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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What Is Thirdhand Smoke? How Can You Protect Against It?

Many know of the harms and health risks of smoking and secondhand smoke.   However, you may not have heard of thirdhand smoke, which is the chemical pollutants that linger and settle indoors after tobacco is smoked.   “The chemicals in thirdhand smoke include nicotine as well as cancer-causing substances such as formaldehyde, naphthalene and others,” according to the Mayo Clinic.  Policy gaps are failing to protect the public from thirdhand smoke, according to a recent study.  The study suggests that policies safeguard against thirdhand smoke even as they protect against secondhand smoke exposure by prohibiting indoor smoking in public places.  “While these measures have been instrumental in protecting public health, saving lives, and reducing health care ...

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Free Program Seeks to Ease Stress, Promote Heart Health in San Antonio

The way into a person’s heart is through their mind — at least that’s the case in the “A Mindful Heart: Stress Management for Individuals with Hypertension” program. Program leader Dr. Stacy Ogbeide of the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UT Health San Antonio is taking a psychological approach to address hypertension, which is a key risk factor for many heart diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Ogbeide is looking for adults with high blood pressure living in San Antonio to participate in a free program that focuses on stress management intervention in a group setting, which can include education, arousal reduction, such as relaxation training, and behavioral skills training, like coping strategies. “The group format has been recommended when ...

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San Antonio: Apply for Money to Help Translate Science to Benefit Public Health

The Institute for Integration of Medicine & Science (IIMS) at UT Health San Antonio and the UTSA College for Health, Community, and Policy (HCaP) are now accepting proposals for one-year Community Engagement Small Project Grants.  The grants, which are worth up to $5,000, are given in hopes of promoting, developing, and expanding community and scholarly research partnerships aimed at turning science into clinical reality.  Funds awarded can be used for community-engaged research or assessment, education or training, and the distribution of research results, project details, or policy implications.  “The goals of community engagement are to build trust, discover new resources and allies, create better communication, and improve overall health outcomes as successful ...

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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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260 Salud America! Members Tell FDA to Curb Added Sugars!

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Recently, the FDA sought public comment on strategies to reduce added sugar consumption. Sugary drink consumption, which is heavy among Latino children, represents a large portion of the added sugar intake in the diets of Americans. This increases risk of obesity and disease. Salud America! created a model comment that people could submit to FDA to share five pediatrician-approved ways to limit sugary drink consumption among children! Comments were due Jan. 22, 2024. Update 1/24/24: Salud America! members submitted 260 of the 418 comments that FDA received to reduce added sugars and limit sugary drinks in the American diet! View the Salud America! Model Comment to Reduce Added Sugars, Sugary Drink Consumption Greetings,  I applaud FDA for seeking public input on reducing ...

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Toolkit: How to Screen for Sugary Drink Consumption in Early Childhood

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Did you know Latino kids consume more sugary drinks—soda, sports and energy drinks, sugary fruit juices, and flavored milk—than the average child? Heavy consumption of sugary drinks puts children at greater risk of obesity and disease. This is why Healthy Eating Research created a new toolkit to help healthcare systems add a beverage screener to their electronic health record (EHR) system to ask parents questions about their child's sugary drink consumption. The goal is to identify "unhealthy beverage consumption patterns in young children and [help] families develop healthy beverage habits," according to the toolkit. How Can You Start Screening for Sugary Drinks? The new toolkit shows how health systems can start screening for sugary drinks as part of their electronic ...

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4 Essential Steps to Ensure Food Is Prepared Safely

When the holidays season is in full swing, families and friends gather to enjoy time together over warms meals and plenty of dessert.   But sometimes food spoils the party.  Every year, foodborne diseases sicken 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people), hospitalize 128,000 people, and kill 3,000 people, according to the CDC.   Let’s tackle how we can prepare food safely and keep the holidays healthy.  What Is Food Poisoning?  You can get sick with food poisoning after swallowing certain germs like salmonella.  Common symptoms include:   Diarrhea  Stomach pain or cramps  Nausea  Vomiting  Fever  “Most people have mild illnesses [from food poisoning], but some infections spread by food are serious or even life-threatening. Some people may need ...

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