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Picture of Yesenia Amaro

Candy bars, Pop-Tarts and french fries were always on the menu in Ruth Sanchez's daily diet.

For years, the 17-year-old consistently made poor eating choices. "Fast food is what I would eat the most," she recalled.

Ruth, a former Merced Scholars Charter School student, said the two main reasons she turned to fast food were because it was affordable and easy to get.

"You are on the run, and you are going to get something from the $1 menu," she explained. "It's quick and it's the cheapest."

Not only did Ruth, who weighs 183 pounds, make the wrong choices when it came to eating, she also didn't live an active life.

That's no longer the case. She has made a dramatic change in her habits.

This is part two in a four-part series.

Part one: Convenience often trumps nutrition

Part three: Providing healthier choices

Part four: No escape from healthy lifestyle effort

Picture of Yesenia Amaro

Low prices, availability and aggressive targeted marketing are all factors that ensure children and teenagers are eating more fast food than ever before. The Network for a Healthy California is pushing for outdoor advertising that encourages healthier choices. This is part one in a four-part series.

Part two: Committed to nutrition

Part three: Providing healthier choices

Part four: No escape from healthy lifestyle effort

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

From the Jonas Brothers to Antonio Banderas, celebrities are cutting deals with Big Pharma. Plus more from our Daily Briefing.

Picture of Pedro Frisneda

For many Mexican immigrants living in New York, working multiple jobs leaves little time for regular exercise. In addition, a heavy reliance on public transportation and a lack of rural areas means that physical activity is virtually nonexistent. Health experts cite this sedentary lifestyle as an emerging gateway to diabetes, especially among immigrants.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Picture of Pedro Frisneda

With limited access to affordable fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods, Mexicans living in New York are frequenting fast food restaurants instead of farmers' markets. The result is a spike in obesity and diabetes among this immigrant group.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Part 3: In a sedentary country

Picture of Pedro Frisneda

"It's the alcohol hangover," Gerardo Cuapio thought five years ago when he woke up thirsty and with blurred vision. National Health Journalism Fellow Pedro Frisneda tells the story of a man who was on the verge of death without knowing he had Type 2 diabetes. It's a cautionary tale for what happens to many Latin American immigrants who move to the United States, adopting a new lifestyle and diet that can contribute to developing the disease. "The Big Apple is confronting one of the worst diabetes epidemics in the nation and health authorities have declared it an emergency," with Hispanics suffering disproportionately.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Part 2: In the kingdom of fats and sugar

Part 3: In a sedentary country

Picture of Linda Marsa

Think floods like the ones in Pakistan and Australia can't happen in California?  Think again, say government researchers.

Picture of Kelley Atherton

In Del Norte County, groups such as the Children's Health Collaborative seek funding in a push to provide more nutritious meals at high schools and encourage students to make healthier food decisions.

 

 

Picture of Kelley Atherton

A group of parents, educators and nutrition experts are making strides to break the cycle of unhealthy food choices among students in the Del Norte County Unified School District.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

You might think that spending ten years on the street, two of them at 6th and Mission, might mean that a person is a hopeless case. If you're thinking that way, even secretly in your mind, as you pass people huddled under urine-soaked gray-felted blankets, then now's the time for you to meet

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