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Study: Children in South Texas ‘Colonias’ More Likely to be Sedentary, Obese


Nelda Mier

Editor’s Note: This is a 20-part series featuring new research briefs on Latino childhood obesity, nutrition, physical activity and more by the 20 grantees of Salud America! Part 19 is Dr. Nelda Mier. Dr. Nelda Mier “Built Environment Policy for Physical Activity in Mexican-American Children” In her Salud America! pilot research project, Dr. Nelda Mier of the Texas A&M Health Science Center investigated Latino children’s perceptions of environmental factors that influence their physical activity, and documented environmental characteristics in colonias in South Texas. Colonias are unincorporated settlements along the U.S.-Mexico border where many people live in impoverished conditions and lack basic services such as running water. Key preliminary findings ...

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How Can You Contribute to the Improvement of Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention?



Latinos, you may not know how important it is for cancer researchers to have racial/ethnic biospecimens. Increasing the number of Latino biospecimens—or samples of biological material, such as blood, urine, saliva, tissue, tumors, etc.—will be critical to accelerating our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer and creating a more accurate genome in many types of cancers that disproportionately affect Latinos. This, in turn, will lead to the development of better diagnostic tools; and ultimately, to improve our ability to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer among all people. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) is a joint effort between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). TCGA uses an integrated approach of connecting ...

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NCI’s Cancer.gov Goes Mobile



The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has launched a new mobile website, m.cancer.gov. Designed specifically for mobile phone users on any mobile platform, the site in English and Spanish offers much of the same high-quality information found on cancer.gov's desktop site. Available in English and Spanish, m.cancer.gov provides cancer patients, their loved ones, and their caregivers with credible, current information about: A wide range of cancer types Cancer diagnosis and treatment Dealing with treatment side effects Questions to ask your doctor Breaking and current cancer news A dictionary of cancer terms that includes audio pronunciations One-touch connection to NCI's 1-800-4-CANCER information specialist line In the future, additional content, including information about ...

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Latina Moms and Moms-to-Be, Get Free Health Tips by Text



// Check out Text4baby, a free bilingual mobile information service that provides pregnant women and new moms with information to help them care for their health and give their babies the best possible start in life. Sign up for the service by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411. Once enrolled, three free SMS messages are sent each week, timed to either a woman’s due date or baby’s date of birth. Text4baby has proven beneficial effects, according to a recent study of 122 women by the National Latino Research Center at California State University, San Marcos, and the University of California, San Diego: 64% reported text4baby helped them remember an appointment or immunization they or their child needed. 75.4% reported that a text4baby message informed them of ...

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Èxito! Grad Testimonial: Marievelisse Soto-Salgado



Editor's Note: This is the testimonial of a graduate of the 2011 Summer Institute of Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training. Read more testimonials here or apply by March 1 for the 2012 Èxito! program. Marievelisse Soto-Salgado Puerto Rico Marievelisse Soto-Salgado grew up dedicated to solving public health problems in what she calls “La Isla del Encanto”—her hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. She got her passion for science and research through her time obtaining a bachelor’s degree in general sciences and a master’s degree in public health. She’s even been working for several years with a team of researchers at the University of Puerto Rico on a National Cancer Institute-funded cancer research project, and she coordinates a Biostatistics and Bioinformatics ...

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More Than 15% Obese in Nearly All U.S. Metro Areas



Adult obesity rates were higher than 15% in all but three of 190 metropolitan areas surveyed in 2011, according to a Gallup and Healthways report. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, residents—who are predominantly Latino—were the most likely to be obese, at 38.8%. Nationwide, 26.1% of American adults were obese in 2011. The Gallup report indicates that the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro area pays more than $400 million in unnecessary healthcare costs each year because of its high obesity rate. "If it reduced the obesity rate to 15%," according to the report, "the area could potentially save more than $250 million ...

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Study: Diabetes Linked to Kidney Cancer among Hispanics



A study of San Antonio-area kidney cancer patients shows a strong link to diabetes, with the most advanced cancers found in those with the worst control over their blood sugar, the San Antonio Express-News reports. The study, led by Dr. Samy Habib of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and recently published in the Journal of Cancer, reviewed the medical records of 473 local patients who underwent surgery for clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, between 1994 and 2009. Of those, 120, or 25.4%, had a history of diabetes. About 75% of the diabetics were Hispanic and tended to be younger than ...

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Food Security for All: Report of Two Workshops



Check out this new report from the National Academies Press about food security for all people. The report summarizes results from two recent food security workshops hosted by the National Research Council's Science and Technology for Sustainability Program. The first workshop, Measuring Food Insecurity and Assessing the Sustainability of Global Food Systems, explored the availability and quality of commonly used indicators for food security and malnutrition; poverty; and natural resources and agricultural productivity. The second workshop, Exploring Sustainable Solutions for Increasing Global Food Supplies, focused specifically on assuring the availability of adequate food supplies. How can food production be increased to meet the needs of a population expected to reach over 9 ...

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Èxito! Grad Testimonial: Laura Reyes



Editor's Note: This is the testimonial of a graduate of the 2011 Summer Institute of Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training. Read more testimonials here or apply by March 1 for the 2012 Èxito! program. Laura Reyes San Antonio, Texas Laura Reyes is a native South Texan who developed a thirst for knowledge early in life, often visiting the library as a child with her mother, who was going through grad school. As she continued to seek knowledge, her interest in science and the human body grew, and she eventually attended Loyola New Orleans University. Then the Hurricane Katrina disaster brought her back to San Antonio—a fortuitous transfer to St. Mary’s University that eventually got her interested in research techniques. Reyes now is a master’s of public health ...

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