Youth

February 2012: National Children’s Dental Health Month

In 2002, the Urban Institute reported that one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses facing children in the United States today is tooth decay. It is astounding that oral health problems persist among children in spite the fact that tooth decay is largely preventable through regular dental cleanings and checkups. Still, 24 percent of children ages 5 to 17 account for 80 percent of the tooth decay disease in permanent teeth among this age group. Socioeconomic disparities are blamed for these oral health burdens and low-income children are disproportionately affected. Inadequate access to dental care can be cited as the problem. Please read the report: http://www.urban.org/publications/309527.html

It is with this problem in mind that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) offers Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Dental Services though a managed care model. Beginning March 1, 2012, HHSC will expand managed care dental services to include Medicaid. The goal of this expansion is to provide quality, comprehensive dental services to eligible recipients. HHSC will select two or more dental contractors to provide services to both Medicaid and CHIP Members. Please read the report:
http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/medicaid/MMC/TMHP_article_0611.pdf

It is good to remember also, that we can help protect our children’s teeth and diminish the growth of caries with various applications of dental sealants and with topical and systemic fluoride, but most importantly, a sound education and a good oral hygiene program will go a long way to help maintain healthy teeth and gums for a long, long time.

“Something Fun” from the American Dental Association in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month:

http://www.ada.org/sections/publicResources/pdfs/2012NCDHM_ActivitySheets_English_FULL.pdf

Laredo 14th Annual Health Occupations Planning Exposition (HOPE)

UT Health Science Center Librarian Linda Levy talking to Laredo area students attending HOPE

Sponsored by the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area of Texas

Students and teachers alike were very interested in a number of the features of
MedlinePlus and learning how NLM resources could be used for class projects. In
student health fairs, the MedlinePlus Videos & Cool Tools section often
gets the most immediate attention. We also handed out materials on ToxNet and
heard comments that some classes were working on projects with related topics and that this was a resource that they could use. We used the iPad exclusively at this fair and found that students were more apt to try their hand at looking up topics in MedlinePlus while also getting a chance to use the iPad.

March is National Nutrition Month

We have a serious situation on our hands.
For the first time in the history of the world we are seeing great progress in the near complete eradication of hunger. While we have not solved the problem completely, it can be said that we are supplying food to at least most of the world. More of the poorer countries are learning agricultural techniques to insure a sustained food supply.

Why then, with such success, are we now facing a global epidemic of obesity?  Perhaps nutrition cannot be defined merely as fuel for the body, but it must also include adequate work and exercise for the body.  Nutritious foods can make us healthy, but food alone will not necessarily produce a total picture of health; we need also nutritious work and exercise to build good muscle, bone, blood and tissue.

Last year, a global study performed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD),  on the health of the world in general, found that more than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, were obese and that obesity was spilling over from the wealthy into poorer nations. It’s become an epidemic.

So, what can be done?

Most healthcare professionals agree that the most obvious and imminent causes for over-weight and obesity problems are consumption of excess calories, unhealthy eating habits and insufficient physical activity among children and adults. Individuals in the medical sciences, are being called upon to be leaders in opening the eyes of our communities to see the inherent dangers that threaten us all.

Below is a collection of articles aimed at studying and addressing our complete nutritional problem. You may want to share some of these articles and videos with your clients, patients, students and caregivers.  Together we can turn things around and help make lives better and healthier.

 

MedlinePlus: Obesity rates rise, threaten health in OECD nations:

US Department of Agriculture:

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute – For Health Professionals:

Texas Department of State Health Services:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

MedlinePlus:

MedlinePlus
Nutrition for Seniors:

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

 

Scholarly articles

OECD

Obesity in Latino Communities:

Obesity prevalence and the local food environment

Texas Health Institute, 2006 Report

MedlinePlus.gov:

Behavioral intervention program

Science Daily

Children and Nature Network

 

 

Texas-Mexican Border Study finds pesticides a BIG problem.

HARLINGEN,TX— Air samples from homes of Hispanic mothers-to-be along the Texas-Mexico border contained multiple pesticides in a majority of the houses, according to a study conducted by the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
Several studies have reported that pesticide exposure may adversely affect mental and motor development of the infants during infancy and childhood. The new report is in the summer issue of the Texas Public Health Journal .

Click Here to read the entire story as it appears in the HSC News Publication, and what suggestions are being made to remedy the situation.  Story by Will Sansom and Sheila Hotchkin.

The UT Healthier Youth Recipe and Resource Booklet: A Successful Health Information Literacy Project

 

 

This summer, UT Health San Antonio Libraries, North East Independent School District (NEISD), the UT Teen Health Youth Leadership Council, and the UT Teen Health Clinic partnered to distribute UT Healthier Youth Recipe and Resource Booklets. This project was developed by librarian Karen Barton and funded with federal dollars through a National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM/SCR) Express Outreach Award. The booklets included nine healthy, kid-friendly recipes and pages listing online health information resources for kids and teens. A primary goal of the project was to increase awareness of NLM K-12 consumer health resources and promote healthy behaviors for youth in grades 3-12 who are at risk for poor health outcomes.  Another goal was to motivate youth to actually use the NLM K-12 health information resources and healthy recipes found in the booklet. From June 28-September 29, 2018, a total of 2,663 booklets were distributed directly to youth and to organizations that serve youth. There were over 750 more youth in more areas of the city reached than there were during the library’s NNLM/SCR-funded Youth Health Literacy Challenge project in 2017.

NEISD staff were instrumental in distributing 645 booklets to youth at four San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) branches during feeding times for their Summer Food Service Program. Additionally, 350 booklets were given to library staff at three other SAPL branches to distribute to youth. The UT Teen Health Clinic distributed 149 booklets and the UT Teen Health Youth Leadership Council, which consists of nearly 70 teens from across the city who promote sexual health to their peers, received training on online health information resources and were given 432 booklets to distribute—one each to keep for themselves and five each to distribute to peers. Overall, 19 organizations that serve youth participated in distributing the booklets and also included the YWCA, a middle school, high school, and afterschool and extracurricular programs.

Research by von Hippel, Powell, Downey, & Rowland (as cited in McLaughlin, 2012) shows that many American families lack access to healthy meals for their children during the summer and that children gain weight two to three times faster during summer months in comparison to the school year. Since 2016, NEISD has provided the Summer Feeding Program and chosen feeding sites based on the student family income at the neighboring school. In 2017, they served a total of 7,308 free meals for children and adults in San Antonio Public Library branches near schools that reported high numbers of low income students. Due to NEISD and Bexar County demographics and statistics, it is very likely that this project reached those most at risk for obesity, diabetes, and other diseases and conditions, and those most in need of health information and health literacy.

Project partners received great feedback that indicated that the project was making a difference in communities. A grandmother who is raising grandchildren told UT Health San Antonio Libraries staff that she was happy to have been given more recipe ideas through the booklet since, as she stated in jest, it seems as though all her family eats is rice and beans. NEISD staff at Brookhollow Library reported that several parents who had received a booklet had tried some of the recipes. There were 132 teens and parents or other chaperones trained on online health information resources at the UT Teen Health Youth Leadership Council Summit. All participants indicated on NNLM training session evaluation forms that they either “somewhat agree” or “strongly agree” that the training improved their ability to find useful online health information, indicating an improvement in health information literacy. Nearly all of them also expressed eagerness to use and tell others about the NLM resources. Additionally, Youth Leadership Council teens were surveyed later regarding their outreach and reported that some of their family members and peers had tried the recipes or were happy to receive a booklet due to the content. One teen reported, “All of my friends thought that these booklets were cool and excited to receive them.” Out of 66 teens, 22 responded to the second survey. The majority of the teens surveyed, 63.6% (14), reported that they had visited at least one health information website since their training at the summit and 77.3% (17) indicated that they had tried or planned to try a recipe found in the booklet.

For more information on this and other library outreach initiatives, feel free to contact Karen Barton at bartonkd@uthscsa.edu or Peg Seger at segerp@uthscsa.edu.