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Stacy Cantu-Pawlik

Stacy Cantu completed both her BS & MPH at Texas A&M University (gig ‘em!), and is passionate about all things public health. She curates content on Healthy Food and Healthy Minds.


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Articles by Stacy Cantu-Pawlik

Tell U.S. Gov’t: Protect SNAP!


SNAP federal food assistance protect poverty

The SNAP federal food assistance program is at risk again, and YOU CAN HELP! The Trump Administration wants to cut SNAP and could abolish food aid to 750,000 Americans who are underemployed and unemployed. This would fuel hunger and poverty among those most vulnerable, says the Food Research & Action Center. Like the public charge rule changes, SNAP cuts would hurt Latinos. These families are already less likely to seek nutrition help for fear of immigration penalties. Submit a Comment to Save SNAP! Public comments are powerful. You can make a public comment to the U.S. government on SNAP until April 2, 2019. Here's how:  1. Copy one of our Salud America! model comments below (and add a personal story or reflection): SNAP HAS VALUE I really value the SNAP ...

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The Scary Reason Cancer is on the Rise in Young Adults


young latina stress depression

If you are between ages 25 and 49, your risk of getting obesity-related cancer is rising, according to new research by the American Cancer Society. The cancer-obesity threat isn't going away any time soon, either. "The fact that increases were mostly in obesity-related cancers is due to the obesity epidemic, and we would expect that the incidence would increases as this younger population ages," lead researcher Dr. Ahmedin Jemal told U.S. & World News. These findings have big implications for Latinos, who often struggle with weight and cancer already. Study Findings In the United States, the rate of obesity more than doubled between 1984 and 2014. To study the link between obesity and cancer among young adults, the American Cancer Society scientists examined data from 25 ...

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Students Aim to Address Mental Health, Suicide in Rural Areas



Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and rates have drastically increased across the country in the last 20 years. Rates are even worse for Latino and all rural residents. From 2001-2015, rural areas have consistently had higher rates of suicide than metropolitan areas. “While we’ve seen many causes of death come down in recent years, suicide rates have increased more than 20 percent from 2001 to 2015. And this is especially concerning in rural areas,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “We need proven prevention efforts to help stop these deaths and the terrible pain and loss they cause.” Students at West Virginia University and the University of South Dakota recognized the problem and wanted to be proactive. Students Making ...

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Latinos and Blacks Still Face Hiring Bias



The appalling bias against Latinos and Blacks hasn’t changed much in the last 25 years, according to a recent study by researchers at Northwestern University, Harvard University, and the Institute of Social Research in Norway. This study is evidence for one of the many reasons Latinos and Blacks suffer a wealth divide. Additionally, hiring bias also contributes to the enormous Latina pay gap, in which Latinas who have bachelor’s degrees earn 35% less compared to white men with the same degree. "The truth, based on lots of data over years, is that if you're Black or Latino in the U.S., you get far from an equal shake. Your efforts have to be longer, stronger, and chances are you still will be treated worse. The deck gets stacked against you even as you try mightily and then ...

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CDC Launches Hashtag Campaign for School Health


Children playing with skipping rope in elementary school health

This week, the Center For Disease Control and Prevention launched their social media campaign for healthy schools, #CDCHealthySchools. The CDC’s Healthy Schools social media campaign aims "to increase awareness of the impact school health programs have in schools and school districts across the United States," said Holly Hunt, Chief of School Health at the CDC, in a letter sent to Salud America!. Healthy Schools Social Media Campaign The campaign encourages participants to answer the question, “What does a healthy school look like to you?” and use the hashtag #CDCHealthySchools to answer the question on any or all of your social media channels. Try posting a video, photo, graphic, or text. The campaign runs through Feb. 28, 2019. As part of the campaign, the CDC also ...

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Latinos More Exposed to Harmful Chemicals in Drinking Water


Drinking water in the test tube for chemical and microbiological analysis

More than 5.6 millions Americans are drinking water with increasingly high amounts of nitrates known to cause health problems, according to a new study. Latinos are disproportionately exposed to nitrates in public water systems. "Since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, there's been a real push to document other types of disparities in drinking water quality in the U.S. and understand the factors that drive them," said Dr. Laurel Schaider, lead author of the study in the Journal of Environmental Health and an environmental chemist at Silent Spring Institute, in a statement. "Because at the end of the day, everyone should have access to clean and safe drinking water regardless of your race or where you live." The Shocking Study Results For the study, scientists at the nonprofit ...

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Call for Help: Mental Health Helpline Launched in South Texas


Hope Famil Health Center mental health warm line

Struggling with behavioral or mental health issues? If you're in the Rio Grande Valley (~90% Latino), there is a phone number you can call to get help. The Hope Family Health Center in McAllen, Texas has launched a new service: A Peer Run Warm Line. This resource is for those in the community who are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, or any other non-crisis, non-emergency ailment to their everyday living. The Warm Line launched on January 21, 2019. "There may be somebody that will be going through a crisis or close to a crisis and need somebody to talk to and [they're] isolated and don’t want to call the hospital for help or don’t have the resource," Rebecca Stocker, leader of Hope Family Health Center in McAllen, told The Monitor. "They can ...

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Water, Milk Now the Default Drinks on Kid’s Menus in California


sugary drinks in schools

Water and milk are now the "default beverage" on kid's menus in California, thanks to a new law that experts say is a public health win against the devastating effects of sugary drinks. The Healthy-By-Default Kids’ Meal Beverages Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, makes California (39.1% Latino) the first state to require water or milk as the beverage automatically offered with kids’ meals at restaurants, according to Voices For Healthy Kids. The change also bans the display of sugary drinks on kid's menus and ads. A Win For California Parents The new law is the first of its kind. Bipartisan legislators and health advocates supported the law, including Public Health Advocates, a Voices For Healthy Kids grantee. Latino Coalition for a Healthy California also showed ...

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U.S. Cancer Death Rates Decline, But Less for Those in Poverty


cancer screening

The overall U.S. cancer death rate fell 27% from 1991 to 2016, according to a recent study by the American Cancer Society. Good news, right? Not so fast. The report revealed a disturbing trend: a growing gap in cancer death rates based on wealth. "It was surprising to see that the disparities by socioeconomic status are actually widening," Rebecca Siegel, first author of the study and strategic director of surveillance information at the American Cancer Society, told CNN. "Wealth causes differences in exposure to risk factors and also access to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection and treatment." Cancer is the leading cause of death among U.S. Latinos. They are more likely to receive a cancer diagnoses in later, less curable cancer stages. The Bad News This is ...

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