About the Author

Author Picture

Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Students get HYPE and Healthy in Philadelphia

Students all over Philadelphia are getting hyped about eating healthy and moving more, thanks to a new campaign. The HYPE campaign (which stands for “Healthy You. Positive Energy.”) supports youth councils in approximately 100 middle and high schools, all working to get their schools HYPE by improving access to healthy foods, decreasing the availability of unhealthy foods and increasing opportunities for physical activity. The HYPE program is a partnership with The Food Trust, the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Get Healthy Philly initiative. Youth councils plan and implement a range of healthy activities including fitness clubs, movement breaks, healthy fundraisers, school gardens and healthy pledge events, all with the goal ...

Read More

Documentary Highlights Healthy Food Access Issues in Fort Worth & Possible Solutions

TCU 360, a student-produced product of the School of Journalism at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX, released a documentary about Forth Worth's food deserts. The documentary, "Resetting the Table," explores the issue of hunger and lack of access to healthy food in Fort Worth, and highlights good working happening but also ways the city could improve. Latinos make up 35% of folks who live in Fort Worth and are one of the main populations affected by poor healthy food access in the city, according to the documentary. Click here to watch the documentary and learn more about food deserts in Fort ...

Read More

Restaurant Chain Finds Healthier Default Kids’ Menu Options Work

With big name fast-food restaurants like Wendy's and Subway taking sodas off their kids' menu and replacing them with healthier default drinks, folks are wondering: will kids eat and drink the new healthy items or still long for fries and soda? One restaurant chain with locations throughout Virginia and Maryland is finding that kids don't miss unhealthy menu items and are instead digging-in to the restaurant's revamped, healthier kids' menu. Silver Diner fast-casual restaurants completely overhauled their kids' menu in 2012, swapping greasy burgers and fries for healthy and unique options, like teriyaki salmon and quinoa pancakes. While they still serve some classic kid favorites like grilled cheeses and chicken tenders, the chain took fries and sodas off the kids' menu (though ...

Read More

San Antonio Young Chef’s Healthy Snack Recipe is a Finalist in Nationwide Competition

When kids are involved in cooking healthy, delicious foods, they may be more likely to continue healthy eating habits for a life time. The food company Sodexo is sponsoring a nationwide recipe contest aimed at helping kids eat better. More than 2,000 students across the country this year participated in the Sodexo 5th Annual Future Chef Challenge, and one finalist  is a young chef from San Antonio, TX. Allison Mitchell's recipe, "Allison's Snack Kabob," is made from fruit, non-fat yogurt and more and only has 165 calories. Folks across the country could vote online for the winning recipe. Sodexo hopes their contest sparks kids' interest in good nutrition. "Getting them to think more about healthy eating and getting them engaged in the process of good nutrition," said ...

Read More

Health Advocates say Soda Tax Would Benefit Latinos in California, But Bill Fails to Pass

In an effort to curb sugary drink consumption and generate revenue for health promotion activities, law makers and health advocates in California are pushing for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Introduced by State Assembly Member Richard Bloom and backed by the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC), among others, the bill would place a 2-cent-per-ounce health impact excise fee on sugary drinks. The tax is expected to generate an estimated $3 billion a year. The revenue would be used to create the "Children's and Family Health Promotion Program" to prevent and treat obesity, diabetes, heart and dental disease. "Sugar sweetened beverages are causing Californians to become overweight and have led to an epidemic of diabetes," said Assembly Member Bloom. "The beverage ...

Read More

Dilemma Between Non-profits and their Sponsors Brought to Light

Non-profits rely on donations and sponsors to provide funding and resources so they can do good work across the country. But what happens when a sponsor's business undermines a non-profit's mission? It's no secret that sugary drink companies donate large sums of money to health foundations. The annual conference of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) took place last March, and Coca Cola was one of the event sponsors. California Health Care Foundation president Sandra Hernandez, who gave a keynote speech, noted the irony of Coke's presence at the health-oriented event. According to an article in New American Media, Hernandez ditched her prepared speech and instead spoke about the science of sugar as a chief cause of obesity, telling the packed room, “We will not ...

Read More

El Jardin, La Cocina y El Mercado: Healthy Living Takes Root at Bowie High School

El Paso, Texas has come a long way since ranked as the third-fattest U.S. city in 2012. A renewed focus on eating healthy and moving more is paying off; obesity rates in the area are dropping. In addition to local health departments and community organizations, schools are playing a big role in these changes by addressing health, culture and community all at once. At Bowie High School, students are getting exposed not only to gardening, nutrition education and business skills, they are reconnecting with cultural traditions that favor fresh and flavorful over processed and sugary. EMERGENCE Awareness/Learn: The city of El Paso, Texas, shares its border with Mexico. This creates an interesting cultural dynamic where some students cross the border daily from Mexico to go to Bowie ...

Read More

A High School Project Transforms a Neighborhood

From PowerPoint presentations to outlines to thick textbooks, there are many ways students learn about the world while at school. Rarely do they get the chance to learn by actually solving real-world problems—let alone problems that directly affect their lives. Learn how a high school teacher merged academics with activism and rallied his students to bring healthy, affordable fruits and vegetables into their underserved neighborhood. EMERGENCE Awareness:  While listening to the radio one day, San Antonio resident and high school teacher Rick Treviño got an idea. He was listening to a news story about how a group in Michigan started a Double Up Food Bucks program at local farmers’ market as a way to allow low-income folks to put their federal food assistance toward healthy ...

Read More

Howard County Health Advocates Try New Healthy Vending Legislation

Vending machine policies in Howard County, Maryland has been a contentious issue lately. Late last year, a healthy vending policy that had strict guidelines for what the county could sell in vending machines was repealed. Health advocates were upset, but a new bill has been introduced that would require more reasonable but still healthy new vending guidelines. County Councilman Calvin Ball introduced legislation that would adopt a similar set of nutritional guidelines as the previous ones aimed at "promoting health and choice." "This legislation creates an environment in our county buildings for our families and health to thrive," said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, CEO of the Horizon Foundation, a Howard-based nonprofit campaigning for healthier drink options across the county. The ...

Read More