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What is Implicit Bias and Why Should You Care?



Most people think they have no bias toward other people. But we all have preconceived notions or stereotypes that—beyond our control—affect our understanding, actions, and decisions about others. This is what experts call "implicit bias." Implicit bias can be good or bad. Either way, preference has enormous implications for the health of Latinos and all communities in our society. What Is Implicit Bias? Implicit bias is defined as the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions unconsciously, according to the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. This kind of bias happens when stereotypes influence your brain processing. Studies show that your mind decides up to 10 seconds before you realize ...

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6 Emerging Ways Cities Can Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis


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Demand for affordable housing is high, but supply is down in many U.S. cities. More than 11 million renters and 8 million homeowners spend more than half their income on housing; this results in extreme cost burdens and jeopardizes individual health, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. “A lack of federal action and cash-strapped state and local budgets have contributed to the affordable housing crisis,” writes Teresa Wiltz for Pew Trusts. “Citizens are showing up at town halls and city council meetings demanding action.” Cities must find a way to boost affordable housing, but how can they make a difference? Here are six solutions to help improve affordable housing: 1. Create Affordable Housing Trusts. Housing trust funds are ...

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Stories Spurring on Systemic Shifts: Salud America!’s 10-Year, Steadfast Strive


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Latinos on the U.S.-Mexico border struggle with debilitating illnesses for years, but often lack proper healthcare because of socioeconomic, accessibility, or other inequalities. Dr. Amelie Ramirez grew up seeing these disparities in South Texas. She was driving to pursue a public health education and tirelessly toil to establish projects that assist the underprivileged. Perhaps Ramirez’s most innovative project, Salud America! has worked since 2007 to create a wide-reaching library of resources and actions, which greatly impact the personal and public health mindset of advocates, schools, and policymakers. Salud America! content is vital to advance the well-being of Latinos, Ramirez said. “The health inequities Latinos face was then, and continues to be, something to ...

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Why 2 Latino Cities Rank as the Least Healthy in U.S.



Two Texas cities—Laredo (95.4% Latino) and Brownsville (93.9% Latino)—rank as the least healthy U.S. cities, according to the 2019 Healthiest & Unhealthiest Cities in America by WalletHub. The ranking scores 174 large cities based on 42 health indicators. They look at cost of medical visits, and the number of dieticians and mental health counselors. They also factor in the amount of green space, trails, and healthy restaurants. Healthy food consumption and physical activity also has weight. "Some places promote wellness by expanding access to nutritious food and recreational facilities. Others strive to keep healthcare costs affordable for everyone or keep parks clean and well-maintained," according to WalletHub. "When a city doesn’t take care of these issues, it can ...

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Dust: The Tiny Cause of Big Weight Gain in Kids?


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Dust buildup in the home can lead to allergy issues and asthma attacks — now researchers are saying it can also lead to weight gain in children. A new study links over 100 chemicals found in dust to fat cell generation and development, or endocrine disrupters. This kind of linkage is uncharted territory, said Christopher Kassotis, research team lead and post-doctoral research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, in a news release. "This is some of the first research investigating links between exposure to chemical mixtures present in the indoor environment and metabolic health of children living in those homes," Kassotis said. Latinos, who face chemical exposure at work and in the air they breathe, can also be subject to these adverse substances ...

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The Sad Reason More Latino Kids Don’t Participate in School Sports, Activities



Nearly 21% of Latino parents said their middle- and high-school children would not participate in any school activities in 2018-19, a higher rate than parents overall (18%), according to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan. These kids miss the boost in educational achievement and personal development that stem from school extracurricular activities, from sports to student council. So why aren't more kids participating? The Biggest Reason: Cost Most middle- and high-schoolers will participate in at least one school activity in 2018-19. This includes 52% in sports, 43% in arts, and 51% in clubs/other, according to the poll. But cost is the biggest reason keeping other kids from participating. Many school ...

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Latinos Breathe More Unclean Air Because of White Consumption


unclean air pollution

It is a proven fact that people of color inhale more hazardous pollution than whites. Worse, the consumption of products that cause unclean air is coming from the community least affected by this kind of pollution — whites, according to recent research. Latinos, the group most impacted, will breathe 63% more contaminated air than what their consumption produces. “Even though minorities are contributing less to the overall problem of air pollution, they are affected by it more,” Jason Hill,  study co-author, University of Minnesota engineering professor, and who is also white, told USA Today. “Is it fair [that] I create more pollution, and somebody else is disproportionately affected by it?” Air quality detrimentally affects Latinos in childhood diabetes, lung ...

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5 Pediatrician-Approved Policies to Limit Kids’ Sugary Drinks (Including Soda Taxes)


Latino toddler kid with sugury drink obesity

In a joint policy statement today, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) endorsed five public health measures—including excise taxes—to reduce kids’ consumption of sugary drinks. The statement appears in the April 2019 issue of Pediatrics. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children and teens consume fewer than 10% of calories from added sugars. But data show that they now consume 17% of their calories from added sugars—half of which come from sports drinks, fruit-flavored drinks and sodas. Latino children consume more sugary drinks than their peers. "On average, children are consuming over 30 gallons of sugary drinks every year. This is enough to fill a bathtub, and it doesn’t even include added sugars ...

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Racial Bias Still Infects the Doctor’s Office


doctor bias

In medical school, physicians are trained to exclude their own personal upbringings, and that of their patients, from clinical decisions. That doesn't always happen in reality. In fact, doctors are often susceptible to their unconscious bias, research shows. Unconscious bias, also known as "implicit bias," happens when automatic processing is influenced by stereotypes. These stereotypes then impact your actions and judgments. Doctors & Implicit Bias Many studies have shown that physicians—especially white physicians—have implicit preferences for white patients. Implicit bias can lead to false assumptions and adverse health outcomes. For example: Implicit bias is a major reason why Latino men are much less likely to receive optimal treatment for high-risk ...

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