Latino, Black Kids at Higher Risk for Chronic Conditions



Latino and black children had a higher risk of having a chronic health condition, such as obesity or asthma, a new study found, HealthDay reports. The study, published in the February Journal of the American Medical Association, found that one of every two U.S. children now grapples at some time with a chronic health condition—one that lasts at least 12 months, the report states. The good news is that for many of those children, their chronic childhood illness won't persist. Just over 7 percent of those who reported a chronic condition at the beginning of the study still had the condition six years later. The bottom line, according to article commentary, is that U.S. children need better health habits. Prevention is key. Read the journal article or the news story about the ...

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How Healthy is Your County?



For the first time, residents from Carolina to California can find out exactly how healthy their county is. The health status of nearly every one of the nation's more than 3,000 counties is ranked in the new report, County Health Rankings: Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health, released Feb. 17 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute. The rankings can be used to mobilize communities to improve health disparities. A USA Today story draws a few generalizations from the rankings: Healthier counties tend to be urban and suburban, while most (84%) of the 50 least-healthy counties are rural, sparsely populated areas where care is poor and the economy is depressed. Rates of premature death are also significantly higher (2.5 ...

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Girl Scouts Help UT Health Science Center Researchers Fight Obesity



A group of Girl Scouts in San Antonio, Texas, spent part of their President’s Day working on a photography assignment that could be beneficial in pinpointing causes of sedentary lifestyles. The Avenida Guadalupe Girl Scout Center on San Antonio’s West Side went out to take pictures in order to identify the things in their neighborhood that either help them get involved in physical activities or discourages them from being physically active, according to a report in the San Antonio Business Journal. The girls’ perspective will be used by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as part of a broader effort to get young girls, particularly young Hispanic girls, moving. The project is led by two researchers from the Institute for Health ...

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Spanish-Language Ads Get Message Across for ‘Quit Smoking’ Lines



It pays to advertise in Spanish if you want Spanish speakers to use a telephone helpline to quit smoking, according to a new study, Newswise reports. A study of usage of the Colorado QuitLine before and during a Spanish-language media campaign found that more Latinos called during and after the campaign and a greater percentage of those who called successfully quit smoking, according to the news report. Smoking cessation phone services offer counseling or coaching on how to quit smoking and sometimes offer nicotine replacement therapy products. Latinos who called the Colorado QuitLine because of an ad campaign were significantly younger and more likely to be uninsured and less educated. The seven-day abstinence rates for Latinos who dialed in during the campaign was 41 percent, compared ...

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SaludToday’s Dr. Ramirez Talks About Latino Obesity on Latina Lista



A new study in the journal Pediatrics found that "household routines" can reduce childhood obesity -- eating regularly with the family at dinnertime, getting enough sleep and limiting TV time -- but cultural and other factors are important, too, SaludToday Director Dr. Amelie Ramirez told the Latina Lista blog. Latino kids are more obese than their white counterparts. Dr. Ramirez, who also heads the Salud America! research network to prevent obesity among Latino kids at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, told Latina Lista that obesity is a complex issue for Latinos: Latino children, who have some of the highest rates of obesity, tend to: consume too much total and saturated fat, cholesterol, added sugar and ...

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SaludToday Researcher On Paula Zahn’s TV Show On Women’s Health



Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, a researcher at SaludToday and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, spoke about Latina child and youth obesity in a new TV special featuring former CNN anchor Paula Zahn. The four-part special, “Health Secrets: What Every Woman Should Know,” aired on WTTW-TV (Chicago), addresses women's health needs at all stages of life. Dr. Parra-Medina was featured Jan. 21, 2010, in a segment examining the complex issues facing young women. See the segment here by clicking on the "Overweight Teens" title under the main video. Read more about Dr. Parra-Medina ...

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Surgeon General Releases Plan to Reduce Childhood Obesity



U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has released a report, the Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation, which recommends ways to improve nutrition and physical activity, include school wellness policies, reduce junk food marketing to children and support walking and biking infrastructure. Yet the report hasn't gotten the same media hype as when First Lady Michelle Obama made it her personal goal to fight against childhood obesity (earlier this week, the first lady met with lawmakers on the issue). But the surgeon general's report has merit, says a Washington Post blogger: ...[the report] talks about personal responsibility, about communities working together, about grassroots efforts. It places the onus for weight loss squarely on the shoulders of individuals. ...

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Latino Rises from Slums to Prominent Cancer Research Career



The story of SaludToday researcher Dr. Dan Hughes, assistant professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, was featured in the CRCHD Cancer Disparities E-Bulletin: Daniel C. Hughes, Ph.D. has never forgotten his beginnings. Much of his work is dedicated to studying cancer health disparities as a researcher and assistant professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research Group at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. He grew up in the slums of Mexico City, the 4th youngest of five siblings which to a single mother. “We never knew how poor we really were,” Hughes said. His mother received no child support, no welfare checks, and the family had no refrigerator, no television set, not even a ...

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Roundup: Obesity’s Impact on Minority Health



Check out these news bites on Latino childhood obesity: Average low-income person loses 8.2 years of perfect health; obese, 4.2 years The average low-income person loses 8.2 years of perfect health, the average high school dropout loses 5.1 years, and the obese lose 4.2 years, according to study in the December 2009 American Journal of Public Health. The study shows that poverty and dropout rates are at least as important a health problem as smoking in the U.S. Heart exams of minority, overweight sixth-graders in Houston shocks experts Heart screenings given to 94 mostly Latino and black, mostly overweight sixth graders at a school in Houston uncovered seven kids with heart conditions, the Houston Chronicle reports. The cardiologist behind the screenings, who expressed shock at ...

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