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McDonald’s to Scrap Cheeseburgers from Happy Meals

McDonald's via istock

McDonald’s is removing cheeseburgers, shrinking French fry portions, and making chocolate milk less sugary in U.S. Happy Meals, in an effort to make its children's food more healthy, Reuters reports. The food company, first the first time, will set global limits for calories, sodium, saturated fat and added sugar in Happy Meals. The new standards will be implemented by June 2018. This is certainly a positive step. But it also begs the question: Can a Happy Meal really ever be healthy? This is an especially important question for Latino families. They tend to live in neighborhoods where fast food restaurants far outrank options for health food, according to a Salud America! research review. "Taken together, the changes do not transform burgers or chicken nuggets into ...

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Project Helps Doctors Understand Patients’ Life Issues

Latino families are often lack economic support and healthcare they need, which jeopardizes their kids' academic, social, and physical development, according to Salud America! research. But two San Antonio organizations may have the solution. Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas is giving $175,000 to HASA—the health information exchange for San Antonio and other parts of the state—to expand their services by adding socioeconomic factors like housing, access to healthy food, and more social issues to patient's medical records, according to the San Antonio Business Journal. What does that mean? It means that healthcare providers will get a better look at a patients' health history, including clinical, social and behavioral risk. This will arm doctors with ...

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Latinos Are the Secret to Boosting Graduation Rates

Hispanic Student And Family Celebrating Graduation

Oregon's high-school graduation rate was shockingly low—72%—just a few years ago. But after the state hired its first ever "education innovation officer" and schools started finding unique ways to help Latino students graduate on time, the graduation rate rose 77% in 2017. "We try to remove barriers on the pathways students want to follow to make it as equitable as possible," Martha Guise, principal of Century High in Hillsboro, where the overall graduation rate soared partly due to improvements for Latinos, told the Oregononian. "We are getting better." Latinos and the Graduation Quandary The good news is that Latino high-school graduation rates reached an all-time high of 77.8% in the United States in 2015, buoyed by federal programs like the Every Student Succeeds Act, ...

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New Spanish-Language Sleep Program Improves Health

Do you get enough sleep? If not, your lack of shut-eye could be harming your health. In fact, for Latinos, lack of sleep contributes to heart attacks, obesity, and other big health issues. That’s where the “Los trastornos del sueño y la promoción del sueño saludable” (the sleep disorders and the promotion of a healthy sleep) program comes in. Los trastornos del sueño trains community health workers, called promotores, to teach people about the importance of sleep. The program's 600 promotores—300 in the U.S. and 300 in Mexico—teams up with nurses and clinicians to deliver bilingual and culturally relevant education to improve sleep habits. This helps reduce health care needs for sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome. Now they've won an ...

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7 Big Childcare Changes that Are Making Kids Healthier

school food

Childcare centers are serving healthier food and pushing more physical activity than they did five years ago. But it's less clear that these changes are promoting health equity for Latinos and other minority children, according to a new report. The report, Early Care and Education Policies and Programs to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Best Practices and Changes Over Time, reviews policy and system changes in food service, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education (ECE) settings from 2011 to 2016. ECE settings include childcare centers, day care homes, Head Start programs, and preschools. The report was led by Healthy Eating Research. "The early childhood years are critical to the prevention of obesity," according to the report. "The role of ...

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Free Workshops Help Latino Immigrants Interact with Police

rural organizing project in oregon

"Know Your Role." "Know Your Rights." These are the two key phrases being taught to Oregon Latino immigrants in new free workshops, which offer bilingual help on interacting with police and understanding one’s rights whether they are documented or undocumented. The workshops, led by the Rural Organizing Project in Oregon (11% Latino), help Latinos integrate in the community and build resiliency. "Oregon has become our home, and as such, we need to learn how to protect it, starting with ourselves and our own families," according to a blog post by Jessica Campbell of the organization. "Let’s not allow fear to break us! We are resilient people that made the heartbreaking choice of leaving our home countries behind, searching for opportunities to rebuild ourselves and our ...

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San Antonio Steps Up to Help Babies, Prevent SIDS

No parent should have to face the sheer agony of losing a baby. But it happened to Servando Salinas and Roxanne Alvarez. The San Antonio parents recently spent time at a relative's house. So Salinas and Alvarez had their eight-month-old daughter, Heaven, sleep in bed with them. When Salinas woke up, he noticed Heaven was not breathing. They called EMS, but the baby was pronounced dead at the scene, according to FOX-29. “I couldn't move. I couldn't stand. I was crying so much,” Salinas told Fox-29. Sadly, in two San Antonio zip codes—mostly Latino 78203 and 78220—Latina mothers have the highest infant death rates in the state, says a UT System study. That's why we are glad to see that San Antonio leaders, health advocates, parents, and groups are stepping up to ...

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Could You Cover a $1,000 Emergency?

latino man contruction worker falling off ladder

Life happens. Would you be able to come up with $1,000 for an emergency like a car wreck, a broken arm, or a busted air conditioner? Sadly, 61% of Latino and all Americans say they could not pay for an unplanned emergency expense, according to a report by financial site Bankrate. “Even though unemployment is down and there's been a recent uptick in wages, we aren't seeing the needle move savings,” said Greg McBride of Bankrate told CNN Money. Unexpected bills and expenses aren’t uncommon. More than 30% of all U.S. households had at least one unplanned expense in 2017. But most Americans don’t have an ability to cover it. Almost one in five Americans said they would put the expense on a credit card, Bankrate reports. This usually makes the expense even higher in ...

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Salud America! Urges USDA to Keep School Nutrition Strong

Latina girl drinks milk at cafeteria free school meals

More than 700 Salud America! members and thousands of other people and groups across the nation submitted formal public comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to oppose its proposal to weaken school nutrition standards! Way to go, Salud America! family! These comments urge the USDA to reconsider its proposal, announced Nov. 29, 2017, to allow schools to serve of refined grains over whole grains, flavored milk, and higher levels of salt in meals. The USDA has not announced any action since the end of the public comment period on Jan. 29, 2018. Still, there now is hope for the many Latino kids who depend on school lunch for a healthy meal, thanks to members of the Salud America! network and others who took action! The Salud America! Response The USDA proposal ...

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