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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Florida Bills Hope to Encourage Grocery Stores to Move to Underserved Areas

Law makers in Florida are hoping to encourage full-service grocery stores to move into low-income areas by passing a law that would offer tax breaks to supermarkets offering reasonably priced, healthful food choices in food deserts. The USDA describes a food desert as when a group of low income families in an urban area live more than a mile away from healthy choices. The Florida State House and Senate have each introduced similar laws with the purpose to ensure that every community in Florida has access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Read more and watch a news video ...

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Catawba County, NC Works Towards Better Food Access for All

Catawba county is a small county in central North Carolina where Latinos are the largest minority group. Many folks living in the county don't have access to regular nutritious food. One college student has inspired her community to take action to get better food into areas that need it. Kayla Earley, a junior at Lenoir-Rhyne University, is developing a research project to learn more about the specific needs of visitors to Catawba County soup kitchens, with the goal of using her research reduce food insecurity in Catawba County 10 percent by 2016. Earley's work has called attention to food access issues in Catawa County. Catawba County Health Partners, a nonprofit that fosters coalitions to improve health countywide, has used USDA data to identify six “food deserts” in ...

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Study: Minorities’ Health Would Benefit Most from Sugary Drink Tax

Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages is likely to decrease consumption, resulting in lower rates of diabetes and heart disease—and these health benefits are expected to be greatest for low-income, Hispanic and African-American Californians, according to a new study, HealthCanal reports. The study, led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, Oregon State University and Columbia University, “modeled the national health effects of a penny-per-ounce tax over the course of 10 years and found that it would reduce consumption among adults by 15 percent.” Read more ...

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Marin City Adopts Healthy Snacks Policy

Marin City is one of the most diverse communities in California, with more than half the population being either African American, Hispanic, or Asian. Latinos who live in the small community make up about 10% overall, and are about to have more choice when it comes to snacks. The Marin City Community Services District has voted to adopt a new policy to restrict junk food sold at vending machines on its property and at events that the district oversees. The policy officially goes into place in February. The new policy — approved by the Community Services District board — is similar to the U.S. Department of Agriculture food and beverage regulations that call for more whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, leaner protein, and less fat, sugar, and sodium. Read more ...

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Healthy Living Matters: Built Environment and Food Assessment of Neighborhoods in Houston

Healthy Living Matters, A Houston/Harris County childhood obesity prevention collaborative, has complied months of research, surveys, and community input to create a built environment and food assessment of underserved areas around Houston. In the assessment, you'll discover what is holding certain Houston neighborhoods back from incorporating more exercise and healthy eating into their daily lives and the funding and policy recommendations that could make a difference. Read the assessment ...

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Study: Do healthier foods and diet patterns cost more than less healthy options?

It's a common belief that if you want to eat healthy, you have to be prepared to spend some money. Researches at the Harvard School of Public Health decided to test this theory, NPR reports.  After looking at data from 10 different developed countries that grouped retail prices of food by healthfulness, researchers found that the cost difference between eating a healthful and unhealthful diet was pretty much the same: about $1.50 per day. With many low-income Latino families struggling to eat healthy, energizing meals, this study suggests that small trade-offs at the grocery store could lead to healthier meals. Read more about the study ...

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Bringing Healthier, ‘Brighter Bites’ into Houston Neighborhoods

Hispanics make up almost half of the total population in Houston and many live in areas that lack easy access to grocery stores and fresh produce. To grow lasting healthy changes in these communities, teamwork is essential. One mom, determined to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to folks in inner-city Houston, teamed up with a food pantry that had been looking for a creative way to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to families in need. This is the story of a unique partnership that led to students being sent home from school with a bag fresh produce each week to take to their homes in underserved Houston neighborhoods—and ended in kids demanding extra kale smoothies. EMERGENCE Awareness/Learn: When Lisa Helfman and her husband, Jonathon, wanted their family to eat healthier, ...

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Study on California Children and Their Fast Food and Soda Habits

This policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research examines the eating habits of children ages two to five years. Despite steady declines in soda consumption, 60 percent of children in this age group continue to eat fast food at least once a week. Among young Latino children, the rate is 70 percent; overall, one in ten young children eats three or more fast food meals per week. Read the full policy brief ...

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Latina Corner Store Owner Makes Healthy Changes, Little by Little

Woodburn, Oregon, is a small, mostly Latino town south of Portland that’s miles away from a full-service supermarket. The Come N Go corner store, on the outskirts of town, provides hot pre-packaged foods and snacks for on-the-go families and farm workers who stop by on their way to the surrounding fields and farms. Find out how the owner of Come N Go, a Latina mother with two jobs, made it her mission to give customers healthier options. EMERGENCE Awareness: Elizabeth Montano had always toyed with the idea of opening her own shop, and when the security of her full-time job became uncertain, it looked like the time was right. In April 2012, Montano opened Come N Go, a convenience store that sells pre-packed snacks and drinks, as well as some hot items like soup and burritos that ...

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