|Texas and Southern New Mexico health officials and professionals will gather together to implement healthy eating and active living between the Latino/Hispanic communities along the U.S.-Mexico Border|
El Paso, TX, September 20, 2010 (PAHO/WHO) - Obesity and overweight are serious problems affecting the population living in the border. According to a recent U.S. Mexico Border Diabetes study, 70% of the participants were overweight or obese. Furthermore, it has been found that nationally these high rates are affecting Hispanic school age children where 44% of boys and 37 % of girls are overweight. Due to the high prevalence of overweight and obesity, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is implementing a national program named Healthy Kids, healthy Communities whose primary goal is to implement healthy eating and active living policy- and environmental-change initiatives that can support healthier communities for children and families across the United States. This initiative places special emphasis on reaching children who are at highest risk for obesity on the basis of race/ethnicity, income and/or geographic location.
Starting in 2010, 50 communities from across the country are now funded to support active living, nutritious eating and improve community neighborhoods into a model community. The model includes social, environmental, and physical improvements on the ground through policy level change. San Antonio, Texas; Houston, Texas; Grant County, NM; and El Paso, Texas are some of the 50 cities selected. El Paso, Texas is one who’s taking the initiative to invite the agencies and organizations from Texas and Southern New Mexico that are leading this program to participate in a 2 days workshop. It is expected that joining efforts with partner cities will be beneficial for the success of Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities project since all of them have the same goal of advocating for healthy eating and active living in Hispanic/Latino children and youth. This workshop will take place on:
The City of El Paso Chamizal Neighborhood Initiative has proposed to join effort with these grantee cities since the target population of these initiatives are similar due to the near geographically area. Based on this the main objectives of this workshop are the following:
About the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities grantee projects that will participate in this meeting
El Paso, Texas
The City of El Paso initiative is lead by the PAHO/WHO U.S.-Mexico Border Office. The purpose of this project is to complement and create synergy among all efforts supporting after-school and weekend activities for kids and youth, community based actions, and a mass media campaign to provide consistent information about healthy eating and active living. Deliverables include, advocating with federal, state and local authorities, policy and decision makers and community leaders, to invest in healthy public policies, evaluating environmental changes implemented in the community to increase physical activity and sports among school-age kids and youth, increasing community awareness and availability of healthy food choices and opportunities for active living and informing and involving community leaders and other key stakeholders of the consequence of childhood obesity.
The City of Houston is lead by the agency CAN DO Houston. The purpose of this project is to develop a supportive framework for creating environmental and policy change in collaboration with community members and networks of researchers, city-services, business partners, and educators. Deliverables include, conducting and reviewing assessment of an additional super neighborhood, providing support to existing CAN DO Houston neighborhoods, maintaining and developing new partnership and securing additional funding to increase ability to expand to more super neighborhoods.
San Antonio, Texas
The City of San Antonio, TX is lead by the agency San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. The purpose of this project is to conduct a community assessment evaluation, implement activities and to develop partnership, build capacity, and conduct collaborative planning and implement policy and environmental change interventions that support active living and healthy eating. Deliverables include, building a comprehensive community assessment to inform stakeholders of the needs of the target community, conducting the Nutrition Environmental Measure assessment to identify neighborhood- level access to healthy foods, expanding the partnership and engaging other community members to build technical capacity and community support and implementing the Complete Streets concept in the target area for new development and redevelopment projects.
Grant County, New Mexico
The City of Grant County is lead by the agency Gila Regional Medical center Foundation. This project will encourage healthy eating among low-income populations disproportionately affected by obesity and food insecurity through the development of local food systems and agriculture projects. Deliverables include the creation of a local Food Policy Council, addressing food system infrastructure and creating public-private partnership, food purchasing and storage agreement with grocery stores, businesses and food pantry. Active living will be promoted through the development of environmental supports relevant to everyday living including complete streets, safe play spaces and trails connecting rural communities. Cooperative partnership with local government will be expanded in order to ensure community voice and foster long-term sustainability of policy and environmental change.
For more information please contact: Lorely Ambriz, M.S.I.S, Knowledge Management & Communication Advisor.
.| Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / A Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) United States-Mexico Border Office: 5400 Suncrest Dr. Ste. C-4 El Paso, TX 79912. Office (915) 845-5950 Ext. 2523 / Cel (915) 449-3040 / Fax (915) 845-4361.