What Hidden Chemicals Lurk in Your Food?


PFAS food packaging

From popcorn bags to pizza boxes, firefighting chemicals—that link to cancer development—contaminate food packages and seep into food. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination is a wide-spread problem. Researchers have discovered their presence in products, water, and food. They are also severely impacting the U.S. military and families. Now PFAS in food packaging is an emerging threat, according to a recent report. “Since the chemicals can migrate into food, and contaminate landfills and compost after disposal, the use of PFAS to treat food packaging can lead to unnecessary long-term exposure to harmful chemicals," according to "Take Out Toxics: PFAS Chemicals in Food Packaging” by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, Toxic-Free Future, and Mind the ...

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City Health Dashboard Provides New Innovative Features



Just two years after launching, the City Health Dashboard is adding new features to dig deeper into neighborhood- and city-specific data to guide local solutions to local health issues. Most data on urban areas focuses on the county, state, or national levels. The City Health Dashboard , however, pulls together local data from multiple sources to provide cities with a one-stop, regularly refreshed data center to help identify local gaps in opportunity and support decision-making to address factors that shape health. Now the Dashboard is adding new features and showcasing them at a webinar on June 5. What’s New? In June, the City Health Dashboard is giving cities additional data and new innovative features. The new data allow local leaders to dig deeper into neighborhood- ...

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USDA Flooded with Comments Against Proposed SNAP Cuts



Nearly 30,000 public comments, including some from Salud America!, were submitted on Trump’s proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would strip benefits from as many as 750,000 Americans. The public comment period ended on April 2, 2019. We asked our network members to submit statements that will go to protect Latino and all families. Over 1,500 people visited our model comments web page in February, March, and April 2019. "The comments make it clear that most Americans not only oppose but are utterly repulsed by this plan to punish the poorest among us by denying them help to feed themselves," Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group said in a statement. In New York City (28% Latino) ...

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Jorge Olvera Fights Food Swamps with Community Gardens


community garden and Jorge Olvera

Magnolia Park is one of the oldest Latino neighborhoods in Houston's East End. Unfortunately, its 17,800 residents live in a food swamp. Fast food access is abundant. Healthy food access is scarce, as are safe spaces to be physically active. Jorge Olvera wanted to boost healthy food and physical activity at the same time. His big idea? Community gardening. "A great strategy for addressing [food swamps and hunger] is to provide community members a safe space to grow their own food," Olvera said. The Great Need for Healthy Food in Magnolia Park Olvera works for El Centro De Corazon, a federally qualified health center. He witnessed the health center serving a growing amount of Magnolia Park and East End patients who had debilitating chronic and obesity-related ...

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Why 2 Latino Cities Rank as the Least Healthy in U.S.



Two Texas cities—Laredo (95.4% Latino) and Brownsville (93.9% Latino)—rank as the least healthy U.S. cities, according to the 2019 Healthiest & Unhealthiest Cities in America by WalletHub. The ranking scores 174 large cities based on 42 health indicators. They look at cost of medical visits, and the number of dieticians and mental health counselors. They also factor in the amount of green space, trails, and healthy restaurants. Healthy food consumption and physical activity also has weight. "Some places promote wellness by expanding access to nutritious food and recreational facilities. Others strive to keep healthcare costs affordable for everyone or keep parks clean and well-maintained," according to WalletHub. "When a city doesn’t take care of these issues, it can ...

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Lettuce Celebrate: Amelie Ramirez Wins Healthy Nutrition Award


Amelie Ramirez Latino Health Champion 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, on being selected for the Bluebonnet Award of the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics! This honor recognizes an individual who is not a dietitian, but who has contributed significantly to promote and advance nutrition in Texas and beyond. Ramirez will be formally recognized during the annual conference of the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on April 11, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. “I’m very thankful for this award from the Texas Academy, which is a recognition of our ongoing work to promote healthy food access for Latinos in Texas and across the nation,” Ramirez said. Dr. Ramirez & Her Work to Advance Nutrition Ramirez currently directs the Salud America! ...

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Disturbing Report Estimates Impact of SNAP Cuts


SNAP, food stamps

We already know that nearly a million SNAP participants could be affected by the Trump Administration’s proposed rule to tighten SNAP work requirements. However, there’s more bad news. The vast majority of those potentially impacted reside in deep poverty and live alone, according to a new analysis released by Mathematica, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “No one in America should go hungry or live in poverty,” said Giridhar Mallya, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in a press release. “The findings of this analysis show that USDA’s proposed rule would disproportionately affect some of the most vulnerable SNAP participants. USDA should carefully consider whether this change promotes the ultimate goal of the SNAP ...

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New Webinar: How Food Companies Target Latino & Black Youth With Junk Food Ads


little girl eating and watching TV

8 out of 10 food TV ads seen by Latino kids are for junk food, according to a recent study. Each year food companies spend billions of dollars on food advertising. The gap continues to rise in how much junk food is advertised to Latino and black children compared to white children. Why are Latino and Black children targeted by junk food ads? What impact does this have on their health and overall disparities? Find out at a new webinar on April 4, 2019, with Salud America! and its partners to learn more about exactly which companies and brands are marketing junk food products to minority groups. Register for the Webinar! Here are the details for the April 4 webinar below! Webinar: Unhealthy Food Advertising Targeted to Hispanic and Black Youth Hosts: UConn Rudd Center ...

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Texas Researchers Provide Startling Data Behind Why Over 25% of Latino Kids are Obese


Students eating lunch in Texas

Childhood obesity is getting worse over time, especially for Latinos. Researchers in Texas (39.4% Latino) recently released a data explorer that illustrates trends in body mass index of school-aged children in their state (52% Latino). It also reveals underlying factors in obesity, such as dietary behaviors and physical activity. The information showed many disparities, especially in the Latino community — numbers that could call for statewide, national conversation and legislation concerning childhood obesity. Need for Obesity Reduction U.S. Latino children have the highest rates of childhood obesity (25.8%), as compared to their black (22%) and white (14.1%) peers. In Texas, 27.3% of Latino 8th graders have obesity compared to 16% of their white peers. Obesity is ...

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