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Salud, Salud!

young girl exercisingSalud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children has received a one-year, $1.5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help Latino children grow up healthy.

The grant will help develop culturally tailored educational content and tools that can empower people to work for policy changes on behalf of Latino children.

Salud America!, established in 2007 and based at UT Health San Antonio, has a national online network of 100,000 parents, school and academic personnel, and community leaders who support its mission of promoting a healthy weight for Latino children by communicating good health and encouraging healthy changes in schools and communities.

The new funding will allow Salud America! to expand its network and engage members with enhanced educational content—multimedia role model stories, social media events, online resources, digital action campaigns and marketing—geared toward healthy change. In addition to reducing Latino childhood obesity, Salud America! will expand its work to improve Latino family support, mental health and early childhood development.

“We are excited by the [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s] ongoing support, and are excited to continue to push the boundaries of communication to empower Latino leaders and families toward developing healthy children with a healthy weight,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., director of Salud America!

More than 38 percent of Latino children ages 2-19 are overweight or obese, compared to 28.5 percent of white youth and 35.2 percent of black youth. Latino children also face barriers in access to healthy foods and drinks, physical activity, social services, mental health care and proper early childhood development.

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