New research review, video and infographic show how health food financing initiatives can help address Latino childhood obesity
SAN ANTONIO (June 13, 2013) — Latino neighborhoods tend to have more fast-food restaurants and snack vendors than supermarkets and farmers’ markets, meaning many Latino families do not have access to affordable foods needed for healthy diets.
However, policies that introduce supermarkets or farmers’ markets in Latino communities, expand healthy offerings in places like bodegas (small grocers), or reduce costs of healthy foods can improve Latino families’ access to and purchase of healthier foods, according to a new package of research materials from Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children.
The new Salud America! “Better Food in the Neighborhood” research materials start off with an in-depth review of the latest science on the U.S. Latino food environment and policy implications based on that research.
The full package of materials also includes an original animated video and infographic.
The package highlights how “healthy food financing initiatives” – tax credits, zoning incentives, funding, technical assistance, or equipment – can spur supermarkets and farmers’ markets to locate in underserved areas.
In addition, several government financing initiatives encourage corner stores to expand their offerings of healthy affordable foods. Other financing initiatives include food subsidies to expand demand and purchasing power for healthy foods by low-income consumers.
“Adding supermarkets in Latino neighborhoods – which expands the availability of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, low-fat milk, etc. – improved youths’ body weight outcomes,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America!, based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Salud America! is a national network of stakeholders seeking environmental and policy solutions to Latino obesity.
The research package is the second of six new research material packages by Salud America!, each of which focuses on a specific topic on Latino childhood obesity: healthier school snacks;
• better food in the neighborhood;
• active play;
• active spaces;
• healthier marketing; and
• sugary drinks
Each topic’s package contains: a research review, an assessment of all available scientific evidence on the topic; an issue brief, a short summary of the research review; an animated video narrated by Latino children; and an infographic, a visual summary of the topic.
The packages will be released every few weeks over the summer.
“We believe researchers, decision-makers, community leaders, school officials, parents and even children can use these research materials to learn about the problems related to Latino childhood obesity, and what can be done about them,” Dr. Ramirez said.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $231 million in fiscal year 2011. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.
Salud America! is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Founded in 2007, the program aims to educate and support researchers, decision-makers, community leaders, and the public in contributing toward healthier Latino communities and seeking environmental and policy solutions to the epidemic of Latino childhood obesity. The network is directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. For more information, visit www.salud-america.org.
The Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio investigates the causes and solutions to the unequal impact of cancer and chronic disease among certain populations, including Latinos, in South Texas and the nation. The IHPR, founded in 2006, uses evidence-guided research, training and community outreach to improve the health of those at a disadvantage due to race/ethnicity or social determinants. Visit the IHPR online at http://ihpr.uthscsa.edu. Please visit our blog or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube @SaludToday.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.