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Salud America!, a national Latino childhood obesity prevention program, has received a one-year, $1.3 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop new, culturally tailored educational content that empowers people to work toward policy changes for the health of Latino children.

Established in 2007, Salud America!, has recruited a national online network of 50,000 parents, school personnel, health professionals, and community leaders who support its mission: “End Latino childhood obesity by communicating good health and driving people to start and assist healthy changes in their schools and communities.”

Latino children ages 2-19 are more obese/overweight (38.9%) than White (28.5%) and Black (35.2%) children, studies show. They also face barriers in access to healthy foods and drinks and physical activity.

The new funding will allow Salud America! to expand its network and engage members with enhanced educational content, including multimedia role model stories, social media events (like the #SaludTues weekly tweetchat), online resources, geo-located healthy policy changes, digital action campaigns, and tailored marketing.

““We are excited by RWJF’s support, which will help us continue to push the boundaries of communication to empower Latinos to develop healthy changes in their schools and communities,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, director of Salud America!, headquartered at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.