7 Reasons to Do SDoH Screening in Healthcare


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Where you live can have a big impact on your health. Non-medical factors like where we are born, live, work, and age — known as social determinants of health (SDoH) — can influence health for better or worse. However, the U.S. has struggled to identify and help people with SDoH issues. That's where SDoH screening comes in. SDoH screening is a questionnaire given to patients in a healthcare setting to help providers identify non-medical barriers to health. These include issues like financial hardship, transportation, housing, food, employment, and safety. Patients can then be referred to helpful community resources. Here are seven reasons to implement SDoH screening in your healthcare system, hospital, or clinic. 1. SDoH Screening Helps Patients Speak Up SDoH ...

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USDA Limits Added Sugar and Sodium in School Meals!



School meals are getting healthier! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published its final rule to improve school food nutrition standards based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The changes – supported by 438 Salud America! members and 74,000 people overall via public comments – include limiting added sugars (for the first time), reducing sodium, and emphasizing locally sourced fruits and vegetables. The updated rules will take effect starting July 1, 2024, but most changes will occur incrementally between fall 2025 and fall 2027. “The new standards build on the great progress that school meals have made already and address remaining challenges – including reducing sugar in school breakfasts. These updates also make it easier for schools to access ...

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USDA Approves Big Changes to Improve Nutrition in WIC Food Packages



USDA has approved a final rule to improve nutrition and support breastfeeding in food packages in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The final rule includes these changes: Require WIC-eligible whole grain breakfast cereals contain a whole grain as the first ingredient. Increase access to whole grains in breakfast cereal, bread, and grains, including "tortillas made with folic acid-fortified corn masa flour (once available in the marketplace)." Expand whole grain options to include foods like quinoa, blue cornmeal, and teff to reflect dietary guidance and accommodate individual or cultural preferences. Provide more convenience and options in the dairy category, including flexibility on package sizes and non-dairy substitution ...

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FDA’s Big Plan to Enhance Public Health in 2025



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced its request for $7.2 billion as part of President Joe Biden’s fiscal year (FY) 2025 proposed budget. FDA’s request, which is about 7% higher than last year, covers the agency’s top health priorities. “This funding will allow the agency to enhance food safety and nutrition, advance medical product safety, help support supply chain resiliency, strengthen the agency’s public-health and mission-support capacity, and modernize the FDA’s infrastructure and facilities,” according to an FDA News Release. Let’s dive into what these requests entail and how it can impact Latinos. Enhancing Food Safety and Nutrition FDA is requesting $15 million to protect and promote a safe, nutritious U.S. food supply through the ...

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Food Insecurity Linked to Rise of Fatty Liver Disease in Latino Children



Childhood cases of fatty liver disease have risen over the last decade, prompting researchers to search for answers in risk factors such as genes, birthweight, and malnutrition. While studies involving adults that have fatty liver disease and liver fibrosis and food insecurity have been conducted, few focused on children — until now. A recent study assessed the influence food insecurity – living without enough food for a healthy life for all family members – on the development of fatty liver disease in 4-year-old Latino children, and discovered that food-insecure Latino children experienced a higher risk for the disease. Results of the Fatty Liver Disease Study The study involved two groups of San Francisco Latino mothers and followed their child’s development from pregnancy ...

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Explore Trends with the Child Nutrition Dashboards



Check out USDA’s new data tool called the Child Nutrition Dashboard!   The dashboard, which is comprised of public data published in the child nutrition tables, can help federal, state, and local organizations assess trends in child nutrition program activity.  “The goal of the dashboard is to provide national and state level visualization of meals served, participation, and funding data for the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program,” according to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).   Let’s dive into how this tool can be used and why it benefits Latinos!  Nutrition Dashboard Insights   The Child Nutrition Dashboard provides information on participation, meals served, ...

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What Are the 5 Principles of Obesity Care?


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Obesity Care Week 2024 (#ObesityCareWeek) is here! From March 4-8, 2024, Obesity Care Week is an annual public awareness effort to end weight bias, as well as raise awareness, educate and advocate for a better world for people living with obesity. Also, World Obesity Day is March 4, 2024. Our Salud America! Latino health equity team at UT Health San Antonio is happy to serve as an Obesity Care Week Champion to support this awareness week. "Unlike most other diseases, obesity is one that continues to be stigmatized. Those impacted struggle to receive any care in many cases, let alone adequate care," said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio and a leading health disparities researcher. Salud America! research has found that U.S. Latinos face ...

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Stormee Williams: Helping Screen Families for Social Needs in Dallas



At her annual wellness visit, Dr. Stormee Williams filled out a digital questionnaire that asked about her need for help with housing, transportation, food access, and other non-medical needs. Williams was taking an “SDoH Screener.” An SDoH screener is a questionnaire to help healthcare workers identify a patient’s issues with the social determinants of health (SDoH), the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of social, economic, and political systems that shape life. If a screener finds a patient in need, healthcare workers can then connect the patient to community support and resources. Helping patients address these non-medical needs can help them achieve better health. Williams, fortunately, didn’t have non-medical ...

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3 Resources to Use During Healthy Weight Week



National Healthy Weight Week is recognized on the third week of January every year and focuses on achieving and maintaining healthy weight through healthy eating, physical activity, optimal sleep, and stress reduction.   Obesity affects more than 40% of Americans, placing them at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.    Latino adults and children have among the highest rates of obesity.  With this in mind, let’s explore resources that can help you start achieving a healthy weight and improve your health!   Get Help Changing Your Habits for Healthy Weight  The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) provides a guide, “Changing Your Habits for Better Health,” in English or ...

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