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Eleazar Lopez


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Articles by Eleazar Lopez

Sweat Equity: How to Get Fit and Volunteer at the Same Time!


work out help out collage

Paul Rezaei loved being physically active as a kid, so much so that he became a personal trainer and has helped people get fit in San Antonio for 10 years. One day, as Rezaei watched people spend energy to jog on treadmills and move weights, he had a revelation: "Can't we do this [work out] while doing something positive for the community?" Rezaei wanted to host events where people could work out—and at the same time serve as volunteers to create gardens, help at-risk families, and improve the community. How could he make it happen? Physical Inactivity and the Need for Healthy Spaces Rezaei, a trainer at Life Time Fitness, sees many people in San Antonio (67% Latino) struggle to get the recommended daily physical activity. More than half of adults here are obese or ...

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Baltimore Pushes Sugary Drinks Off Kid’s Menus


girl looking at kid's menu in restaurant booth

You soon won't find sugary drinks on kid's menus in Baltimore, anymore. The Baltimore City Council on March 12, 2018, approved a bill that requires restaurants to remove sugary drinks from their kid's menus, making it the largest American city to pass such legislation. UPDATE: Mayor Catherine Pugh gave the bill a final signature on April 19, 2018. The default drink on kid's menus now will be water, milk, 100% fruit juice, sparkling water, and flavored water without added sweeteners. Families can order other drinks upon request. "The bill is designed to address overconsumption of sugary drinks as a key factor in high rates of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay. One in four children in Baltimore drinks at least one soda each day," said ...

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How to Use Community Competition to Boost Health, Reduce Obesity


community challenge HEB IT'S TIME TEXAS

How do you drive healthy, obesity-reducing activities in communities across your state? The IT'S TIME TEXAS Community Challenge is one way to start! The annual challenge, sponsored by Texas grocer H-E-B, engages cities and city leaders in competition over 8 weeks to see whose residents can start and participate in healthy living activities in schools and workplaces. This year, 210 communities, 42 mayors, and 21,393 people participated. "The Community Challenge is designed to ignite the spirit of Texans and give all Texans a fun and free way to advance the movement for a healthier state," said Dr. Baker Harrell, founder and CEO of It's Time Texas. "We were so inspired by the many thousands of mayors, schools, businesses, and individuals across Texas that stepped-up to the ...

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San Antonians Sound The Alarm on National ‘Diabetes Alert Day’



Diabetes continues to be one of the leading causes of death, affecting the lives of Texans and Latinos all across the U.S. Latinos in Texas are nearly 2x as likely to die of diabetes compared to whites, after adjusting for age. In 2017, 12.2% of Latinos in Texas had diabetes vs. 10.2% of non-Latino whites. Of greater concern is the fact that up to 600,000 of Texans do not even know they have the disease. March 27 is Diabetes Alert Day On March 27, 2018 several communities, including many health advocates in San Antonio, TX will be working to inform the community about this disease. Diabetes must be taken serious, but we need your help! To take action we invite you to participate in the following activities: Take the diabetes risk test (available in English and ...

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Latinos Get Extra Money for Buying Healthy Food


Rebeca Gonzalez can better afford healthy food thanks to the Más Fresco food stamp incentive program (via Courtney Perkes/Kaiser Health News)

Food stamp recipients who buy fruits and veggies can get up to $40 more a month to buy extra avocados, squash, and other fresh produce, thanks to a new program to help Latino and other low-income families eat healthier, Kaiser Health News reports. This "Más Fresco" ("More Fresh") program started in 2017. It's for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties in California. Most of the program's 1,153 participants are Latino. "For every dollar worth of food stamps enrollees spend on fresh produce in a given month, they receive a one-to-one match, up to $10, $20 or $40, which they can spend only on more fruits and vegetables," according to Kaiser Health News. Latinos Need Healthy Food Options Latino families lack ...

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Report: Kids’ Sugary Drink Consumption Remains High, Even with Historic Decline


sugary drink pricing little girl

U.S. children's sugary drink consumption has declined over the past 15 years, but rates remain higher than federal dietary guidelines and among Latinos and other minorities, according to a new report by Healthy Eating Research. The new report cites "clear evidence" that sugary drink consumption increases a child's risk for overweight, obesity, and dental cavities. It also has insulin resistance and caffeine-related affects. These health consequences are especially worrisome for Latino kids, who consume more sugary drinks—soda, sports and energy drinks, sugary fruit juices, and flavored milk—than the average child at all ages, according to a Salud America! research review. "Reducing [sugary drink] consumption would help improve children’s health by decreasing the risk for ...

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Air to Breathe: Helping Latino Families Fight Asthma



Did you know Latino kids are twice as likely to die from asthma than their peers? More than 1 in 10 U.S. Latino kids have been told they have asthma. These kids struggle with this incurable lung disease that causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, shortness of breath, and can result in missed days of school or emotional and physical stress. Why is this? Poverty plays a big role, but it's more than that, said Genny Carrillo of Texas A&M, who studies the disease. "Possibly due to more limited access to health insurance and health care providers and higher presence of environmental triggers such as pollution, dust and mold," Carrillo said. There is good news. A person with asthma can live and sleep without interruptions with proper ...

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Project Helps Doctors Understand Patients’ Life Issues



Latino families are often lack economic support and healthcare they need, which jeopardizes their kids' academic, social, and physical development, according to Salud America! research. But two San Antonio organizations may have the solution. Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas is giving $175,000 to HASA—the health information exchange for San Antonio and other parts of the state—to expand their services by adding socioeconomic factors like housing, access to healthy food, and more social issues to patient's medical records, according to the San Antonio Business Journal. What does that mean? It means that healthcare providers will get a better look at a patients' health history, including clinical, social and behavioral risk. This will arm doctors with ...

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San Antonio Steps Up to Help Babies, Prevent SIDS



No parent should have to face the sheer agony of losing a baby. But it happened to Servando Salinas and Roxanne Alvarez. The San Antonio parents recently spent time at a relative's house. So Salinas and Alvarez had their eight-month-old daughter, Heaven, sleep in bed with them. When Salinas woke up, he noticed Heaven was not breathing. They called EMS, but the baby was pronounced dead at the scene, according to FOX-29. “I couldn't move. I couldn't stand. I was crying so much,” Salinas told Fox-29. Sadly, in two San Antonio zip codes—mostly Latino 78203 and 78220—Latina mothers have the highest infant death rates in the state, says a UT System study. That's why we are glad to see that San Antonio leaders, health advocates, parents, and groups are stepping up to ...

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