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New Texas Institute Aims to Improve Rural Health



It is a well known fact that where we live plays a vital role in our health, and those who live in rural areas struggle to access quality healthcare. Rural residents are more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, and unintentional injuries than their urban counterparts. In Texas, more than 3 million people live in rural areas, and are more likely to be uninsured, have lower incomes, and higher rates of death from preventive chronic diseases. The Center for Optimizing Rural Health, part of the Texas A&M Rural and Community Health Institute, aims to change all that. Center for Optimizing Rural Health Texas A&M University has been chosen as the sole recipient of a five-year grant, which will fund the Center for Optimizing Rural Health, ...

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The Midterms: Big Soda Succeeds and Fails in Stopping Soda Taxes


https://therivardreport.com/salud-america-combatting-sugary-drinks-unhealthy-weight-among-preschoolers/

A price increase in sugary drink is proven to reduce consumption, according to a Salud America! Research Review. Sugary drink taxes have bubbled up in cities across the country, like Philadelphia's tax that has reduced consumption and Berkeley's tax that has generated money for health programs. But before the U.S. midterm election Nov. 6, 2018, Big Soda giants like Coke spent millions on deceptive marketing campaigns to fight sugary drink tax measures, according to reports by NPR, the New York Times, and Vox. Experts say Big Soda is taking cues from the tobacco industry’s playbook by supporting ballot measures and state laws that block governments from passing new taxes on food and drinks as well as cultivating relationships with doctors and scientists. What happened to the ...

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The Midterms: Voters Approve Big Public Transit Improvements



During the 2018 midterm election cycle, U.S. voters passed 17 of 20 public transportation ballot measures—two remain undecided. Over the past two decades, Americans have voted in favor of public transportation more than 70% of the time, according to Josh Cohen, campaign director at the Center for Transportation Excellence. Earlier in 2018 during the primary elections, voters passed 13 of 16 measures supporting public transit; during the 2017 general election, voters passed seven of eight measures; and during the 2016 general election, voters passed 33 of the 49 measures. Elected leaders at the local and state level are getting the hint and increasingly addressing public transit issues while campaigning. “These candidates know that public transportation is an issue that ...

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Reports: Philly Sugary Drink Tax is Working


Sugary drink tax

In Philadelphia, the 1.5-cent-per-ounce Sweetened Beverage Tax on sugary drinks took effect January 2017. The tax aims to reduce sugary drink consumption and raise funds for health and education programs, such as expanding pre-kindergarten programs and improving parks. The tax also offered a tax credit for companies that sell healthy beverages. Sugary drinks—soda, sports and energy drinks, sugary fruit juices, and flavored milk—contribute to the obesity and related health disparities facing U.S. Latino kids, according to a Salud America! Research Review. The beverage industry challenged the tax, calling it unconstitutional. In July 2018, the tax was upheld. But did it work as intended? Update on Soda Tax: It’s Working! The National Bureau of Economic Research has ...

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Bicycling to Build Community Connection, Wellness


Brandyn joined Bici Co through Earn-A-Bike in 2016, and now he's employed at the shop and passing along his knowledge and skills to the next crew. Source: BiCi Co. Facebook

Bicycling shops went extinct in Hartford, Conn. (43% Latino), a few years ago. That’s why, in 2015, the Center for Latino Progress teamed with Hartford Public Schools and Capital Workforce Partners to open BiCi Co.—short for Bicicleta y Comunidad—a community bike shop cooperative run by students. The shop soon became more than a place to get a bike. It transformed into a hub for community connection, civic engagement, and better health, according to Mobility Lab. How Did They Stimulate Community Connection? Many people don’t feel an emotional connection to or a sense of membership in their community. Those people are less inclined to take action to improve their own health, according to a 2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey. Community connection can spur ...

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SNAP Stories: Program Improves Life for Latinos and Others


SNAP Stories

Under the revised House Farm Bill, 1 in 11 households who receive SNAP benefits would no longer be eligible for the program. SNAP not only lifts millions of people out of poverty, it also helps them stay out and improves the economy. And there are real stories behind these facts. The State of Obesity's "SNAP Stories" website showcases people and families who benefit from SNAP. Who Benefits from SNAP? The State of Obesity report features SNAP Stories of people and families who benefit from SNAP. SNAP Stories is a collection of stories about the benefits SNAP provides for individuals and families all across America. Stories were produced by StoryCorps and Upworthy with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. SNAP recipients are the subject of many stigmas and ...

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CHEF Brings Nutrition Education into San Antonio Schools


chef kids in school

Unhealthy food contributes to disease, especially in Latino families who lack access to healthy foods and nutrition education. Healthy food, on the other hand, is medicine. That's the belief of the Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF) program in San Antonio (63% Latino). CHEF teaches children and families basic nutrition and practical cooking skills. The long-term goal is to motivate individuals and communities to adopt and sustain healthier eating and wellness habits. “[We want to] make sure that every family, regardless of income level, or education level, can put a healthy, nutritious, familiar meal on the table that’s better for them perhaps than what was there before," said Suzanne Mead Feldmann of the Goldsbury Foundation, a group behind CHEF. CHEF now ...

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Get Help to Harness the Power of Policy to Improve Public Health


Policy Learning Lab Overview and Lessons Learned

Health leaders teamed up with law and policy experts to create the Policy Learning Labs, a technical assistance initiative focused on upstream strategies to improve health. Technical assistance is a type of help that can build skills and provide tools. It can include information sharing, instruction, training, consulting services, and the development of manuals, reports, resource directories, and guidebooks. With the Policy Learning Labs, you or your community group can see how to create and use strategies that produce large-scale, sustainable population health improvements. Moving Health Care Upstream Beyond hospital walls, health professionals should address the root causes of disease in communities. That’s what Moving Health Care Upstream (MHCU) does. MHCU, launched ...

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