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Go Vote for Your Favorite Salud Hero!


Salud America! wants you to vote for your favorite Salud Hero video! A Salud Hero is someone who is helping Latino children live a healthier life. This set of six videos focuses on replacing sugary drinks in schools with healthier options and food marketing in local grocery and convenience stores. The deadline to vote is December 10.

A no-soda resolution

Dr. Marta Katalenas, a pediatrician in Austin, Texas, has challenged her patients to lead healthier lives. She created a year-long set of monthly challenges designed to create healthy habits. The challenges includes task like eating more fruit and physical exercise, the most important of which, she says, is the no-soda challenge: “If you can get a family that is used to drinking sugary drinks to stop, that is huge.”

Water on every desk for students in Cutler-Orosi, California

Students in Cutler-Orosi, California, now have access to water bottles on their desks at school, as well as new water fountains where they can refill them. The school has also removed sugary-drink vending machines, replaced full-fat milk with low-fat milk in the cafeteria, and created nutrition advisory councils to teach fourth and fifth graders about healthy choices. Leticia Trevino, principal of Palm Elementary is proud of these changes: “Sugary drinks do affect our students in negative ways, and so by educating them to make good drinking choices and good eating choices, it benefits them for their whole lives.”

School swaps out sugary drinks in Fairfax, Virginia

Fairfax County, Virginia, schools have made great strides to remove sugary drinks. So far, 47 full-sugar drink machines at seven high schools have been replaced with 37 machines stocked with healthier options. Ryan McElveen, a member of the school board explains the thinking behind these changes: “There was clearly a sentiment that that is not the kind of option we want kids to have in our schools because we want them to grow up living healthy lives.”

Grocery Stores tag healthy foods in California

A family-owned chain of grocery stores has changed the way it markets its products to promote healthier options using educational, bilingual nutrition labels throughout the store. “With these types of labels, our customers can become familiar with our products, not focusing on commercializing the product, but actually focusing on the healthiness of the product,” says Javier Sanchez, Supervisor of Northgate González Market.

Fresh marketing at Latino corner store in Watsonville, California

United Way of Santa Cruz and its youth group wanted corner markets to offer healthier options and advertise them better. “A lot of these corner markets are just small families, local businesses – they don’t have a lot of resources. And so for them to make changes, the financial impact was challenging,” says Kymberly Lacross, a Community Organizer with United Way of Santa Cruz County. To alleviate the financial strain on owners, the team offers support for displays and merchandising, marketing and advertising, and event coordination.

L.A. corner store gets marketing makeover inside and out

Ramirez Meat Market in Los Angeles, California, has undergone a major facelift with help from Proyecto Mercado Fresco, a youth group that helps turn corner stores into healthy locations. The group helped the store get a new fridge, move the vegetables to the front of the store, and market their new healthy options. The community even helped them paint and celebrate a grand reopening. “Now that there are healthy options close by, and we can help introduce them to our customers’ diet, we can help prevent diseases such as diabetes and obesity,” says Celia Ramirez, owner of the market.

You can check out all the videos here, and vote for your favorites. Voting will register you for a drawing to win a T-shirt and jump rope.