Banner: Healthier Schools

Healthy school environments are paramount for the proper development of Latino children, given the rising percentage of Latino students enrolled in public schools and the higher rates of obesity among Latino children than other racial/ethnic groups.

How can healthy schools be the norm for Latinos?

Implementing and enforcing stronger nutrition standards for competitive foods and beverages will help all students have access to healthier snacks at school, which may positively influence body mass index (BMI) trends for all populations, especially those at greatest risk of being overweight or obese.

Because Latino students engage in less physical activity both in and out of school than their peers, implementing programs that reduce barriers may increase active play opportunities for Latino kids.

Moreover, regulation of the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children will help positively influence the quality of their diets.

Download Our New 2016 Healthier Schools Research Review, Issue Brief, and Infographics!

Research Review
Infographic: Physical Activity

Healthier Schools: What‘s New?

See SA! Changes SA! Resources Salud Heroes in this topic.

SA! Change LA Supports No More McTeachers Nights for LA Schools!

Los Angeles, California

A healthy movement is growing in Los Angeles (48.5% % Latino) where schools are saying no to the unhealthy marketing of McTeachers nights. This week of May 12th, 2015, schools are being asked to vote on nutrition and fundraising policies, including voting on policies around food marketing for local wellness school policies. The United States … Read more

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SA! Resource Become A School Wellness Hero is asking mom’s to become school wellness heroes to help make sure physical education and healthy foods are a part of school wellness policies. Kids spend most of their day at school, eating most of their calories and expending most of their energy at school, so it is vital for the school environment to … Read more

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SA! Change Maryland Partnerships Help Health For Afterschool Wellness


“MOST”, Maryland Out of School Time Network’s (MOST) Healthy Behaviors Initiative (HBI) has worked to help promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards since 2013. Today MOST uses VISTA volunteers as afterschool professionals to support 30 programs across the state today. The programs’ work is guided by the Alliance’s Healthy Out of School Time Framework and … Read more

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SA! Resource New White Paper on Health, Behavioral Design, and the Built Environment

Latino health physical activity behavioral design

Food and physical activity are both continuous and cumulative habits. Small changes every day can drastically improve your health and quality of life. However, the built world, whether intentional or not, influences the human experience. Many people live and work in places that impede or reduce physical activity and sell or promote unhealthy food. The National … Read more

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SA! Change New Policy Would Bring Food Pantries to Texas Schools


Overall Latinos are disproportionately affected by poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment compared to their white peers. According to Feeding America, Latinos are also more likely to receive emergency food assistance than their White, non-Hispanic peers and less likely to receive SNAP benefits and are Latinos are more than twice as likely to be food insecure … Read more

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Salud Hero Video Projects Influence Student Health

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Film is a creative, impactful way to tell a story—especially when it deals with real-world problems and solutions. In Las Cruces, New Mexico (67.1% Latino), school dietician Barbara Berger saw the need to increase eating well and physical activity among students. Berger and others worked to get funding to enable students to make creative videos … Read more

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SA! Resource #WellnessWins Campaign Launches!

The #WellnessWins campaign celebrates the importance of strong wellness policies and the great strides districts are already making nationwide! The #WellnessWins campaign celebrates district wellness success and inspires everyone to create healthier school environments, grounded in strong wellness policies. Beginning on April 17, school leaders, community members, and parents can visit to download resources, read success stories, and learn how they can support and advance … Read more

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SA! Resource Know A Young Texas Health Champion?

Calling all health champions ages 15-18! The Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living is awarding 2017 Texas Health Champions that are helping to prevent or deter obesity in their local town, cities, communities, or schools. The Award Ceremony will be held during the Texas Obesity Awareness week, September 11th through the 15th, 2017 … Read more

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SA! Resource New Rankings Show Healthiest & Least Healthy Counties in Texas

It is a well-known fact: where you live impacts your overall well-being. Environment greatly impacts health, education, employment, access to opportunity, and long-term success. Latinos often face inequities and disparities due to barriers created by their environments. Many have to live in low-income and high-poverty and high-crime neighborhoods with little access to healthy food and … Read more

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SA! Change Digital CATCH Website for School Health in English and Spanish

LAtino health physical activity school CATCH

United States

The Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program is an evidence based physical activity and nutrition program for schools that promotes healthy food choices among children. For over 25 years, the CATCH platform has been the most cost effective means of preventing childhood obesity, in an environment that’s fun and easy to sustain. They are the originators … Read more

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SA! Resource How Can Businesses Impact the Obesity Problem?

Childhood obesity is a serious public health concern in the United States. About 12.7 million children and adolescents aged 2–19 years, or 17 percent of the population, have obesity. For minorities, the statistics are even more troubling. Nearly 40% of Latino children are overweight or obese (higher rates than both white and black children), placing … Read more

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SA! Change San Antonio Seeking Student Ambassadors for 2017-2018

Latino Health Student Ambassador School MFC

Bexar County, Texas

The San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council (MFC) Student Ambassador Program is looking for the next group of kids to make their school or community healthier. Not only does San Antonio face high rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, but residents face disparities in chronic disease by income, education, and racial and ethnic groups. For example 15% of … Read more

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SA! Resource New Grant Opportunity Through Aetna for Healthy Communities

A new grant opportunity through the Atena Foundation’s 2017 Cultivating Healthy Communities grant is open, offering up to $2 million in grants to organizations that increase opportunities for low-income, minority communities to make healthy choices in the places they live, work, learn, and play. Grant requests can range between $50,000 and $100,000 for projects that span … Read more

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SA! Change Old Storage Room Gets Revamped Into A Garden in an Oklahoma High School

Rush Springs Public Schools, Oklahoma

Gardens in schools are now becoming commonplace, as more and more schools see the benefits that gardens bring. Having a garden on campus not only opens up students learning to plant healthy foods but also encourages students to learn how to use science and math in gardens and may be used towards creating healthy eating … Read more

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Public Hub Hub Tree: Salud America!

Salud America! is a national online network of researchers, community group leaders, decision-makers, and members of the public working together to support healthy policy and environmental changes that can help reverse obesity among Latino children.

The network, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a project of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Policies, comments, external links, and contributed stories and images are not affiliated with Salud America!, RWJF, or The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by these organizations.

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