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Study: Sugary Drink Taxes Linked to Decreased Obesity in Seattle

soda tax sugary drink tax shopper latina woman grocery store

Over the last several years, cities across the US have taxed sugary drinks to reduce the consumption of these beverages and prioritize the health of their communities.   In 2018, Seattle joined this wave of cities in placing a tax on sugary drinks.   At 1.75 cents per ounce, the tax was created to disincentivize the consumption and purchase of sugary drinks and improve community health.   But did it work?  A recent study published on the JAMA Network sought to answer this very question by comparing the health of children within the taxable area to those in neighboring areas.  This is what they found.  Sugary Drink Tax Studies  Studying the relationship between the sugary drink tax and health is nothing new.  In fact, previous studies on taxes have pointed to a ...

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Explore Your Mental Health with the All of Us Research Program

One in four U.S. adults were living with a mental health condition as of last year — that’s nearly 60 million people, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  Many questions remain about the rise of mental health issues.   That's why the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program has taken a special interest in mental health.  As part of the program’s mission to collect the health data of over 1 million Americans, the All of Us Research Program is learning more about the mental health backgrounds of participants, which could advance mental health research.   When signing up for the program, participants fill out mental health surveys.   Through these surveys researchers can study early mental illness risk ...

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Study Offers Free Telehealth Therapy for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers

Often, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers put the needs of the person they are caring for above their own — neglecting their physical, emotional, and mental health in the process.   While seen as a selfless act, when left unchecked, it can lead to depression.   That’s why researchers at Texas Tech University are giving informal caregivers caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s and dementia an opportunity to reduce their stress levels by offering free telehealth therapy.   As part of the research study, eligible participants will meet once a week for 12-16 sessions with a therapist and fill out questionnaires and surveys before, during, and after therapy.   These surveys are spaced out and only take 30 to 45 minutes to complete online, by mail, or over the ...

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Study: Latinos Suffered Big Losses in Health Coverage, Care Amid COVID-19

Racial/ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage and healthcare access worsened during the pandemic, according to a new study in the journal Geospatial Health.  The study found Latinos and African Americans were the most affected populations.     “Our results suggest that loss of insurance coverage and reduced access to health services deepened inequities in an already uneven healthcare landscape, particularly for African American and Hispanic/Latino populations,” according to the study researchers.  Let’s dive into what the data found and what this means for Latinos.   How Did COVID-19 Impact Healthcare for Latinos?  Study researchers – from CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public ...

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Help South Texas Researchers Learn More About Sleep Disturbance

Do you get the recommended 7-10 hours of sleep a night?   Insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality contribute to the development and management of many health issues, from diabetes to heart disease, according to the CDC.   Researchers at UT Health San Antonio and their partners are studying sleep disturbances among blood cancer patients and comparing effectiveness of two wellness-based mobile apps to help improve sleep.   The Reducing Sleep disTurbance in Cancer (REST-C) study, also called the Heme Study, is a clinical trial that is currently recruiting adults diagnosed with blood cancer and experiencing sleep disturbance. A clinical trial is a study that helps researchers learn more about how different treatments and interventions can be used to help slow, manage, and ...

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Giving Birth in Cars: The Reality of Rural America’s Maternal Health Crisis

maternal healthcare struggles

Implications of the lack of quality maternal healthcare in the United States are well documented. Pre-term birth rates are rising, maternal mental health is suffering, and maternal mortality remains high, especially in women of color. Women living in rural areas are hit even harder by these implications, as indicated by a new March of Dimes report on maternity care deserts. Let’s explore just how much living in a rural area matters when it comes to maternal health, and how we can work to improve maternity care in underserved rural areas. Maternity Care Deserts in Rural Texas Counties Maternity care deserts make up 36% of all US counties, according a 2022 March of Dimes report. These maternity care deserts contribute to the US having the highest maternal mortality rate ...

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Clinical Trials Bring Researchers Closer to Long COVID Treatments

long covid

Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks after COVID-19 infection. But some people, including many Latinos, develop long COVID. Long COVID remains an unresolved threat to the health of Latinos and all people. While health experts don’t yet fully understand long COVID symptoms and risk factors, progress is being made regarding treatment. Let’s learn more about how researchers are working to find the most effective therapies for long COVID through research studies and clinical trials. Relieving the Burden of Long COVID Symptoms The National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the RECOVER research study in 2021 to learn why some people experience long COVID or develop new or returning symptoms after COVID-19 infection. Now, based on ...

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DIY Testing Kits for HPV Could Help Reduce Cancer Disparities Among Latinas

DIY HPV testing

Latinas suffer a high burden of cervical cancer, which is often caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). In fact, Latinas have the second-highest rate of dying from cervical cancer after Black women, according to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Cervical cancer screening – commonly referred to as a Pap smear – can help reduce this disease burden. However, Latinas and other women of color face numerous barriers to cervical cancer screening, such as lack of health insurance and fear of cervical exams, which can be uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing. Enter University of North Carolina researchers Jennifer S. Smith and Noel T. Brewer. The duo are part of the research team behind the My Body, My Test 3 clinical trial, which explored the ...

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Latino Adults More Likely Than Others to Skip Medication Due to Cost

skip medications due to cost

Times are financially tough for many families, especially low-income Latinos. To save money, many people are cutting costs on non-essentials, like eating out, entertainment, and more. But some people are cutting costs on items that are normally considered essential, like prescription medications, according to a recent US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report. Let’s explore what adults are most likely to skip taking medications to save money, the consequences of this behavior, and how leaders are working to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Groups Most Affected by Drug Costs Unfortunately, groups most likely to skip medication to save money are those who are already vulnerable to health disparities, according to the CDC report. These groups ...

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