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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Hispanic Institute April 2013 Report on Obesity in Hispanic America

Obesity: Hispanic America's Big Challenge In its recent report, the Hispanic Institute urged Hispanic organizations to stop accepting money from the food industry. The report notes that food companies spend massive amounts of money marketing high-fat and high-sugar items to Hispanics, which is particularly frustrating given that Hispanics have high rates of obesity and ...

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National Parks Across U.S. are Offering Creative, Healthier Food Options

This summer, when families set out to visit our country's variety of beautiful national parks, they won't have to sacrifice health for a fun vacation. The National Park Service announced a new nationwide plan in June 2013 that would ensure all its parks offer healthy food and beverage choices. Called the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program, the new standards include requirements that fruits and vegetables be offered with all entrees or as a la carte side dishes. Low-fat and low-sodium options must be available as well.The park service worked with the companies that supply foods and beverages to come up with new menu items and is encouraging companies to use locally grown and raised food when possible. About 23 million people buy food at national parks each year; what can they ...

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South L.A. Doctors Write Prescriptions for Produce

Hispanics make up almost two-thirds of people living in South Los Angeles, a community where chronic disease rates are high and fresh, affordable food is hard to find. A partnership between a family health clinic and a local non-profited focused on getting folks good food has led to doctors at the clinic writing prescriptions for a new kind of medicine: fresh fruits and vegetables. St. John's Well Child and Family Center has partnered with Community Services Unlimited to run weekly produce stands at two of its sites for patients, families and clinic staff. Besides making healthy food available, doctors are writing their patients "prescriptions" to purchase the produce. The prescriptions reinforce the fact that diet can be as important as medication when it comes to feeling ...

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Summer Food Stand Kicks off in East Austin

One Hispanic community in East Austin has been making healthy changes not only at home, but in their neighborhood as well. Manantial de Salud -- the Dove Springs Health Network -- is dedicated to promoting well-being in the Dove Springs community of Austin, through healthy lifestyles and positive environments. They have community-wide campaigns targeted at eliminating sugary drinks and getting more active. This summer, Manatial de Salud and its partners at GO! Austin / VAMOS! Austin (GAVA) in Dove Springs, the Sustainable Food Center, Urban Roots, and Austin Parks and Recreation Department are coming together to host a neighborhood food stand. The Neighborhood Farm Stand will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00p.m. every Wednesday beginning June 5 through July 17 at the Dove ...

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New Ad Campaign Educates About Sugary Drinks in New York City

New York City has been a leader in adopting polices that fight childhood obesity, and with Latinos as the largest minority group in the City, these policies can make a big difference in the health of Latino children. One way New York City has been helping folks live healthier lives is through ad campaigns targeted at limiting sugary drinks, a huge source of extra calories in children's diets. As part of the Pouring on the Pounds ad campaign launched in 2009, the NYC Health Department has released a new group of ads that warn New Yorkers that a drink may sound healthy  but in fact be just the opposite.  The new ads encourage folks to replace high-sugar fruit-flavored drinks and sport drinks with low-fat milk and water. Check out all four ads in both English and ...

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Good Food on Wheels Rolls to Underserved Tulsa Community

The R and G in "R&G Family Grocers" stand for "real" and good" and that's exactly the kind of food the mobile grocery will be bringing to folks in Northwest Tulsa. With a growing Latino population, families in this area have to travel more than five miles to the nearest grocery store, which takes hours by bus. "All the grocery stores around here are just little convenience stores and you just buy nothing but junk food in them," said one neighbor. A mobile food store is planning to bring healthier food options to this community. The store is inside a trailer that is pulled around town by a truck. Once or twice a week it will bring milk, eggs, meat and fresh fruits and vegetables into the neighborhood. The hope is to improve the health of folks in Northwest Tulsa. The store owners ...

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Hey Austin, Want to Grow a Garden with your Neighborhood?

The city of Austin is offering 10 mini-grants of $2,500 each to organizations that want to create sustainable urban agriculture projects, like community gardens. Even after the grant application period is over in May 2013, the city of Austin still provides great resources about learning how to grow healthy changes on City land. Check out their informational guide and go ask your neighbors if they want to bring healthy fresh produce into their community. There are many benefits of planting a garden on City land, like free water, but be sure to check out all the rules listed in the packet before you get started. Happy ...

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Underserved Area in New Orleans Gets New Grocery Stores Stocked with Healthy Food

Actor and New Orleans native Wendell Pierce saw the extreme devastation in his hometown caused by hurricane Katrina. While city has since rebuilt and is slowing getting back to busy as usual, one major resource is still lacking in many low-income areas: a grocery store. Consequently, the health of many residents has suffered. Pierce wanted to do something for his struggling hometown. Along with his business partners, Pierce invested in a chain of convenience stores, Sterling Express, and a full-service grocery store, Sterling Farms. Sterling Farms opened in March 2013 and is in a "food desert," a neighborhood where residents must travel more than a mile to a store selling fresh food. Besides stocking bunches of fresh fruits and vegetables, the convenience store chain caters to other ...

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Using SNAP for Healthier Foods in Texas

When it comes to our food environment, every small step towards making the easy choice the healthy choice is important. Texas State Representative Naomi Gonzales introduced a bill that would promote healthier purchases with SNAP benefits by restricting food retailers from associating SNAP with junk food. For example, a retailer would not be allowed to advertise their participation in the SNAP program by placing a sticker near a display of candy bars. The bill went into affect September 1st ...

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