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Amelie Ramirez

I am director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. I have spent 30 years directing research on human and organizational communication to reduce chronic disease, cancer, and obesity health disparities affecting Latinos.


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Articles by Amelie Ramirez

Food & Latino Kids Research: Corner Stores


tiendas bodegas corner stores

This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Efforts rising to boost healthy food in corner stores Initial findings on the impact of initiatives aimed at expanding healthy foods in corner stores have been generally favorable, although most studies to date are not large and rigorous in their methods and analyses. Additionally, the majority of studies have not been conducted in areas with significant Latino populations. Two reviews of several studies on corner store initiatives in areas with small numbers of Latinos found that most stores reported that the interventions were linked to increased sales of promoted healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk, high-fiber cereals, and water.71,72 A small, randomized, controlled study of tiendas in ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: Marketing of Unhealthy Food


Latino kid remote TV

This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latinos face economic barriers to healthy eating Focus groups of Latino mothers have revealed that the most significant barrier to establishing healthy eating habits for their children is economic constraint.82 Many Latino families experience intermittent or chronic food insecurity; however, food is usually given the highest priority. Because of financial constraints, lower-income Latino mothers’ food purchases are driven almost exclusively by price.83 Mothers have expressed that they commonly travel to several different locations to purchase specific items at the lowest prices available.82 These practices demonstrate that Latino mothers’ desire to provide healthy meals for their families and protect their ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: Policy Implications



This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Conclusions A large portion of U.S. families lack access to healthy, affordable foods in their neighborhoods. Lack of access is especially prevalent in low-income communities, including Latino communities. In these neighborhoods, convenience stores and fast-food restaurants are widespread, but there is a scarcity of supermarkets and farmers’ markets that can provide fresh and healthy food options. Healthy food financing initiatives are relatively recent, but promising at increasing the availability of healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods. These initiatives involve children and adults and are spread across highly diverse localities with different environments, social characteristics, and obesity rates. There ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: Introduction and Methodology


kids in grocery store

This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Introduction While a nationwide concern, obesity is especially prevalent among Latino children. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. Latino youth ages 2-19 are overweight or obese compared with 28.5 percent of non-Latino white youths.1 Obesity is linked to increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, liver disease, and cancer.2 Given that Latinos are one of the fastest-growing U.S. populations, preventing and reducing obesity among Latinos will have an important impact on our nation’s health. Compared with other racial and ethnic groups, Latino children are more likely to live in poverty,3,4 causing diet quality to suffer and increasing the risk for developing obesity.5 Limited ...

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Food & Latino Kids: A Research Review



Abstract Fast food and corner stores outnumber supermarkets and farmers’ markets in many Latino neighborhoods. This results in overconsumption of unhealthy foods, and more risk of obesity. Fortunately, healthy food financing initiatives can boost access to healthy, affordable foods. This happens when supermarkets and farmers’ markets get certain incentives to develop their businesses in underserved areas. Groups also can help corner stores to expand their inventory of healthy, affordable foods. Also, more marketing of healthy foods, and less of junk foods, can help spur desirability. Read the Issue Brief in English (PDF) Read the Issue Brief in Spanish (PDF) Video in Spanish Contents Introduction & Methodology. This Salud America! research review is an ...

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