE Awareness: The small city of Lynn, Massachusetts gets more diverse every day. The Latino population grew from 18% to ...

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California Launches New Healthy Stores Campaign

In Latino neighborhoods, convenience stores often out number supermarkets.These small shops tend to market and sell junk food, sugary drinks, and tobacco products more aggressively than healthier foods. Many of these stores are just blocks away from schools, making them a routine snack stop for kids. In March 2014, a California coalition launched the Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community campaign, targeted at educating California citizens about the dangers of unhealthy marketing in local convenience stores and how communities can work towards a solution. California-based tobacco prevention, nutrition, and alcohol prevention agencies will work together to improve the health of Californians by improving what appears in stores across the state. To figure out what to fix, ...

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Sonoma County Begins Ad Campaign Against Sugary Drinks

Health advocates in California are busy. Between San Francisco's soda tax bill and the proposed warning labels on sugary drinks, momentum is growing for healthy changes in the state, many of which would affect Latino families. In January, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services kicked off an ad campaign urging people to reconsider their beverage choices. Billboards throughout the county are spotlighting the issue. From January through April 2014, residents will see ads depicting the sugar content in sodas and energy and sports drinks on billboards, YouTube and Facebook, in convenience stores, schools, and throughout the community. The website, www.ChooseHealthyDrinks.org, will provide more information on how much sugar is in common drinks, how to read nutrition labels, ...

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Nation’s Two Largest Providers of Low-Cost or Free After-School Activities Have Committed to Create Healthier Environments

Latino kids are less likely than White kids to meet federal recommendations of at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day. The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama to end the childhood obesity epidemic, announced in late February that two of the nation’s largest providers of low-cost or free out-of-school time activities have committed to create healthier environments for five million kids in their programs, many of which are Latino. Over the next five years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) have committed to encouraging 5,400 sites and Clubs nationwide to adopt strong standards for nutrition and ...

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Targeting the Taqueria: Implementing Healthy Food Options at Mexican American Restaurants

Adding healthier options to restaurant menus is one way business owners can encourage families to choose better meals when they eat out.  But sometimes it's difficult to see where healthy options can fit into a restaurant's business plan, especially small, locally-owned restaurants like taqurias. As part of a 5-year community-based intervention in Salinas, California, the Steps to a Healthier Salinas team developed a taqueria intervention addressing obesity and diabetes among Mexican Americans. Read the full report of the ...

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Students Survey Food Stores to Get Answers

Many residents in McLennan County, Texas struggle with diet-related diseases, like diabetes. In this county, where Latinos make up a quarter of the population, community partners are stepping up to identify solutions to these diet-related issues. Students from Baylor University in Waco, TX are canvassing the county during their spring 2014 semester, surveying 111 food stores in seven ZIP codes to assess the cost, availability, and quality of produce. A similar assessment was done in 2012 to assess if small convenience store owners had the capacity to offer fresh fruits and vegetables in their stores. That assessment found that concerns about spoilage and revenue loss kept many store owners from stocking fruits and vegetables. The results of the current study will be a part ...

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A Snapshot of Healthy Corner Store Initiatives

Many Latino communities across the country lack access to fresh, healthy produce, which can contribute to unhealthy eating in kids. As part of the solution, city and community leaders are promoting healthy neighborhoods by encouraging small food shops to provide nutritious, affordable options for residents living in food deserts as a means to address the lack of access to healthy and affordable foods and contribute to improved nutrition.  Many city-led or city-supported programs nationwide focus on enabling corner stores and smaller markets located in food deserts to provide healthy foods. The National League of Cities provides a guide that highlights the Healthy Corner Store Initiatives of four cities: Tupelo, Mississippi; St. Louis, Missouri; Philadelphia, ...

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Maryland Considers Healthy Food Access Bill

Law-makers in Maryland are hoping to make it easier for small business owners in USDA-designated food deserts to purchase and sell more fresh fruits and vegetables. Legislation encouraging vendors to make local fruits and vegetables more available in underserved areas moved through the State House and on to the Senate on Friday February 28, 2014. The measure would offer $1 million yearly to small businesses that want to sell Maryland-grown produce in areas lacking grocery stores. Other states, like New York, have passed similar food laws, hoping to increase access to healthy food in areas that lack large grocery ...

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Missouri Considers Healthy Eating Initiative at Farmers’ Markets

Latinos comprise 41% of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and 15% of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants. Changes in these types of food assistance programs that allow healthier food purchases have been proven to increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk by children. In Missouri, some law-makers are hoping these types of healthy changes will be put into legislation. A State House panel heard testimony in late February 2014 on legislation that would give bonus dollars to food assistance participants who buy fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets.  Supporters say the measure would cut down on obesity in low-income households and reduce costs for obesity-related illnesses. Under the bill, the state would set up a ...

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