June 7, 2013 / Issue XV


Featured resources 

Wellnicity: Your Guide to Healthier Living in Houston

Jonathan Lack, Founder and President of Wellnicity and HLM Resource Panelist, recently launched the organization's website. Wellnicity.com is designed to be a "one-stop location for wellness news, local wellness event information, professional directories as well as evidenced-based health, medical, nutritional and fitness content." More information can be found on the Wellnicity home page. Visitors can enter their email address at the top of the home page to subscribe to the newsletter.
Salud America!
Research Packages

This summer, Salud America! will release research packages for six topics of potential change to reduce and prevent Latino childhood obesity: Healthier School Snacks, Active Spaces, Better Food in the Neighborhood, Active Play, Healthier Marketing, and Sugary Drinks.

Click the links to view research already released for Healthier School Snacks, including a Research Review, Issue Brief, Infographic, and Video.

Webinar: Progress and Opportunities in Wellness Policy Provisions


This webinar will:

  1. Highlight progress and opportunities relative to wellness policies nationwide based on the most recent data compiled by the Bridging the Gap Research program,
  2. Present new data on reporting requirements included in the wellness policies, and
  3. Discuss the relevance of the wellness policies to forthcoming rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and roles that district and school level officials can play vis-�-vis the federal rulemaking process.
Register here for the webinar, held from 2-3:30pm on June 11, 2013.    
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HLM Collaborative Meeting

Panel Discussion: Financing Policy Decisions
July 16, 2013, 1:00pm

Scroll to bottom of this page or visit our website for upcoming events!


4th Annual Salud America! Summit held in San Antonio May 15-17

San Antonio Mayor Juli�n Castro and New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz gave keynote speeches urging local leaders and national stakeholders to work together to reduce childhood obesity in the Latino community. Other speakers covered diverse topics ranging from marketing to community engagement. The conference focused on the importance of understanding Hispanic cultural perceptions of food, health and nutrition in order to successfully market healthy living and inspire behavior changes. 

Multiple speakers asked that summit attendees realize that access to education and poverty are public health issues and can be related to obesity.  They reminded attendees to pursue a comprehensive, multi-layered approach to obesity intervention and prevention.  George Flores with the California Endowment, asked people to dream big and envision a Health Peace Corp/AmeriCorp where youth could work through college as long as they engaged in public health activities.  Other guest speakers included Eduardo Sanchez, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, American Heart Association; Monica Hobbs, Project Director, YMCA; Kate Rogers, Vice President, Corporate Communication and Engagement, HEB; John Govea, Senior Program Officer, RWJF Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and many others.  

The conference modeled "movement in the workplace" by inserting movement throughout the day with standing ovations before and after every guest speaker, instant recess videos and tai-chi, yoga and walking tours.  More information on Salud America!   

Texas Obesity News

Young Houston leaders challenge obesity epidemic with fitness facility in Fifth Ward

After months of learning about different sectors of the city and the issues facing its populous,  Leadership Houston Class XXXI was tasked with turning out a project. It was the obesity statistics in Houston's Fifth Ward that propelled the city's young leaders into action.


"We had to come up with a project that impacts Houston in a positive way but also addresses a need in an underserved community," Dana Heatherton, opening ceremony coordinator for the organization, explained to CultureMap of the idea for LH Fit, a state-of-the-art outdoor fitness facility constructed at the McReynolds Middle School SPARK Park in Denver Harbor.  Full article  

Local elementary school encourages transportation

Briargrove Elementary School in west Houston is encouraging students and parents to make a conscious effort to walk, bike, or scoot to school every Friday.  The program has expanded from previous years and now includes bicycle safety training for participating students. Full article 

Houston Metro riders now eligible for free emergency taxi services

Houston's Metro will begin serving all transit users with its emergency back up program, expanding from only Park and Rider riders to local bus riders. The program provides an emergency back up for transit riders in the case of things like illness or unscheduled overtime, according to Metro:


A benefit that makes sharing a ride even better is the Emergency Ride/Guaranteed Ride Home program. The free service provides commuters a way home in the event of a midday emergency, up to three times per calendar year.Full article

Houston Heights Walmart developer says walkability issues may be addressed

Ainbinder, the developer of the Heights Walmart, told the City of Houston Public Works and Engineering Department that the "project is not finished and problems like the hydrant in the middle of the sidewalk will be addressed," according to Fox 26 News. Full article
National Obesity News

Obese youth more likely to use calorie information in fast food restaurants

A new CDC study, published online today in the Journal of Public Health, has found that of young people who visited fast food or chain restaurants in the U.S. in 2010, girls and youth who were obese were more likely to use calorie information (or menu labeling) given in the restaurants to inform their food choices.  Girls were 80% more likely to use calorie information when available than boys. Obese youth were 70% more likely to use calorie information when available than those who were at a healthy weight.

The study also found that young people who ate less frequently at fast food or chain restaurants (once a week or less) were 50% more likely to use the calorie information when available than young people who ate more frequently at these places (twice or more each week). Full article  

Obesity can be prevented by neighborhood features

Living in a neighborhood that supports a healthy lifestyle can make a measurable difference in preventing obesity, according to a longitudinal study recently published in the journal Obesity. The five-year study found that significantly fewer people became obese when living in neighborhoods with healthier food environments, compared to those who had fewer healthy food options within a mile of their homes.


Previous cross-sectional "snapshot" studies have shown that healthier, less-obese people are more likely to live in neighborhoods with supermarkets and access to fresh food, and to some extent in neighborhoods that are walkable. Full article  


The health toll of immigration


A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents. 

The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life. It also demonstrates that at least in terms of health, worries about assimilation for the country's 11 million illegal immigrants are mistaken. In fact, it is happening all too quickly.Full article     

Is USA finally kicking its sugar habit?

In the United States, children are eating far fewer sugary sweets than they did 15 years ago, according to data crunched exclusively for USA TODAY by the research specialist NPD Group. The numbers are eye-popping and the change - which is already impacting the country's biggest makers and sellers of all things sweet - appears irreversible because the decline is only accelerating.


The typical child ate or drank the 20 most common sugary sweets an average 126 times fewer last year than in 1998, reports NPD. That includes 62 fewer occasions of having carbonated soft drinks and 22 fewer times eating pre-sweetened cereals. Full article   

Upcoming Events


Movie: A Place at the Table
Friday, June 7, 7:00-9:00pm
14 Pews, 800 Aurora Street, Houston, TX 77009

Hip Hop for Health
Saturday, June 8, 11:00am-5:00pm
Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney, Houston, Texas 77010
More information

Webinar: Progress and Opportunities in Wellness Policy Provisions

Tuesday, June 11, 2:00-3:30pm CST 

Register here    


Houston Food Policy Workgroup 

Wednesday, June 12, 11:30-1:00pm  

Upper Kirby Bulding, Downstairs Conference Room 3015 Richmond Ave, Houston, Texas 77098  

More information   


7th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference  

June 18-20

Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA  

More information

Webinar: Implementing Equity in Health in All Policies and Health Impact Assessments: From Concept to Action
Wednesday, June 19, 11:30-1pm CST
Register here

National Healthy Worksite Program Roundtable Series: The Six Dimensions of Wellness
Wednesday, June 26, 10:00-11:00am
9250 Kirby Drive, Nerve Center Room, Houston, TX 77054

Email with any questions

Healthy Living Matters July Collaborative Meeting
Panel Discussion: Financing Policy Decisions
Tuesday, July 16, 1:00pm

Toral Sindha, RD, LD

Community/ Stakeholder Engagement Team Lead



Susan Lackey, MPH

Community/ Stakeholder Engagement Team Coordinator