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New Stimulus Funds will make Black & Latino Communities Healthier

PolicyLink, a national research and advocacy institute, applauds Obama Administration's announcement today of $650 million in community-level health funding

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The health of the nation's black and Latino communities stands to get a significant shot in the arm from the $650 million in health and wellness funding announced this afternoon by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to PolicyLink, a national research and advocacy organization.

The Prevention and Wellness Fund, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the federal stimulus bill), should go a long way toward creating healthier communities across America and, in particular, battling the pernicious racial disparities we see when it comes to obesity and diabetes rates.

"This new funding will throw a lifeline to millions of Black and Latino children and their parents and help create healthier communities across America," said Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink and a principal advisor for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity. "Black and Latino Americans are hit hardest by the dual crises of obesity and diabetes. All people deserve to live in healthy communities -- places with clean air, safe streets, clean parks, and easy access to healthy food options. These new funds will put us on a path toward healthy communities for all."

The Administration's funding approach appears to back three core policy principles PolicyLink and its partners have long called for:

  • Healthy food in our schools
  • Healthy food options in our communities
  • Healthy and safe places to live and play

The funding plan also lines up well with recommendations provided to the White House by PolicyLink and the Prevention Institute. To read those recommendations, click here.

To arrange an interview with Angela Glover Blackwell or for more information on how these funds can help improve Black and Latino communities, please contact Dan Lavoie at or 510.418.1208.


  • Blacks had a 51 percent higher prevalence of obesity, and Hispanics had a 21 percent higher prevalence of obesity compared with whites. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • In 32 states, more than one in four residents is obese (Centers for Disease Control)
  • Latino girls born in 2000 have a 53 percent risk of being diagnosed with diabetes during their lifetimes, compared to 49 percent for Black girls. White girls have just a 31 percent risk. The racial risk profile among boys is similar. (RWJF Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity)
  • Nearly 37 percent of African-American children and 43 percent of Mexican-American children are obese or overweight, compared with about 32 percent of white children. (RWJF Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity)
  • Fifty-four percent of African American women older than 20 and 42 percent of their Latino counterparts are obese, compared to 32 percent of white women in the same age bracket. (Centers for Disease Control)

Additional Resources

PolicyLink ( is a national research and advocacy institute advancing economic and social equity. Founded in 1999, PolicyLink helps create sustainable communities of opportunity that offer access to quality jobs, affordable housing, good schools, transportation, and the benefits of healthy food and physical activity. The organization is based in Oakland (Calif.), with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.

SOURCE PolicyLink
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