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9 Big Questions as California Starts to Screen Kids for Trauma, ACEs


California Starts to Screen Kids for Trauma, ACEs

Early childhood adversity like abuse and divorce is a root cause of many of the greatest public health challenges we face today. But doctors don’t even screen children for exposure to adversity. That’s changing in California, thanks to Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and other child advocates. As of Jan. 1, 2020, almost 100,000 physicians in 8,800 clinics will be reimbursed for routinely screening Medi-Cal patients for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), in an effort California hopes will help prevent ongoing ACEs-related stress and disease. Here are nine big questions surrounding the change. 1. What Is Childhood Adversity (ACEs) and its Impact? Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) include abuse, neglect, divorce, parental incarceration, parental mental illness, etc. These ...

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How to Get 27 Million Americans More Physically Active by 2027


Active people healthy nation

Physical activity, like walking, is one of the best ways a person can improve their health and quality of life, while cutting risk of at least 20 diseases and conditions. Unfortunately, too few communities are designed for walking and physical activity. Intentionally creating communities with safe routes to everyday destinations is a key strategy to increase physical activity─not only to reduce health disparities, healthcare costs, and premature death, but also to increase equitable access to opportunity to build health and wealth. That’s why the CDC launched Active People, Healthy NationSM in January 2020. The initiative will help community leaders use proven strategies to make physical activity safe and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. It specifically ...

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Shared Use of a School Can Boost Community Health


Shared use of school dance class community

Schools can serve as so much more than space for children to learn. They can even transform community health. That is, if schools share their spaces with the public when classes are out. Fortunately, the team at ChangeLab Solutions is showing how easy and beneficial it is for schools to share use of school grounds with local residents and groups after and before school, and during summer. What Is Shared Use of Schools? Playing can help a kid’s healthy brain development. But many communities are not kid-play-friendly. Latino neighborhoods tend to lack safe places that welcome kids and multi-generational families to play. Many schools lock up their facilities after class ends. Shared use agreements—also called open use or joint use—are specific plans and rules that ...

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Congress to Raise Tobacco, E-Cigarette Purchasing Age to 21


Latino teens e-cigs vaping smoking tobacco 21

Amid mounting health concerns over teen vaping, the U.S. Congress voted on Dec. 19, 2019, to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products—including e-cigarettes—from 18 to 21, the New York Times reports. President Trump is expected to sign the measure on Dec. 20, 2019. Experts say raising the purchasing age will reduce the number of people who begin smoking at very young age. Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking by age 18. The rule is also a response to deadly health concerns over teen vaping. The CDC announced in December 2019 that 54 people died and 2,506 cases of lung-related illnesses had been reported due to vaping. “Raising the tobacco age to 21 is a positive step, but it is not a substitute for prohibiting the flavored e-cigarettes that are luring ...

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Free Fruits & Veggies? Thank You, Sugary Drink Tax!


sugary drinks tax revenue funding vegetables and fruits

Sugary drink taxes are bubbling up across the nation. From Philadelphia to Berkeley, Calif., these sugary drink taxes are having an intended benefit—reducing consumption of bad-for-health sugary drinks and driving up water sales. But where is the tax money going? Let's look at Washington, D.C. (11.3% Latino), which recently added a sugary drink tax and is already considering a stronger one, and whether the revenue is benefiting health. New Sugary Drink Sales Tax in D.C. D.C. leaders recently bumped up the local sales tax from 6% to 8% on drinks with natural or artificial sweeteners that contain less than 100% juice or at least 50% milk bought in stores. City council member Mary Cheh pushed for the tax. She moved to insert this tax in the city’s $15.5 billion 2020 ...

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San Antonio to Combat ‘Climate Emergency’ with New Action Plan


Climate Action Plan San Antonio

One of America’s highest Latino-populated cities now has a strategy to address the climate crisis. Earlier this month, the San Antonio (64% Latino) City Council passed Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) by a 10-1 vote. It outlines objectives that will aim to reduce the city’s greenhouse emissions by 2050 and achieve climate equity for all populations. This plan follows in suit with many cities across the U.S. that are taking personal responsibility for its role in the climate crisis. “We declare that we will not be bystanders,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, according to the Rivard Report. “In no simpler terms, here and around the world, we are in a climate emergency.” What Does the Climate Action Plan Say? The main goal is to make the city and its ...

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Philadelphia Takes the Fizz Out of Sugary Drinks


filling up soda sugary drink for kid's meals

In October 2019, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed a new law that requires restaurants to make healthy drinks the default drink in kid's meals, over sugary sodas. Kid's meals now will offer a choice of water, nonfat/low-fat milk, or 100% juice. Sugary drinks are not banned. Instead, customers must specifically request them. “Ensuring that these healthy beverage options are available to families is a step in the right direction toward the health and well-being of our city’s children,” said City Council Member Blondell Reynolds Brown, who introduced the law, in a statement. Why Does Philadelphia Need Healthier Kid's Meals? About 66% of American children drink at least one sugary beverage a day. Sugary drink consumption contributes to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular ...

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California Passes Landmark Law: Statewide Rent Control, Eviction Protections


Latino minority family moving into affordable housing for health equity

More than most states, California is plagued by rising housing costs. Recently California lawmakers approved a statewide rent cap, covering millions of tenants, the biggest step yet in a surge of initiatives to address an affordable-housing in the state. California’s housing activists won a major victory in mid-September when the state legislature passed, and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Oct. 8, 2019. The New Housing Law The new law is also know as Assembly Bill 1482. The key features of the new law are: The new law will limit annual rent hikes to 5% plus the regional cost-of-living increase, or a maximum of 10% per year. Tenants will also receive eviction protections after living in an apartment for a year, meaning they cannot be ousted without a reason such as ...

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New York City Bans Soda as Default Drink in Kid’s Meals


soda girl drinking sugary drink kid's meal

How bad is sugary soda for your kid? In New York City (29% Latino), an 8-year-old would need to walk 70 minutes from City Hall to Times Square to burn off the 9 teaspoons of sugar in a kid's meal soda. That's why city leaders are making water, milk, and 100% juice the “default beverages” on kid’s menus, thanks to a new law to reduce childhood obesity in an area where 1 in 4 toddlers and preschoolers have at least one sugary drink a day. New York's City's law goes into effect May 1, 2020. “Sugary beverages contain no nutrients that children need, and they are disproportionally marketed to children in low income neighborhoods and communities of color,” said Dr. Judith A. Salerno of the New York Academy of Medicine, in a statement. “We believe that every child should ...

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