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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

Latinos, Get More Obesity News in Spanish from RWJF



The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has launched its Multicultural Newsroom, a dynamic online resource that aims to provide extensive health-related information for anyone involved in improving the health and health care of African-Americans and Latinos in the U.S. Through a multicultural lens and bilingual messaging, the site presents information, images and videos on the RWJF work under way in African-American and Latino communities across the country, such as: Profiles of key leaders, programs and projects that RWJF supports in these communities RWJF news releases, fact sheets and research findings that are of particular relevance to African-Americans and Latinos. Speeches, commentary and discussion by RWJF leaders and experts on issues such as disparities in health ...

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Texans, You Can Weigh in on Obesity-Reduction Efforts



The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) is seeking input related to the current landscape of obesity research, policy and systems change, and prevention and control programs in Texas; and what unique role CPRIT could have in addressing the obesity burden. Texas adults are the 15th-most obese in the nation and 40% of Texas children are overweight or obese, which can lead to serious health concerns and increased health care costs. Obesity is a multi-faceted problem and will require a comprehensive, collaborative systems change approach involving families, workplaces, schools, communities, organizations, business and industry, academic institutions, and local and state governments. Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino ...

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Last Chance to Weigh in on Ideas to Reverse Childhood Obesity Epidemic



More P.E. classes in schools? Taxes on snacks and sodas? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is issuing a last call for suggestions on the best ways to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. Share your thoughts in RWJF’s online forum, where our program officers are leading discussions about ensuring nutritious foods in schools, building more sidewalks and bike lanes, restricting food marketing, and unlocking school gyms and blacktops for community use outside of school hours. Give us your two cents before the forum ends this Monday, Aug. 16, 2010. More than 100 comments have been posted so far, with the topic of physical fitness in schools attracting the liveliest discussion. But what about other strategies, such as: Making certain foods and drinks cheaper—fruits, ...

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Join Salud America! & Help Fight Latino Child Obesity



Join Salud America! and receive news about the latest research, events, funding opportunities and other activities in the fight against Latino childhood obesity. Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children aims to unite and increase the number of Latino researchers and advicates seeking environmental and policy solutions to address Latino childhood obesity. Salud America! is led by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind ...

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Latina Author Lauds Salud America! Latino Childhood Obesity Video



The dramatic Salud America! "Did You Know" Latino childhood obesity video, which frames the challenges of the epidemic, already has won several film awards and been seen more than 5,000 times on YouTube. Now Latina author Barbara Trujillo Gomez has written about the video in a new blog post. Trujillo Gomez, author of "...Barbara por Atras" A Latin Woman's Guide to Fitness, wrote that the video sent chills up her spine and helped illustrate the reasons behind Latino childhood obesity. How is it we can sit and continue to watch this happen? There is an epidemic in childhood obesity and Latinos are affected by far more so than non-Latino whites and African Americans. Our Latino kids are suffering from diabetes and heart disease, have a higher BMI, and indulging in junk food. Latinos ...

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Latinos, Make Your Voice Heard on How to Create Healthier Schools, Communities



The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has launched a special online forum to start an open dialogue about the best ways to implement their six policy priorities for reversing the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015, including creating healthier schools and communities. The discussion forum consists of six topic threads—one for each policy priority: Built environmen​t High-quali​ty, affordable foods in communitie​s Pricing Strategies Food and beverages in schools Physical activity in school Marketing to children Latinos, this is a perfect opportunity to weigh in with your throughts on efforts to solve childhood obesity. Please don't hesitate to visit the RWJF site and enter your comments—RWJF staff members are acting as hosts and will post messages ...

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En Español: Latino Childhood Obesity Video



Our dramatic video that uses shocking statistics and actual child voices to document the complex epidemic of Latino childhood obesity is now in Spanish. The award-winning video, titled “¿Sabía Usted?” and developed by the Salud America! program of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, was originally developed in English. To request a DVD copy in English or Spanish, e-mail us as saludamerica@uthscsa.edu. Watch the Spanish-language video here or below: The video was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino ...

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Most Texas School Kids Failing in Recess



More than two-thirds of Texas schoolchildren flunked the state's physical fitness test this year, a troubling trend that doctors worry could worsen with the Legislature loosening the requirements for high school gym class, the Houston Chronicle reports. The bright spot among the newly released state data involves elementary and middle school students, who met the healthy benchmarks at slightly higher rates than they did two years ago when Texas became the first state to mandate annual fitness testing. Third-grade girls continued to perform the best this year, with 37 percent passing all six tests, which involve running, strength and flexibility exercises and a body fat measure. High school seniors did the worst, with about 8 percent of each gender meeting the ...

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Grant Opportunities: Childhood Obesity Research



Check out this roundup of current funding opportunities in childhood obesity research: 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 current opening for New Jersey’s Greater Newark Area runs until July 2, 2010. Carol M. White Physical Education Program The Carol M. White Physical Education Program provides grants to LEAs and community-based organizations to initiate, expand or enhance P.E. programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Applications are due July 19, 2010. Healthy Eating Research Grants Healthy Eating Research, an RWJF national program, is ...

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