About the Author

Author Picture

Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Connecticut Mayor Suggests Soda Tax

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp believes a state-raised tax on sugary drinks will help reduce obesity in Connecticut, where Latinos make up the largest minority group. She says a 2 percent tax on high-calorie sugary drinks would reduce sales of the beverage and generate about $144 million in revenue that could be used to combat obesity. Only the state can raise taxes, not cities, so the mayor will push for state legislators to consider the tax during this 2014 legislative session. Read more ...

Read More

Study: Most Supermarket Coupons Promote Junk Food, Sugary Drinks

Grocery store coupons are a great way to save money, but a new study found that the majority of coupons promote unhealthy foods and drinks. The study, published in February 2014 in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, looked at more than 1,000 online coupons offered by six major chain grocery stores in April 2013. Processed snack foods, such as chips, crackers and desserts, made up the largest slice of the coupon pie (25 percent). Meanwhile, 14 percent of coupons were for frozen dinners and other prepared meals; 12 percent were for beverages (half of which were for sugary juices and drinks); 11 percent were for cereals; 10 percent were for condiments, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise; and 8 percent plied customers with discounts on processed meats, such as hot dogs and ...

Read More

Houston City Councilman Seeks Grocer for Northeast Community

In Houston, TX, every block has a corner store, especially in predominately Latino neighborhoods. While corner stores selling chips and soda are plenty, full-service grocery stores selling fruits and vegetables are scare in some of these areas. Houston City Councilman Jerry Davis has decided that if the big supermarkets won't move into low-income neighborhoods, he would seek them out himself. He plans to meet with Sterling Farms, a supermarket in Louisiana started by actor Wendell Pierce. Read more about Sterling Farms here! Meeting with potential partners is one step on the road to bringing healthy food into neighborhoods that need it. Read more ...

Read More

Swapping Fries for Fruit at Kentucky State Parks

Sometimes getting public places to make healthy changes is simple: just ask! The Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition (TNFC) is a group of over 30 community members working together to create healthy food and physical activity environments for  Lexington, KY kids ages 9-13. A coalition member was visiting a Kentucky State Park and filled out a comment card requesting that they put more healthy options on the resort dining menus. Already working in healthy food guidelines, TNFC developed Better Bites, nutritional guidelines meant to be implemented wherever kids are: recreation centers, schools, camps, and more. The comment card was taken seriously, and changes began to happen. A request that took seconds to write ended in all 17 Kentucky State Parks ...

Read More

New Healthy Food Options in Boyle Heights Corner Store

Neighborhoods in Los Angeles are getting more fresh food options, thanks to corner store makeovers that are sweeping the city. The most recent makeover took place in Boyle Heights at Salva Market. Salva Market will launch new healthy food options and take part in a neighbor meet & greet with Boyle Heights residents on Thursday February 6 In late February 2014 the store will have its official grand reopening as a Healthy Neighborhood Market, accompanied by nutritious cooking demonstrations. PALOMA, a healthy food and wellness team of young leaders coordinated by community-based organization LA CAUSA YouthBuild in Boyle Heights, has worked closely with store manager Abel Gonzalez for several months to bring fresh and healthy foods to Salva Market. The Department of ...

Read More

Howard County Group Launches New Better Beverage Campaign

  Supported by the Horizon Foundation, Howard County Unsweetened has tools, resources, news, and more on how parents and their kids can swap sugary drinks for healthier alternatives. Their latest video campaign suggests that big soda companies should focus on promoting healthier beverages, like water, and not high-sugar drinks. The campaign challenges folks to rethink what marketing beverages to children should look like. Check out their latest video here! Howard County Unsweetened hosted a contest inviting high-schoolers to submit short documentaries about the problem of sugary drink consumption, and creative new ways to deal with it. They announced the winner in February 2014---watch the ...

Read More

February 2014 Declared Rethink Your Drink Month in Illinois

In Illinois, a state that many Latinos call home, there have been lots of efforts to make healthy community changes to reduce obesity in young people, including efforts to reduce sugary drink consumption. Governor Pat Quinn recently declared February 2014 as Rethink Your Drink Month encouraging Illinoisans to limit their sugary beverage consumption and choose healthier options. The Governor’s proclamation coincides with a wide array of educational events on the health effects of sugary beverage consumption and the benefits of healthier choices being hosted by health departments, schools, non-profits and after-school programs across the state as part of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity’s Rethink Your Drink ...

Read More

Healthier Lunches at Sunset High

If you could wave a magic wand, what would you do to fix school lunches? If money was no option, what would you do to bring healthier foods into schools? These are the kinds of questions students at Sunset High School in Del Norte County, California asked while dreaming-up big solutions to their less-than-great school food. Fed up with the pre-packaged lunches and unhealthy options, the youth organized and advocated for change, building partnerships and leadership skills—using the PICO community organizing model—that will last a lifetime. Del Norte County and Adjacent Tribal Lands (DNATL) is one of the 14 communities selected to participate in the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) program. Funded by The California Endowment, BHC is a ten-year, comprehensive community initiative ...

Read More

H-E-B to Replace West Side Store with a Newer, Bigger Store

H-E-B’s oldest operating grocery store is located on the near West Side of San Antonio, TX. Despite its rich history, the store isn't up to modern standards. Almost a third the size of a typical H-E-B, meat and produce selections are limited, as well as space for parking. For many folks living in this low-income predominately Latino area, this H-E-B is the only full-service grocery store for miles. But H-E-B wants to revitalize the old store. In May 2014, the locally based grocer will start tearing down the 69-year-old store and replace it with a modern, second-story market that features parking in the building on the first floor, a new deli area, the addition of a prepared food department and expanded produce, meat and seafood sections. H-E-B will find temporary work at ...

Read More