SINA, Billings Forge Community Works and El Show de Analeh Team to Promote Healthier Diet, Lifestyles Among Region’s Hispanics
“Revolucion de Nutricion” (Nutrition Revolution) TV Programming Premieres August 14
Hartford, Conn. (August 10, 2010) – With Hispanic children and families, particularly those residing in low-income neighborhoods, at increased risk for a host of serious health problems including childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, Hartford’s Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA) is spearheading a collaborative effort to raise awareness among the region’s Latino population about eating better and leading healthier lives.
The project, called “Revolucion de Nutricion” (Nutrition Revolution), will include a series of 10 five-minute television segments featuring healthier preparation of traditional Latin dishes, along with a half-hour special highlighting topics including food security and the Hartford Food System, healthy bodegas (neighborhood markets), and nutrition practices in schools. All Revolucion de Nutricion programming will air on Univision and Telefutura (WUVN Channel 18, Hartford), with the five-minute cooking segments – taped at The Kitchen @ Billings Forge in Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood – broadcast as a semi-regular feature on the Spanish-language community information and entertainment feature program El Show de Analeh. El Show de Analeh airs Saturdays at 11 a.m.
Revolucion de Nutricion is a project of SINA, Billings Forge Community Works and El Show de Analeh, with financial support provided by Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
The first cooking segment, featuring a healthier preparation of the classic Latin dish Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice), will air Saturday, August 14. Taking part in the production will be Hartford Hospital physician Dr. Ramon Jimenez, SINA Executive Director Luis Caban, Nutritionist Susan Deane of Charter Oak State College, The Kitchen @ Billings Forge Director of Catering and Culinary Services Julie Carrion, and El Show de Analeh host Ana Alfaro.
“As part of our service to the community, SINA and its member institutions are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles,” said Caban. “But this topic goes far beyond Hartford and impacts everyone in the Latino community, particularly those with higher risk factors including lower income and education levels and limited access to fresh, healthy food.”
It is well documented that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and other health problems is higher in the Hispanic community, and we are hopeful that this initiative will be one small step toward helping Latino families adopt healthier daily nutrition habits,” added Hartford Hospital President and CEO Elliot Joseph.“This is a beginning,” offered Connecticut Children’s Medical Center President and CEO Martin Gavin. ”Studies have indicated that Hispanic children, lacking access to fresh healthy food options in low-income neighborhoods and living increasingly inactive lives, are far more prone to be overweight. With this project, we hope to start turning the tide.”
Recent studies have indicated that Hispanic children are nearly twice as likely to be overweight than non-Hispanic children. Also, the Centers for Disease Control reports that Hispanics are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. Language barriers and lack of education can contribute to Hispanic families being less informed about matters of health and nutrition, and the fact that grocery shopping in urban neighborhoods is often limited to bodegas offering no or highly limited fresh produce also makes it hard to make healthy choices.
Future cooking segments will focus on other traditional Latin dishes such as Ensalada de Bacalo (Cod Fish Salad), Mexican Carnitas (pork), Arroz con Gandules (Rice and Pigeon Peas) and several dishes appealing specifically to children. Programming is expected to air regularly into 2011. A complete schedule of broadcasts, including the air date of the half-hour special, will be announced at a future date.
SINA is a partnership among Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Trinity College that works cooperatively with the community to develop leadership and improve the economic, physical and social characteristics of Hartford’s Frog Hollow, Barry Square and South Green neighborhoods. SINA serves as a catalyst to foster a vibrant urban community where residents, employees and businesses can enjoy a high quality of life and opportunities for success.
Billings Forge Community Works, located at the Billings Forge housing and community complex at 140 Russ Street in Hartford, works toward creating a vibrant Frog Hollow neighborhood through entrepreneurial programs that build infrastructure and offer family education, job training, sustainable enterprises and exposure to a healthy quality of life. Community-focused programs and enterprises include The Kitchen @ Billings Forge, a culinary education center; The Studio @ Billings Forge, a multi-purpose community space; the Farmer’s Market @ Billings Forge; the Workshops @ Billings Forge, offering working studio space for artists; and Firebox, an award-winning restaurant dedicated to the farm-to-table movement.