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Alyssa Gonzales

Articles by Alyssa Gonzales

7 Actions You Can Take for Earth Day



On April 22, let’s celebrate Earth Day! Earth Day honors the achievements of the environmental movement and urges for protection of our planet’s natural resources for future generations. The observance began on April 22, 1970, thanks to Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson and Harvard University graduate student Denis Hayes. Since then, it has promoted advocacy, education, and conservation around environmental issues like climate change and pollution. As this year’s celebration approaches, Salud America! is sharing five ways you can get involved to preserve and improve the environment. 1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle What is the most effective way to reduce waste? Don’t create it in the first place. “Making a new product emits greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change ...

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Bilingual Videos: Why Clinical Trials Are Important for Latinos



Despite the ever-growing population of Latinos in the United States, only a very small percentage participate in clinical trials. Clinical trials are studies with volunteers that help researchers learn how to slow, manage, and treat different diseases. “This massive underrepresentation of Latinos in clinical trials makes it hard for researchers to develop new treatments for this group, which suffers a heavy burden of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of the Salud America! program at UT Health San Antonio. Do you know what happens in a clinical trial? How can clinical trial help you and your friends, family, and community? Why is Latino participation in clinical trials important? Get answers and helpful resources in new bilingual ...

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Brain Scans Reveal What May Drive Obesity in Men, Women


Latino couple on video call.

Obesity can stem from genetics, food and activity, and social and environmental inequities. We also know from past research that brain structure and mental function are linked to being overweight or obese. Now a new study has identified differences in the brain’s neural pathways that help explain differences in obesity among men and women. “In women with obesity, changes in the brain tended to be centered on regions related to emotions, while in men with obesity, the changes tended to be found in regions that play a role in gut sensations, such as how hungry or full a person feels,” according to NBC News. For this study, researchers from the Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center at UCLA studied brain scans – along with participants’ reports of their behavioral and mental ...

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10,000 People Speak Up and USDA Expands Free School Meals for All Students!


Students eating lunch

The USDA has sought comments on a proposed rule to increase the number of high-poverty schools that can offer free school meals for all students. The proposal would expand the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) by lowering the minimum identified student percentage participation threshold from 40% to 25%. That means more schools and districts can opt into the CEP, which can: Increase school meal participation. Reduce stigma. maximize federal reimbursements. eliminate unpaid meal charges. reduce paperwork for school staff and families. “Many schools and even some entire states have successfully provided free meals to all their students,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We applaud their leadership in nourishing children and hope this proposed ...

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Healthcare Coverage Low among Latinos, Regardless of Education


Latina going over insurance options.

Healthcare coverage rates are better among people with higher education levels. But Latinos still face some of the largest health insurance coverage gaps among racial/ethnic groups, no matter their education level, new Census research shows. “Those identifying as American Indian and Alaska Native ... or Hispanic had the highest uninsured rates at all education levels,” according to the Census Bureau. Let’s dive deeper into the differences in education level and uninsured rates by race and ethnicity, with a close look at Latinos. What Is the State of Latino Educational Attainment? 20.8% of Latinos age 25 to 64 had a bachelor's degree or higher in 2021, according to Census data. This is a lower rate than 60.8% of Asians (non-Hispanic), 41.5% of Whites (non-Hispanic), and ...

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Build Health Equity with AHA’s Online Lessons and Toolkits


Man on computer

The American Heart Association (AHA) is working to boost health equity through a variety of online health lessons, called EmPOWERED to Serve. EmPOWERED to Serve includes over a dozen science-based toolkits and lessons covering health education and community advocacy. Toolkits are free and open to the public and can be reached on the EmPOWERED to Serve Health Lessons website. “The EmPOWERED to Serve health lessons offer a way to engage and motivate communities to create a culture of health,” according to the AHA website. Let’s dive into why these health lessons are a useful and how they can be beneficial for all! Health Disparities Among Communities Where you live can have a big impact on your health. In fact, our health is influenced by a variety of non-medical ...

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74,000 People Support More Nutritious School Meals for Students!


Girl receiving lunch at school.

The USDA is proposing stronger nutrition standards for school meals to give kids the right balance of nutrients for healthy and appealing meals. The new plan for stronger nutrition standards for school meals includes incrementally reducing sodium, a limit on added sugars (for the first time), and emphasizing whole grain products, while continuing to serve fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. USDA wants your feedback on its proposed changes. May 2023 Update: 438 Salud America! members submitted a model comment and were among over 74,000 people overall to comment on USDA’s proposed school meal nutrition changes. The model comment was created by Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio in partnership with UnidosUS! After a one-month time extension, the USDA closed the public ...

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Number of Latinas in Higher Education Continues to Grow


Latina on graduation day

As the US Latino population continues to grow, so does the representation of Latinas. Today, the Latina population has grown at a faster rate than Latino men, with 24% of Latinas making up the total population (compared to a 22% growth for Latino men). With this increase also comes more Latinas in higher education. Latinas have experienced a 52% rise in college degree attainment at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) from 2015 to 2020, according to a new report from Excelencia in Education. In 2020, Latinas earned over 300,000 degrees at HSIs (growth of 52%) compared to 188,000 degrees earned by Latino men at HSIs (growth of 44%). Let’s dive into the growth and numbers of Latinas in higher education. Latina College Enrollment & HSIs As of Fall 2020, almost half ...

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Why Aren’t Children Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables?


Child eating vegetables.

Nutritious food is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle for children. However, a February 2023 CDC report shows that many children ages 1-5 are not eating fruits and vegetables daily and are regularly drinking sugary beverages. “In 20 states, more than one half of children did not eat a vegetable daily during the preceding week. In 40 states and the District of Columbia, more than one half of children drank a sugar-sweetened beverage at least once during the preceding week,” according to the CDC. Let’s dive deeper and find out the state of diets among Latinos and all children, the role of healthy food access, and how we can create healthier food environments for children. The State of Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Consumption The new CDC report paints a grim ...

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