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Health Misinformation is an Urgent Threat to Public Health, Says U.S. Surgeon General


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Today, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued his first public advisory of the Biden Administration to warn Americans about health misinformation. Health misinformation is threatening U.S. response to COVID-19, preventing Americans from getting vaccinated, and prolonging the pandemic. Misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines also often targets Latino and Black communities, which have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and have low rates of vaccine uptake. "Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic," Murthy said in a press release about the advisory. "My job is to help people stay safe and healthy, and without ...

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9 of 10 SNAP Participants Face Healthy Eating Barriers


SNAP Healthy Eating Barriers

Millions of Americans rely on social programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to put food on their tables. These individuals, many of whom are Latino or other people of color, still face barriers in accessing nutritious food. In fact, a recent USDA study showed that nine in 10 SNAP recipients have difficulty purchasing healthy, nutritious food. Facts like these are fueling calls from experts and advocates for “nutrition security,” a new outlook on the kinds of food that are accessible for all families, according to Cassie Ramos, a policy associate at Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Lack of access to nutritious diets is a major challenge for people with low incomes in the United States,” Ramos writes in an Op-Ed in The Hill. ...

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A New Normal: Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive


A New Normal: Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive

As America reopens cautiously and as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, the National Urban League is exploring what a “new normal” really means. Why? Because the pandemic worsened deep-rooted inequities and pre-existing health disparities, causing Black, Latino, and other people of color to suffer high burdens of sickness and death. So they reached out to public health professionals, civil rights leaders, elected officials, and community advocates to hear their visions for a new normal for their 45th annual State of Black America® report on racial equity in America. The new report contains 23 essays urging a new normal that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We are excited to announce that Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San ...

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What Latino Parents Should Know about the New Child Tax Credit


What Latino Parents Should Know about the New Child Tax Credit

This week, millions of working families in the U.S. will receive the first payment from the expanded child tax credit implemented by the Biden Administration. “The Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever – and most families will automatically receive monthly payments without having to take any action,” according to the White House website. Although the IRS and banks have been prepping for the credit for months, there is still some confusion on what the tax credit is and who qualifies for it. Here’s what Latino parents need to know about the new child tax credit that will be deposited on July 15, 2021. What is the child tax credit? In March 2021, President Biden signed ...

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Younger Latinos More Likely to Discuss Racism & Discrimination


Younger Latinos More Likely to Discuss Racism & Discrimination

Younger generations of Latinos are more likely than their immigrant parents to talk about issues like racism and discrimination, particularly when it comes to discrimination against Black people. “Most of our societies are fundamentally racist against darker people,” said political science professor Eduardo Gamarra, according to Carmen Sesin and Cora Cervante of NBC Latino. Generation Z, typically defined as those born between 1997 and 2015, may be more willing to confront their immigrant parents about racism because they are more racially diverse than past generations and active in social justice movements. Let’s examine how Latino youth compare to older generations, some characteristics of Generation Z, and the implications for how Latinos can tackle discrimination and ...

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Latinos Spend $7,167 a Year Caring for Aging Loved Ones


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Latinos spend $7,167 a year caring for aging loved ones, says an AARP survey. While this is actually less than what Whites caregivers spend out of pocket a year ($7,300), the financial strain is greater because it represents almost half the income of Latino caregivers, according to the report. Currently, over 48 million Americans provide unpaid care to an adult family member or friend who has a physical health condition or a mental health issue like Alzheimer's and dementia. Most caregivers say they use their own money to look after their loved ones, like rent or mortgage payments, home modifications like wheelchair ramps, and medical costs. "About half of caregivers say they have experienced financial setbacks. This may mean they have had to curtail their spending, dip into ...

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Study: Community Environments Impact Individual Health


Community Environments Individual Health

Neighborhoods with large populations of people of color also have high rates of chronic disease, less access to healthy foods, and other systemic injustices. These factors can lead to worse health outcomes. For example, take South Texas. Researchers here have linked neighborhood characteristics to worse physical and mental health outcomes in this largely Latino, rural region, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion. “Several neighborhood environment variables were significantly associated with mental health, [physical activity], and C-reactive protein, though estimates were small,” according to study researchers from UT Health Science Center at Houston, UT Southwestern, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and UTHealth School of Public Health. The ...

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Data: Latino Youth Struggled with Mental Health in 2020


Caring mother hugging, comforting depressed upset teenage daughter

2020 was a difficult year for many reasons. The combination of a deadly pandemic, a racial reckoning about police violence, and economic hardships have placed a heavy toll on many families. New research from America’s Promise Alliance and Research for Action shows how 2020 hurt high schoolers and their ability to thrive in school. They found that Latino youth were among the most impacted by the disruptions of 2020. “Young people are stressed and their mental health is suffering—with disproportionate impacts on young women and nonbinary youth, Latinx students, and youth experiencing food insecurity,” according to the report. Let’s examine how COVID-19 and the resurgence in racial justice activism have impacted high schoolers and the implications for Latino youth ...

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Study: Alzheimer’s and Dementia Have a Different Impact on Latinos


Adult Daughter Comforting Father Suffering With Dementia

We know Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than whites. Now a new study shows that Latinos experience slightly different signs and symptoms of dementia, with more depression and anxiety and a faster rate of functional decline than Blacks or non-Hispanic Whites, AARP reports. Anxiety and depression are risk factors for dementia. Studies have suggested anxiety and depression can cause early manifestations of abnormal protein accumulations in the brain — amyloid and tau — which lead to dementia. In the new study of 5,000 people, researchers found more anxiety among Latinos (25.6 %) than Blacks (16.3 %) or Whites (11.3 %). "We need to do a better job of making mental health services accessible for these groups, with culturally ...

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