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Study: Community Environments Impact Individual Health

Community Environments Individual Health

Neighborhoods with large populations of people of color also have high rates of chronic disease, less access to healthy foods, and other systemic injustices. These factors can lead to worse health outcomes. For example, take South Texas. Researchers here have linked neighborhood characteristics to worse physical and mental health outcomes in this largely Latino, rural region, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion. “Several neighborhood environment variables were significantly associated with mental health, [physical activity], and C-reactive protein, though estimates were small,” according to study researchers from UT Health Science Center at Houston, UT Southwestern, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and UTHealth School of Public Health. The ...

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Advocates Urge Taking ‘Food Security’ Toward ‘Nutrition Security’

Advocates Urge Nutrition Security

Millions of Latinos and other Americans of color suffer from a lack of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. For years, experts and advocates have described this problem as “food insecurity.” However, as this conversation takes the forefront after a year of food-insecurity problems highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic, nutrition experts are now saying it is time to address food security in a new light: Through “nutrition security.” “You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘food security’ to describe consistent access to food,” Cara Rosenbloom, a registered dietitian and the president of Words to Eat By, wrote in a recent Washington Post perspective. “But many health professionals and policymakers think it’s an inadequate ...

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Data: Segregation Leads to Lower Income, Life Expectancy for Latinos

Data: Segregation Leads to Lower Income, Life Expectancy for Latinos

Living in segregated cities can have negative impacts on Latino and Black people rather than living in racially diverse areas, according to a new analysis from the University of California Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute. “U.S. Latinos have a higher life expectancy and earn more yearly income when they live in racially mixed neighborhoods compared to areas that are predominantly Black or Latino, an analysis finds,” writes Russell Contreras, according to Axios. The analysis highlights areas with recent increases in segregation and the lasting implications that segregation has on life outcomes for Latino and Black children. What Does the Data Say on Segregation? The UC Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute released a report in June 2021 after years of ...

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Healthy People 2030 Adds 4 Objectives on Childhood Trauma, Up From 0

Healthy People 2030

For the first time, the Healthy People 2030 guidelines have added four objectives on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), a step to recognize the systemic impact of childhood trauma on health. ACEs, such as abuse and poverty, are a public health crisis. None of the past Healthy People editions ─ 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020 ─ had an objective to address ACEs as part of its national guidance to promote health and prevent disease. Now there are four objectives! This is a huge win for the 2,214 Salud America! network members who emailed public comments and other child development and public health professionals who submitted nearly 3,000 additional comments to add ACEs-related objectives. “I was surprised to learn ‘adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)’ and ‘childhood ...

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Study: Fast-Food Ads Disproportionately Target Black, Latino Youth

Fast-Food Ads Target Youth

Across the nation, people of color have less access to healthy, nutritious foods. To super-size that unhealthy environment, the fast-food industry spent $5 billion on advertising in 2019, especially targeting Latino and Black youth, according to a new study from University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. “Fast-food consumption by children and teens has increased over the past decade, and fast-food advertising definitely plays a role in that rise,” said Dr. Jennifer Harris, senior research advisor for marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center and a co-author of the study. “Our findings show that these advertisements disproportionately target Black and Latino youth, groups who already face greater risk for obesity and other diet-related ...

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What is Your City’s ParkScore Ranking? Why Is It Important?

City ParkScore Ranking

Access to green, outdoor spaces can make a huge difference in the lives of marginalized groups, especially Latinos. Parks are essential for public health, climate resilience, and strong connected communities. Still, 100 million people in the US—including 28 million children—don't live in a home that is within a 10-minute walk of a park. The Trust for Public Lands (TPL) knows these facts and is working to improve countless lives through green spaces advocacy — including updating its annual ParkScore rankings. While there has been some movement in making parks more accessible, people of color still face “major disparities” in park access, according to TPL’s rankings. “In the 100 most populated cities, neighborhoods where most residents identify as Black, ...

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Report: Housing Inequities Are Worsening for Latinos

Sad evicted mother with child worried relocating house

Close to 40% of Americans struggle to meet the rising costs of housing, and Latinos especially face hardship in affordable housing as the pandemic worsened inequities, says a new report. As the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are struggling with soaring home and rent prices, affordability issues, and the risk of eviction and foreclosure, according to The State of the Nation’s Housing 2021 from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Latinos and other people of color are impacted on a greater scale. "Millions of households that lost income during the shutdowns are behind on their housing payments and on the brink of eviction or foreclosure," the report states. "A disproportionately large share of these at-risk households are renters with ...

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New Health Dangers Linked to PFAS, a ‘Forever Chemical’ in Food, Breast Milk

Health Dangers Breast Milk

Mothers want to protect their newborn babies from all threats. Unfortunately, 100% of U.S. breast milk samples tested positive for containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), a dangerous chemical found in food, water, and everyday products, according to new data. “We now know that babies, along with nature’s perfect food [breast milk], are getting toxic PFAS that can affect their immune systems and metabolism,” Erika Schreder, a Toxic-Free Future science director and study co-author, said. “Moms work hard to protect their babies, but big corporations are putting these, and other toxic chemicals that can contaminate breast milk, in products when safer options are available.” The New Research on Breast Milk and PFAS Previous reports have confirmed that ...

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Study: Long-Term Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Is a Danger to Brain, Body

Quit smoking smoke-free policy for indoor air secondhand smoke exposure

We already know secondhand smoke is bad for you. But several recent studies further blame secondhand smoke for its harmful impact on the brain and body. Long-term exposure to second-hand smoke results in lower body weight and cognitive impairments, according to new research in mice led by Oregon Health & Science University. Researchers exposed mice to 168 minutes of secondhand smoke a day for 10 months. They found that secondhand smoke harms even "healthy" mice, altered the hippocampus region of the brain, and impacted cognition, especially among males. "Many people still smoke, and these findings suggest that the long-term health effects can be quite serious for people who are chronically exposed to second-hand smoke," said lead author Dr. Jacob Raber. Why is this ...

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