Report: Obesity Rates Higher in Southern U.S.



The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity has released a fact sheet on Southern obesity that shows disproportionately higher rates of childhood obesity here compared to the rest of the U.S. The eight states with the highest percentages of overweight or obese children are all in the South. In every Southern state except Oklahoma, at least 30 percent of children are overweight or obese (see map). Income, race and ethnicity and education are part of the problem. At each level of income, African American and Latino children were in worse health than whites. And white boys born in 2000 have a 27 percent risk of being diagnosed with diabetes during their lifetimes, while African American and Latino boys have a 40 and 45 percent lifetime risk, ...

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Story: Villareal Freshens Up Her Life



Ask Estefanía Evia Villareal (pictured) the best thing about not smoking any more and the 21-year-old will give you a variety of answers, beginning with the way she feels every morning when she wakes up. “First of all," she said, "that feeling of being fresh – being clean, fresh, the smell of my sheets and my clothes, (the feeling in) my mouth, my throat." Estefanía, a recent graduate of UT San Antonio who plans to get her teaching certificate so she can eventually teach elementary school children, had been a smoker for the past five years, starting in high school. Earlier this year she decided to kick the habit. It took a little while and there were some stops and starts, but when she finally quit smoking, she did it one day at a time. She walks for an hour three times a ...

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Texas Kids With Cancer Get a Fun Day in the Sun



Temperatures soared higher than 100 degrees this July in South Padre Island, Texas, but it didn’t matter to Greg Ayer and his 19-month old daughter, Pamela (pictured). Pamela, who has neuroblastoma, a type of cancer, was thrilled at her first trip to Schlitterbahn Waterpark. “She had a blast for being 19 months old. She rode four rides,” said Greg Ayer, who brings Pamela to her doctor’s appointments in South Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley. “Two months before that, she wasn’t even walking!” The Ayers were among 220 patients and families from Driscoll Children’s Hospital Specialty Center in Brownsville who went to Schlitterbahn on July 30 thanks in part to the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind ...

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Upcoming Events on Health Disparities



Check out these upcoming events on health disparities: 3rd Annual Conference on Health Disparities Morehouse School of Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the Congressional Tri-Caucus will host the third annual Conference on Health Disparities Dec. 2-5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. This event will focus on bringing equity and justice to health care reform. National Hispanic Health Foundation Scholarship Dinner The National Hispanic Medical Association's National Hispanic Health Foundation will host its 6th Annual Scholarship Dinner Dec. 3, 2009 in New York City. With support from its partners, the foundation will have provided at least $238,000 in awards to health students who have excellent academic achievement, leadership and commitment to delivering care to the ...

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Study: Moving to U.S. Increases Hispanics’ Cancer Risk



A recent study confirm trends that different Hispanic subpopulations have higher incidence rates of certain cancers and worse cancer outcomes if they live in the U.S., than they do if they live in their homelands. “Hispanics are not all the same in their cancer experience,” said the study’s lead researcher Dr. Paulo S. Pinheiro of the University of Miami School of Medicine. “Targeted interventions for cancer prevention and control should take into account the specificity of each Hispanic subgroup: Cubans, Puerto Ricans or Mexicans.” The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, indicated that different Hispanic population groups showed different patterns of cancer. Mexicans had the lowest rates of cancer overall; Puerto Ricans had the highest ...

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Peanuts, Insulin & English: 3 New Studies on Latino Childhood Obesity



Here are three new studies on childhood obesity among Latinos: Study: Exercise can boost insulin sensitivity in Latino teens Latino teens who do aerobic exercise can improve their overall fitness and increase peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity, even if they don’t lose weight, according to a study by Baylor College of Medicine researchers in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, HealthDay reports. The study compared a 12-week exercise program’s effect on fitness, insulin sensitivity and weight among obese and lean Latino teens. Journal Article Study: High-nutrient peanut snacks help overweight Latino kids eat less Latino youths ate fewer times a day and were not as hungry when they were taught how to make healthier food choices ...

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California students help create healthier menu options



Students in Chula Vista, Calif., are participating in a program encouraging them to create nutritious meals to be served in area elementary schools, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Some of the menu changes included adding high-protein sausage to the previous breakfast menu and incorporating traditional Mexican fare, such as taquitos, to the lunch menu. Read more about the students' efforts ...

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Help Fight Childhood Obesity in Texas



Did you know that almost one-third of Texas children are overweight or obese? Overweight kids have a 70% chance of becoming overweight adults, and overweight adults run the risk of developing cancer. With your help, we can start reversing these rates and protect Texas children from a lifetime of health problems. Send a message today to the State Board of Education today urging members to keep strong physical education (PE) and health requirements in Texas schools. Not only do healthier youth become healthier adults, they also become better learners who perform better academically. To get involved in other federal and state advocacy campaigns, visit the Web site of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action ...

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South Has Some of the Highest Rates of Obesity, Diabetes



  Wide sections of the Southeast, Appalachia, and some tribal lands in the West and Northern Plains have the nation’s highest rates of obesity and diabetes, according to new CDC estimates. In many counties in those regions, rates of diagnosed diabetes exceed 10 percent and obesity exceeds 30 percent. The estimates, in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, are the first to provide county-level snapshots of obesity across the U.S. To view county-level estimates of obesity and diabetes visit Diabetes Data and Trends. Obesity is one of several factors linked to type 2 diabetes. Where people live, how much money they earn, their culture and their family history also play a role. An unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and socioeconomic factors ...

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