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CANFIT Empowers Youth to Become Advocates for Healthy Change



What would happen if a group of teenage advocates came before policy makers to express concern about their community's health? Could this lead to safer streets, healthier food in schools, and more green space? CANFIT has trained and equipped directors of youth programs and young advocates, with the tools and knowledge they need to bring healthy changes to their community. Learn what youth in Santa Ana found when they conducted their own assessment of the environment. Young advocates received an award for their submission "What We See in Santa Ana" to the MO Project video contest. This video demonstrates many of the environmental factors which contribute to Latino childhood obesity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56RZzre0H3Y&list=UUN-aTdEpagQnFhVACxdnhcA Visit the resource CANFIT ...

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Cities in California’s Imperial Valley Want More Farmers’ Markets with SNAP Capabilities



El Centro's eastside is considered a food desert, having limited access to fresh food close by. Farmers' markets in Imperial Valley are hoping to eliminate this problem. One farmers' market on the eastside, run by Neighborhood House of Calexico, is also the first and only in the Valley that allows patrons to use Electronic Benefit Transfer debit cards. The cards are issued to low-income residents who qualify for government assistance (SNAP), previously known as food stamps. Residents and farmers in Imperial Valley hope to see other cities and towns accepting SNAP at their farmers' markets. The city of Holtville is considering implementing the use of EBT cards at their recently launched farmers markets. Any decision to do so would ultimately have to be approved by the city council, said ...

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A Program to Establish Grants for Childhood Health in Texas



Latino children face a high risk of being overweight. In order to curve this situation, programs to promote increased physical activity among children are important. To address this issue Texas House Rep. Richard P. Raymond (D-Laredo) introduced a bill (H.B. 128), during the 2013 Texas Legislative session, to authorize grants for childhood health programs. Grants would be applied towards programs related to childhood health, fitness, and obesity prevention.   Read the full text of H.B. 128, which would establish a Childhood Health Program Grant. Visit the Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living to learn about other obesity related bills that were authored during the 2013 Texas Legislative Session.   Update: This bill failed to pass and has been referred to ...

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CicLAvia: An Open Streets Event Aimed at Turning Los Angeles Into a Bike Friendly Community



Events like Los Angeles' CicLAvia help promote the idea that roads not only belong to motorists, but to cyclists and pedestrians as well. The first CicLAvia in 2010 attracted 60,000 children and adults of all walks of life and now CicLAvia has become a yearly event in Los Angeles. CicLAvia has helped create a safe, bike friendly, environment for both children and adults. Watch "Viva CicLAvia!" the bilingual video from Streetfilms, to learn about CicLAvia and other open streets events. Hear what CicLAvia participants had to ...

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An Amendment to Colorado’s Constitution Creates More Opportunities for Active Transportation



State restrictions on transportation funds can limit opportunities to create sidewalks and bike lanes. According to a DCStreetsblog.org blog post, 22 state constitutions (Colorado included) allowed gas tax revenues and vehicle registration fees to be used only towards the development of highways and bridges. Recently, advocates in Colorado found a way to modify this law, so that at least 15% of funds are made available for sidewalks, bus ways, and bike lanes. Now, thanks to the work of these transit and environmental advocates, $250 million of the state's revenue will be available for walking, biking, and transit projects. Advocates worked with local government officials and came up with a solution that state lawmakers would be willing to accept. The new policy is framed so that local ...

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Developing New Farmers’ Markets in New Mexico



New Mexico hoped to develop and promote more farmers' markets in the state with H.B. 100. State Rep. Don L. Tripp introduced the bill, and many food activists in New Mexico saw it as an opportunity to get more farmers' markets to underserved areas around the state, bringing healthier food along with them. On April 15, 2013, the bill was signed into ...

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Briscoe Elementary Gets an Afterschool Bus-to-Park Program



Students at Briscoe Elementary in Houston Texas are learning the meaning of what it is to live a healthy lifestyle. Thanks to the collaboration of Children and Neighbors Defeat Obesity (CAN DO) Houston, the city's parks and recreation department, and strong leadership from the school's principal, Mr. Juan Gonzalez, students are able to attend after school activities held at Mason Park. After school activities are provided free of charge by the parks and recreation department, but it wasn't until a CAN DO board member suggested the idea of transporting students to Mason Park, that the idea took off.   An Interview with Briscoe Elementary Principal Juan Gonzalez "Parents believed that they [children] would not be safe walking, so we came up with the idea of buses," Principal ...

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Arizona Nutrition & Physical Activity State Plan, Arizona



A five year comprehensive action plan to reduce chronic disease & obesity in Arizona, was endorsed in 2005, by former governor, Janet Napolitano. The plan notes the importance of "Nutrition and Physical Activity in the Physical Environment" as well as "Nutrition and Physical Activity in the Community." Objectives and strategies along with action steps for improving the built environment and increasing recreation time are described. Some examples of planned objectives for the state include: Educate and promote healthy design of Arizona communities Recommend that Arizona communities assess and plan for healthy designs or re-designs of urban and rural areas Integrate a culture of physical activity throughout Arizona communities Deliver a health marketing campaign about ...

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Banning Food Ads in Schools in Maine



Despite rules, regulations, and policies, junk food marketing can make it's way into schools. This issue became an problem in Maine when a study found that the marketing restrictions were not being completely followed. Maine's law prohibits "brand-specific advertising of certain unhealthy foods and beverages in schools," specifically foods that are not allowed to be sold in school. By doing this Maine hopes to keep unhealthy food or junk food brands out of sight of students, since they are already not allowed to purchase these foods during the school day. The foods not allowed to be served during the school day are considered "Foods of Minimum Nutritional Value," including soda, water ices, chewing gum, candies, and any food containing less than five percent of the Reference Daily ...

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