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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

SaludToday at APHA: Latino Childhood Obesity

Here is a quick summary of the Latino-related program presented by Dr. Amelie Ramirez (pictured), a SaludToday and Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) investigator, at this week's APHA meeting in Philadelphia: Latino children, who belong to the largest, youngest and fastest-growing U.S. minority group, have one of the highest rates of obesity. Recent data shows that 38 percent of Mexican-American children are obese or overweight, compared with 30.7 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 34.9 percent of African-American children. Unfortunately, there is insufficient data available for other Latino subgroups. Dr. Ramirez talked about how, in response to this issue, she developed Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among ...

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New Version of Video: ‘Did You Know’ Truth about Latino Child Obesity?

Due to overwhelming response, we've added a faster-loading "Did You Know?" video to more quickly tell the story of the burden of obesity suffered by Latino children. We hope it helps motivate change even more quickly, too! Please comment on the video and let us know your thoughts. We're considering making a Spanish version, too. Here is the faster-loading version: And here is the higher-quality, but slower-loading ...

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Story: Latino Mom Found Help in Community

Emilia, a Latina mother of four children, struggled with her oldest son's weight issue. She found help at a free community mission in her Texas town called El Buen Samaritano. The lesson Emilia learned in trying to help her son was that community resources are there for the taking. Why not get a little assistance from experts who are just waiting to help? Joining El Buen Samaritano also overhauled the family's habits. They’ve gone from eating junk foods to healthy meals and now include exercise into their lifestyle. Read more of their story at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Be Well Book, which tells mothers' stories . Watch their story ...

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APHA Meeting Features SaludToday Researchers

The American Public Health Association's 137th Annual Meeting, which has a theme of "Water and Public Health," started this weekend and continues until Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009, in Philadelphia. SaludToday will be represented at the meeting by two of its researchers, Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, who will be presenting on Latino childhood obesity, and Sandra San Miguel, who will be presenting on Latino breast cancer. Dr. Ramirez directs the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and San Miguel is an IHPR research instructor.   For a blog about the meeting, click ...

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Webinars on Childhood Obesity

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity offers a webinar series, “Let’s End the Childhood Obesity Epidemic,” at noon ET each Thursday to focus on childhood obesity research, advocacy and other hot topics in the field. The topic for Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009, is "Getting Back in Balance: Influencing Policy and Environmental Factors to Increase Children's Physical Activity Levels and Consumption of Nutritious Foods." For a prior Webinar on Latino childhood obesity, watch the presentation or view the slides by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, head of SaludToday, Salud America! and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San ...

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Wrap Up on Latino Child Obesity Summit

The team behind SaludToday recently held its first-ever Scientific Summit on Latino childhood obesity.  Salud America!, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national research program to prevent obesity among Latino children, united researchers, community leaders and policy-makers from Sept. 9-11, 2009, in San Antonio to discuss the latest advancements and progress in reducing Latino childhood obesity. View the Summit Report. It includes commentary by: Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the U.S. Lance Armstrong, champion cyclist Sean Elliott, ex-NBA player, and his wife, Claudia Zapata, health columnist (pictured at left) Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. And many more Visit Salud America! ...

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Story: Latino Mother Shares How She Improved Her Family’s Health

From the Alliance for a Healthier Generation: Andrea is a Latino mother who adapted her Mexican culture’s traditional recipes with healthy alternatives to honor her ancestors and show her love. Some of Andrea's quick tips are: Take favorite ethnic recipes and make them healthier without sacrificing taste. Instead of frying beans in lard, you can steam them in a slow cooker. If you know in your heart that a food isn’t healthy, then avoid feeding it to your child on a regular basis. Watch Andrea's story below. Read more about her story and other mother's stories at the Alliance's new Be Well ...

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‘Did You Know’ Truth about Latino Child Obesity?

Watch this dramatic video about the obesity epidemic among Latino children. Is it powerful? Are you interested in helping fight the epidemic? Please comment! For more on Latino childhood obesity, visit Salud ...

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The SaludToday blog brings you the latest stories, news, research and information on many different aspects of Latino health, including cancer, obesity and culture’s impact on health. This blog will feature news, polls and stories about Latino life and health, from research on Latino health to interventions to boost fitness and prevent obesity among Latino children to unique stories of Latino cancer survivors, and much more. Sign up with us to comment on blog entries and suggest ...

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