Reducing Health Disparities Can Save U.S. $1 Trillion a Year



Eliminating health disparities, or differences in disease burden between population groups, could save the U.S. $1 trillion a year, said David Williams of the Commission to Build a Healthier America (pictured). He spoke at the American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting this week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation  reports. Williams also said that a person's life expectancy can vary up to 14 years depending on where they live. For example: Bennett County, South Dakota, has a life expectancy of 66.6 years. Anderson County, Texas, is 72 years. Montgomery County, Maryland, and Park County, Colorado, are 81.3 years. The differences are a reflection that the economic, social and physical environments around us are shaped by underlying differences in ...

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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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Making Safer Routes to School



The Safe Routes to School State Network Project has produced a final report to highlight progress achieved in implementing policies for safer routes to schools, leveraging additional resources and building a supportive environment for Safe Routes to School through other state-level policies. The project included California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia.  Major project accomplishments included: Improving state DOT Safe Routes to School programs; Leveraging millions of additional dollars to address traffic safety, education, public health and infrastructure; Spreading the word about the process of establishing a network and their accomplishments; and Securing policy changes in school siting, ...

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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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Latinos More Likely to Suffer Stress



Hispanics are more likely than whites or blacks to report an increase in stress levels over the last year, according to a new national survey released in November 2009 by the American Psychological Association (APA). More Hispanics report that their stress has increased in the past year than in 2008 (50% in 2009 vs. 44% in 2008). And, Hispanics are more likely to report that their stress has increased than adults on average (50% vs. 42%). Hispanics also more commonly report experiencing these symptoms of stress than other adults: 53% of Hispanic adults (vs. 47% overall) report that they have lain awake at night 49% of Hispanic adults (vs. 43% overall) report fatigue 45% of Hispanic adults (vs. 40% overall) report lack of interest, motivation, or energy 44% of Hispanic ...

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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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Story: Rafael Chavez, A ‘Touchdown’ for Health



Rafael Chavez, a master sergeant at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, was destined to be a Dallas Cowboys fan growing up in Mission, Texas, where Coach Tom Landry was born a legend. He even spent $75 on a Landry football card from the 1960s. Unlike his clean-cut hero Landry, though, Chavez had a blemish – he was a smoker. He started smoking at age 15. He was a regular smoker by 18. Now years later, Chavez decided to start over and quit smoking for good. He’s been smokeless for six months – and he says he feels like he has scored a Super Bowl touchdown. “[It’s like] scoring in the Super Bowl; you’re not doing it for the fans. You’re not doing it for anyone. You’re doing it for yourself because the reason you smoke is for yourself. You have to do it for yourself ...

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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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