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Amanda Merck

Merck completed her MPH with a concentration in Physical Activity and Health. She curates content for Salud America! (@SaludAmerica), a Latino childhood obesity prevention project based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. She focuses on the latest research, resources, and stories related to policy, systems, and environmental changes to enhance equitable access to safe places for kids and families to walk, bike, and play.

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Articles by Amanda Merck

Funding Opportunities: Childhood Obesity Research

Check out these funding opportunities in childhood obesity research: People’s Garden School Pilot Program The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is making available $1 million for a People’s Garden School Pilot Program to teach students involved in the gardens about agriculture production practices, diet and nutrition, and more. Applications are due November 8, 2010. Ladder to Leadership Ladder to Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Community Health Leaders seeks to help local, early- to mid-career professionals serving vulnerable populations develop leadership skills. The next opening, for Kansas City, Mo., opens October 18 and closes December 17, 2010. Active Living Research Grants Active Living Research, an RWJF national program, is seeking proposals for ...

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Salud America! Grantee Gets $12M Award to Fight Early Childhood Obesity

Dr. Shari Barkin, a grantee of Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research Nework to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children and a Vanderbilt University pediatric researcher, has been awarded a new $12 million NIH project, “Growing Right Onto Wellness (GROW): Changing Early Body Mass Index (BMI).” The seven-year project, which teams Vanderbilt’s Department of Pediatrics with Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation, will bring 600 families to their neighborhood park facilities and provide a curriculum specially designed to fit a variety of ethnic groups. The project was one of four funded through the NIH’s $49.5 million Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) program, which is among the first long-term obesity prevention and treatment ...

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Got a Healthy, Tasty Recipe? Take the ‘Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge’

The Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge, part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, is inviting chefs, students, food service professionals, parents and other community members to work together to develop tasty, nutritious, kid-approved foods. The aim is to improve school meals by creating new healthy recipes for school lunch menus. Teams will submit original recipes that meet nutritional requirements in three categories: whole grain foods, dark green and/or orange vegetables, and dry beans and peas (legumes). Submissions must be taste-tested by at least 30 students who participate in the National School Lunch Program. Winners will be determined by a panel of judges and a Popular Choice winner will be selected based on public voting. Winning teams will be invited ...

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Salud America! Targets Latino Child Obesity During Nat’l Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children, which is led by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, is observing National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and encouraging people to join us and get involved. Earlier this year, a resolution was unanimously passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate designating September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, to bring attention to this growing epidemic. Mexican-American children are more likely to be obese or overweight (38%) than children overall (31.9%), putting them at greater risk for chronic disease and shorter lifespans. In repsonse, Salud America! formed in 2008 to increase the number of researchers, ...

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Roundup: September Obesity Conferences

Check out these upcoming events focused on childhood obesity issues: Webinars on Obesity The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity is launching a Webinar series on obesity issues from September 15 to December 8, 2010. Southern Obesity Summit The 4th Annual Southern Obesity Summit, set for September 12-14, 2010, in Atlanta, will launch the Southern Strategy, a new way to connect agencies and community based organizations who are implementing the First Lady's Let's Move goals. National Food Policy Conferences The 33rd National Food Policy Conference, set for September 22-23, 2010, in Washington, D.C., will focus on nutrition and health and explore issues like food labeling. Obesity Congress The World Congress 5th Annual Obesity Congress is set for September 28-30, ...

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Roundup: Funding Opportunities in Child Obesity Research

Check out the latest funding opportunities in Latino childhood obesity research: Healthy Eating Research Rapid Response Grants Healthy Eating Research, an RWJF national program, is seeking grant proposals for studies examining policy and environmental strategies that have a strong potential to promote healthy eating among children to prevent obesity, especially among low-income and racial/ethnic populations. Concept papers are due Sept. 1. NIH Pioneer and New Innovator Awards The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks proposals for 2011 NIH Director’s Pioneer Awards and New Innovator Awards, which support scientists who take innovative, high-impact approaches to major challenges in biomedical or behavioral research. application deadlines are Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, ...

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Workshop: The Latest in Metastatic Breast Cancer Care & Treatment

CancerCare, in partnership with Redes En Acción, which is led by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, will offer a free Connect Education Workshop, Update on Metastatic Breast Cancer: What's New?, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST on Oct. 14, 2010. In the tele-workshop, expert speakers will discuss updates on metastatic breast cancer, the current standard of care and new treatment approaches, how clinical research improves care, diagnostic testing and technologies, communicating with your health care team, and more. Other upcoming CancerCare workshops include: The Importance of Clinical Trials, Sept. 24; The Importance of Taking Your Pills on Schedule, Oct. 5; Update on the Treatment of Liver Cancer, Nov. 9.  The breast cancer ...

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NCLR Launches 12-Part Series to Address Latino Nutrition

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., has introduced the third edition of its "Profiles of Latino Health" series, titled Profiles of Latino Health: A Closer Look at Child Nutrition. The 12-part weekly series examines critical factors affecting Latino children’s nutrition, including trends in hunger and obesity, as well as family access to healthy foods and other resources that play important roles in children’s nutritional outcomes. “Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that obesity rates—already alarmingly high—have increased yet again. The nation is also experiencing unprecedented rates of hunger, particularly in the wake of an economic crisis that ...

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IHPR’s Dr. Ramirez Named to Prestigious ‘Council of Experts’ on Cancer Prevention

Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday, has been named to a prestigious Council of Experts to help achieve the goals of the National Call to Action on Cancer Prevention and Survivorship. The National Call to Action (NCTA) was unveiled in 2008 by cyclist and cancer prevention activist Lance Armstrong and four former U.S. Surgeon Generals—Drs. Antonia C. Novello, Joycelyn Elders, David Satcher and Richard H. Carmona—to outline a battle plan in the new war on cancer. The NCTA also serves as a roadmap for cancer survivors, health care professionals, policymakers, employers, educators, insurers, and scientists to identify the best strategies for cancer ...

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