Idaho Legislators Compete in Fitness Challenge to Prevent Childhood Obesity



Senators and representatives in Idaho, a state with a quickly growing Latino community,  are tracking their steps, water intake, and servings of fruits and vegetables as part of a month long, friendly competition aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and fighting childhood obesity. According to a Fox9 report 50 state legislators are taking part in a competition organized by health insurance provider Blue Cross of Idaho. At the end of the competition the three legislators who track the most physical activity and record eating more fruits and vegetables will win $5,000 from the Blue Cross of Idaho to go toward providing healthier options to elementary school children in their district. Funds will provide for outdoor exercise equipment, healthier meal options, and any other ...

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“Sugar Smarts” Bilingual Campaign in Boston against Sugary Drinks for Kids



The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) was ready to step up the fight to improve health in the face of rising obesity problems among racial/ethnic populations. Latino and black high-school students were especially overweight/obese (34.2% and 35.9%, respectively), possibly due to the fact that 24% of students consume at least one soda daily, according to a study. The BPHC developed a bilingual public health campaign against sugary drinks to help racial/ethnic residents make healthier choices. EMERGENCE Awareness/Learn: Obesity is typically a bigger problem among racial/ethnic populations. Boston, which is increasingly diverse, with an 18% Latino and 24% black population, exemplifies this disparity. In 2010, Latino and black high-school students were very overweight (34.2% ...

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Sweet Victory: Sugary Drink Tax Passes in Berkeley



How did smallish Berkeley, Calif., become the nation’s first city to pass a sugary drink tax in 2014, after many other cities had failed? People power! Local health advocates like Xavier Morales had long supported a tax on sugary drinks, believing the higher price would discourage consumption. Research studies indicate that such a decrease in consumption could potentially reduce obesity and diabetes rates, especially for Latino kids. Because Latino children are heavily targeted by sugary drink and junk food advertisements, this issue was especially important to Berkeley’s 11% Latino community. In the end, it took passionate advocates, a well-organized campaign for a sugary drink tax, and national attention to eventually bring sweet victory for public health advocates in ...

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Report: Latino Kids Face Increased Sugary Drink Ads



Spanish-language TV advertising for sugary drinks and energy shots increased by 44% over the past few years, according to a new report. The report, Sugary Drink FACTS 2014, updates the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity's 2011 research on sugary drinks and advertising to children. The report highlights industry progress but also indicates that companies still have a long way to go to improve their marketing practices and the nutritional quality of their youth-marketed products. This is particularly relevant to Latino youth, who consume more sugary drinks than their white peers, with 74% of Latinos having their first sugary drink before age 2. Some progress was made in marketing to Latino kids: On Spanish-language TV, Kraft Foods and Red Bull eliminated virtually ...

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Singer Strikes Deal to Promote Bottled Water



Soda companies are notorious for using big-name celebrities to promote their beverages in TV commercials, billboards, social media, and beyond. But one up-and-coming bottled water company landed a big star to promote their line of bottled waters, hoping to garner the same attention sugary drinks receive when they enlist celeb power.  Singer Ariana Grande will be the new face of a campaign for Wat-aah!, a small but growing functional water brand, according to an article in Advertising Age. The campaign, expected to launch next year, will include outdoor, print and digital ads in teen and lifestyle publications. The company is also a supporter of Let’s Move!’s Drink Up! campaign. Wat-aah! calls itself a champion for child health, but some nutrition activists point to the ...

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Pledge to Reduce Sugary Drinks with PreventObesity’s Sweeter Summer Campaign



The science that links excess sugary drink consumption and obesity is clear, especially for Latino kids. As the summer seasons draws to a close, have you and your kids been hydrating with healthy drinks? There is still time to make healthy changes before school starts! PreventObesity, an online national network of people dedicated to reducing childhood obesity, is currently running a campaign to ask folks to pledge to cut out sugary drinks this summer. They ask: What will you do to give your community a sweeter summer with fewer sugary drinks? Some individuals have already committed to: - Ask community leaders to improve water quality in parks and schools. -Serve or bring no-sugar drinks to the next community event. - Ask a local business to offer more healthy drink ...

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Boston Hospital Goes Sugar-Free



A hospital is a place for healing illness, and promoting health for new moms. However, many hospitals across the country still offer a wide range of sugary drinks in vending machines, gift shops, and cafeterias. Latino kids on average drink more of these sugary drinks their White peers. One hospital in Boston used a beverage policy to not only help patients make healthy drink choices, but also hospital administration, staff, patients’ families, and the local community. The Obesity Crisis Dorchester is a diverse inner-city community in Boston, Mass., where almost 20% of residents are Latino. Many of Dorchester’s low-income, high-risk factor patients get their medical care at Carney Hospital, a member of Steward Health Care, the largest fully integrated community care ...

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Dozens of Water Stations Planned for East Coachella Valley



In the eastern Coachella Valley, a place many Latino families call home, clean, safe drinking water can be hard to find. The California Endowment, a statewide health foundation that runs community initiatives throughout California, is hoping to bring better access to water in the region. In step with the Drink Up initiative championed by the Partnership for a Healthier America and First Lady Michelle Obama and in collaboration with Pueblo Unido CDC and the Rural Community Assistance Corp, the California Endowment announced plans to install dozens of water stations for filling reusable water bottles in the valley.  The project, called Agua4All, will start with 60 tap systems in 10 schools and other community centers in the unincorporated communities of Thermal, Oasis and ...

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Sugary Drinks Are Out, Healthy Choices In at Chicago-Area High Schools



During the school day, lunch time is a chance for busy students to take a break, relax with friends, and refuel. Refueling with healthy foods and drinks is vital. At two high schools in the Chicago suburbs, a concerned school board member saw a disconnect between the emphasis on healthy eating at lunch and the large sugary drink selection in cafeterias. The concern turned into a semester-long discussion between students, food services managers, and administrators that resulted in a new beverage policy for the school district that reduced the number of unhealthy drinks and marketed healthy ones in creative ways. EMERGENCE Awareness/Learn: The Latino student population is small—but rapidly growing—at Glenbrook High School District 225, which is commonly known as “the Glenbrooks” ...

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