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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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! ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

#SaludTues Tweetchat 3/19/19: Celebrating National Nutrition Month


national nutrition month

Good nutrition is linked to positive health outcomes. On the other hand, unhealthy eating is the leading risk factor for death, causing more than 500,000 U.S. deaths in 2016. This is bad news for Latinos who lack access to healthy foods and nutrition education. Join #SaludTues on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, to spread the word about what can be done to promote better nutrition and chronic disease prevention in Latino and all communities. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Celebrating National Nutrition Month TIME / DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, 3/19/19 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: Alliance For a Healthier Generation (@HealthierGen), MomsRising (@MomsRising) & ChapCare (ChapCareOrg).  OPTIONAL HASHTAG: ...

Read More

Tell USDA: Protect SNAP!


SNAP federal food assistance protect poverty

The SNAP federal food assistance program is at risk again, and YOU CAN HELP! The Trump Administration wants to cut SNAP and could abolish food aid to 750,000 Americans who are underemployed and unemployed. This could fuel hunger and poverty among those most vulnerable, says the Food Research & Action Center. SNAP cuts would hurt Latinos, who are already less likely to seek nutrition help for fear of immigration penalties. You can make a public comment to USDA on SNAP until April 2, 2019. How to Submit a Comment to Save SNAP! 1. Copy one of our Salud America! model comments. Tweak the parts in green: SNAP HAS VALUE I am a NAMEOFPROFESSION in NAMEOFPLACE. I really value the SNAP program in my community. SNAP is proven to improve the economy, according to a Salud America! ...

Read More

Report: Junk Food Advertised More to Latino, Black Kids



Disparities in advertising for unhealthy food continue to target Latino and Black youth, according to a new report from Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut, the Council on Black Health at Drexel University, and Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. Eight out of 10 food ads seen by Latino children on Spanish-language TV promote fast food, candy, sugary drinks, and snacks. Unhealthy food marketing aimed at youth is a contributor to poor diets and related diseases, like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Targeting Latino and Black youth with unhealthy marketing contributes to disparities in health. That’s why the UConn Rudd Center first explored food-related TV advertising in 2013. Since then, the 10 companies with the most targeted ...

Read More