A Cultural Way to Get Latino Kids Interested in Health Careers

The U.S. Latino population has grown 243% since 1980. But the number of Latino doctors dropped 22%, a study found. That's why we need programs like Roots to Wings. The innovative Roots to Wings program teams up Latino and Native American middle- and high-schoolers in Washington schools with medical students at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. The teams then "co-mentor" each other. How? The kids teach the medical students about their Mexican-American or Yakama Nation heritage. The medical students teach the kids about medicine and pursuing higher education. “Roots to Wings is actually an educational pathway for underrepresented youth to enter the health sciences,” Dr. Mirna Ramos-Diaz, who leads the program, recently told the Yakima Herald. ...

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More Firepower: Bill Gates Joins Fight against Alzheimer’s

Did you know that someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's every 66 seconds? Multi-billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates knows. He has had family impacted by the disease. And that's why he's investing $50 million to fund research to find treatment for Alzheimer's disease, a type of dementia that destroys memory and mental processing. "It’s a terrible disease that devastates both those who have it and their loved ones," Gates wrote on his blog recently. "I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it. It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew." Alzheimer's is the No. 6 cause of death in the United States. It kills more ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 11/21: Fighting Holiday Stress the Healthy Way

The holiday season is in full swing, and stress levels are up. How can we work together to turn the holiday season into a less-stressed and healthy holiday for Latinos, who are at high risk of diabetes and other diseases? Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, to tweet info and tips to help us reduce stress and boost healthy eating and activity over the holidays. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Fighting Holiday Stress the Healthy Way” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET  Tuesday, Nov, 21 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: My Food Diary (@MyFoodDiary) and more! We’ll open the floor to your experiences and stories as we explore: How can food keep the season festive and healthy? What are some fun activities ...

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New Website Seeks to Promote Healthy Food Access & Health Equity

healthy food policy project logo

Having easy access to healthy food can drastically change the way we eat. So it's alarming that Latinos neighborhoods lack grocery stores and other healthy food options, while abundant in fast food. Policies that aim to make healthy food access a priority can improve the quality of food we eat, stimulate economic growth and create jobs. That's why three nationally recognized policy think tanks—the Vermont Law School's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, the Public Law Center, and the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity—partnered to launch the Healthy Food Policy Project (HFPP). The HFPP will focus on making healthy food access a priority for socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups, promote health equity, and support local economies through ...

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The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review

Abstract Many Latino children are at risk of not getting the proper care, services, and environment they need for healthy formative development. Traumatic early experiences, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and low participation in preschool programs impair Latino children’s social and emotional development, academic achievement, and overall health and wellbeing. But there’s reason for hope. Culturally-sensitive programs and policies can prevent or reduce the effects of traumatic childhood experiences, improve mental health, and boost school readiness. Early childhood development and education programs, breastfeeding and family support, and Latino family values support all have been shown to promote healthy early development. Read the News Release (PDF) Read the ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Future Needs

latino boy learning in early education setting

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Further research is needed to identify the barriers to healthy eating in Latino children and evaluate current and new strategies for improving access and adherence to a healthy diet. Studies should also aim to identify the determinants of ACEs in Latino families and evaluate interventions for preventing ACEs and/or mitigating their harmful effects. The use of administrative data, such as Medicaid claims and other service records, may be useful for these studies and may help to target prevention and early intervention for children with or at risk of ACEs. More research is needed to identify the barriers to and predictors of mental health service use among Latino youth and develop ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Policy Implications

latino kid fixing a toy

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Conclusions Latino children are at increased risk of poor outcomes in many areas of early childhood development. Factors such as socioeconomic status, parenting behaviors, family structure and environment, childhood experiences, and access to early education programs and health services can influence many aspects of child development. High-quality preschool programs, parent-directed support and education, and family-, school- and community-based programs have all been shown to improve developmental outcomes in Latino children. Preventing, identifying, and helping children and families overcome ACEs can impact a child’s social emotional development and chances of school success. ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Support Moms

latina mom with baby food bottle

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » The Importance of Latina Mothers Although Latino children are generally well adjusted socially and emotionally, several factors may negatively influence their overall health and wellbeing development. These include poverty and/or large households, immigration status, the country of origin, maternal depression,1,146,147 as well as other factors like breastfeeding initiation and duration.148 Read the Salud America! research review about breastfeeding among Latina mothers.148,149 Approaches are emerging on how to address these issues. For example, mental health interventions can be made available to Latina mothers who are displaying negative thought patterns, including anxiety, ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Family Values

latino toddler kids painting

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Social and Emotional Skill-Building Starts in Families Children begin to develop their social and emotional skills through initial interactions with family. Through strong and consistent relationships, they learn the importance of social bonding, connecting to others with empathy, and self-regulating emotions. Young children begin to learn about complex social interactions by receiving responsive caregiving from parents, which often leads to positive outcomes later in life. Latino Kids' Social and Emotional Health & Family Values One study (N = 7,750; 19% Latino) found that although Latino children may demonstrate cognitive gaps compared with white children after age 1, ...

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