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Josh McCormack

Digital Content Curator, Salud America! Josh McCormack joined Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health​ San Antonio, in February 2019. Graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in English Literature, he has previously worked in journalism and publishing. Josh enjoys reading; some of his favorite authors include Stephen King, Omar El Akkad and J.R.R. Tolkien.​


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Articles by Josh McCormack

Advocates Urge Taking ‘Food Security’ Toward ‘Nutrition Security’


Advocates Urge Nutrition Security

Millions of Latinos and other Americans of color suffer from a lack of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. For years, experts and advocates have described this problem as “food insecurity.” However, as this conversation takes the forefront after a year of food-insecurity problems highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic, nutrition experts are now saying it is time to address food security in a new light: Through “nutrition security.” “You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘food security’ to describe consistent access to food,” Cara Rosenbloom, a registered dietitian and the president of Words to Eat By, wrote in a recent Washington Post perspective. “But many health professionals and policymakers think it’s an inadequate ...

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Salud Talks Podcast Episode 35: “Understanding COVID-19, Part 1; Safety and the Vaccine”


ST Twitter promo 2 SaludTalks on COVID-19 vaccine

Despite its widespread success, there has been some misunderstanding about the COVID-19 vaccine. In hopes of addressing these issues, we sit down with medical providers, researchers, and even a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participant. These experts provide a greater understanding of the treatment and why it is so safe. Check out this discussion on the Salud Talks Podcast, Episode 35: "Understanding COVID-19, Part 1; Safety and the Vaccine"!  WHAT: A #SaludTalks discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine and the Scientific Pathway WHERE: Available wherever fine podcasts are downloaded, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Tune In, and others WHEN: The episode went live at 1:30 p.m. on June 28, 2021 WHO: Salud America! Podcast Producer Josh McCormack; Dr. ...

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Study: Fast-Food Ads Disproportionately Target Black, Latino Youth


Fast-Food Ads Target Youth

Across the nation, people of color have less access to healthy, nutritious foods. To super-size that unhealthy environment, the fast-food industry spent $5 billion on advertising in 2019, especially targeting Latino and Black youth, according to a new study from University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. “Fast-food consumption by children and teens has increased over the past decade, and fast-food advertising definitely plays a role in that rise,” said Dr. Jennifer Harris, senior research advisor for marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center and a co-author of the study. “Our findings show that these advertisements disproportionately target Black and Latino youth, groups who already face greater risk for obesity and other diet-related ...

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What is Your City’s ParkScore Ranking? Why Is It Important?


City ParkScore Ranking

Access to green, outdoor spaces can make a huge difference in the lives of marginalized groups, especially Latinos. Parks are essential for public health, climate resilience, and strong connected communities. Still, 100 million people in the US—including 28 million children—don't live in a home that is within a 10-minute walk of a park. The Trust for Public Lands (TPL) knows these facts and is working to improve countless lives through green spaces advocacy — including updating its annual ParkScore rankings. While there has been some movement in making parks more accessible, people of color still face “major disparities” in park access, according to TPL’s rankings. “In the 100 most populated cities, neighborhoods where most residents identify as Black, ...

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New Health Dangers Linked to PFAS, a ‘Forever Chemical’ in Food, Breast Milk


Health Dangers Breast Milk

Mothers want to protect their newborn babies from all threats. Unfortunately, 100% of U.S. breast milk samples tested positive for containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), a dangerous chemical found in food, water, and everyday products, according to new data. “We now know that babies, along with nature’s perfect food [breast milk], are getting toxic PFAS that can affect their immune systems and metabolism,” Erika Schreder, a Toxic-Free Future science director and study co-author, said. “Moms work hard to protect their babies, but big corporations are putting these, and other toxic chemicals that can contaminate breast milk, in products when safer options are available.” The New Research on Breast Milk and PFAS Previous reports have confirmed that ...

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Breast Cancer’s Impact on the Latino Community


Breast Cancer Latino Community

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in Latinas. In fact, while breast cancer death rates have declined recently, the rate of decline for Latinas is lower (1.1% per year) than their white peers (1.8% per year). “Latinas are less likely to be screened for breast cancer, so they are more likely to be diagnosed at later disease stages,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) and the Salud America!  program at UT Health San Antonio. “This makes it critical to improve breast cancer screening, prevention, and support for Latinas.” What Is Breast Cancer? Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. ...

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Rhode Island Hopes to Join States with Sugary Drink Tax


Rhode Island Sugary Drink Tax

Sugary drinks can contribute to obesity and disease, especially for children of color. A rising number of U.S. states and cities are hoping to curb consumption of soda, juice, and other beverages through a number of regulations, including implementing a sugary drink tax. Sugary drink taxes are shown to reduce the number of sugary drink purchases. They also raise money for local health programs. In Rhode Island, legislators hope to pass a sugary drink tax to help provide food to the hungry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to State Sen. Valerie Lawson. “The pandemic has shined a glaring light on food insecurity in our state,” Lawson said, according to UPRISE RI. “Recently, Rhode Island Kids Count released their annual Fact Book showing that the pandemic had a ...

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How to Build Support for Pregnant Women, Maternal Health in Rural Areas


Maternal Health Rural Areas

Women who give birth face numerous risks leading up to, during, and after delivery. Pregnancy complications can bring about physical and mental effects, including post-partum depression, infections, preterm labor, and other significant risks. Without proper medical care, these risks can increase — especially for women of color and those living in rural communities. That’s why the Rural Health Information Hub released its Rural Maternal Health Toolkit to promote creation of and support for maternal health programs for pregnant women and new mothers in rural communities. “Rural women experience poorer maternal health outcomes compared to their urban counterparts, including higher pregnancy-related mortality,” Lexie Schmidt, an outreach specialist the Rural Health ...

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Washington D.C. Might Pass Major Sugary Drink Tax


Sugary Drink Tax Washington Pass

Sugary drinks contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues. This is why many U.S. cities are trying to reduce the consumption of sodas, juices, sports drinks, and other high-sugar beverages by raising their price through sugary drink taxes. They then use the tax revenue to pay for local health programs. Washington, D.C. (11.3% Latino), which already has a type of sugary drink tax, could transition to an even stronger sugary drink tax with its Nutrition Equity Act. “Our lowest-income neighborhoods have the most limited access to healthy drinks and full-service grocery options,” said Dr. Federico Asch, a cardiologist and president of the American Heart Association Greater Washington Region Board of Directors. “We have a huge problem where, for example, many kids ...

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