Health Profile of Nebraska’s Latino Population – Report Available

Health Profile coverThe University of Nebraska Medical Center’s (UNMC) Center for Reducing Health Disparities together with the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Office of Latino and Latin American Studies (OLLAS), have released a report and policy brief describing the serious health problems facing the growing Latino and immigrant populations in Nebraska and Iowa, particularly the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area.

The Health Profile Report focuses on the overall health disparities facing the Latino population, which grew by nearly 93 percent between 2000 and 2010 in Nebraska.  Below are some of the highlights of the report.

Nebraska Latino Health Status Highlights:

  • Over 35% of Hispanic/Latino adults aged 18 to 64 years old do not have a personal physician.
  • One quarter of Hispanics/Latinos rated their health status as either “fair” or “poor”.16
  • Almost one third of the Hispanic/Latino population is uninsured.[1]
  • Almost one quarter of Latinas received inadequate prenatal care.[2]
  • Close to 10% of Hispanic/Latino adults surveyed through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2006 to 2010 had more than 10 days in the past month where they mentally did not feel well.18  Almost a quarter of Latino youth felt sad and hopeless during the past year.[3]  About 14% of Hispanics/Latinos report that they never get any emotional support.[4]
  • Obesity, measured by a level of BMI at 30 or above, was higher for Hispanics/Latinos than for other groups.
  • More than one-third of Hispanics/Latinos have no exercise outside of work. [5]
  • The overall STD rate for Hispanics/Latinos was nearly three times the rate for Whites.[6]  Also, Latinos bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic, with a mortality rate that was 3 times that of Whites.
  • The teen birth rate for Latina girls was 4.9 times the rate of White girls.
  • Hispanic/Latino students were more likely to smoke cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days than their White peers.[7]

Given these complex challenges, the solutions to addressing health disparities among Hispanics/Latinos require comprehensive, inter-sectoral, multi-level, community-wide interventions and policy changes that address not only health, but also the social determinants of health – the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the healthcare systems in place to deal with illness.[12]  Policies across sectors such as education, economic development, housing, immigration, public safety, and healthcare can directly or indirectly impact disparate populations, including Latinos.  Efforts to revitalize poor neighborhoods, improve the quality of schools and access to public services, guarantee access to healthy foods, and ensure culturally-competent community services and equitable policies that link Latinos to economic opportunities are promising strategies that can significantly improve the health of Latino communities in Nebraska and across the country.  Indeed, ending racial and ethnic health disparities is a major challenge—but one that can be met if the research, public health practices, education and training, government, outreach, and service sectors work together

[1] U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey.

[2] Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2006-2010.

[3] Nebraska Youth Risk Behavior Survey. 2010 Survey Results.  Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from

[4] Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2006-2010.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Nebraska DHHS STD program, 2006-2010.

[7] Nebraska Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 2011.

[8] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Proyecto HEAL.

[9] Escarce JJ, Morales LS, Rumbaut RG. The Health Status and Health Behaviors of Hispanics. In: National Research Council (US) Panel on Hispanics in the United States; Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 9. Available from: Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.  National Research Council (US) Panel on Hispanics in the United States; Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006.

[10] Ibid.

[11] United Way of the Midlands. (2003). Profile of Latino Youth.

[12] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Social Determinants of Health. Retrieved on January 9, 2013 from




Thanks for Participating in World No Tobacco Day’s Online Activities!

We would like to thank everyone who participated in our online social media information and advocacy project for World No Tobacco Day (WNTD)!  As part of this project, the Center and MOTAC were able to reach more than 2000 people through:

Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless we act, it will kill up to 8 million people by 2030, of which more than 80% will live in low- and middle-income countries.  Every year, World No Tobacco Day (May 31), is geared to be a 24-hour abstinence from tobacco and all its products is encouraged throughout the world. WNTD also hopes to draw attention to widespread tobacco use, the health hazards that stem from it, and this year the tobacco industry’s interference.

We hope that this is just the beginning of a strong tobacco-free movement and that everyone will continue to be involved in the tobacco control movement!

Tobacco Marketing – Are You a Target?

targetTobacco companies market their deadly products across the globe.  Their tactics focus on vulnerable populations including those who do not have access to the information or regulations/policies to protect them from this targeted marketing.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship should be banned. All forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship should be banned.  Advertising bans significantly reduce the numbers of people starting and continuing to smoke. Banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco use.

The tobacco industry is constantly trying new promotional tactics using nontraditional media to exploit advertising and promotion bans

Examples include:

  • handing out gifts and selling branded products such as clothing, in particular targeting young people
  • “stealth marketing” such as engaging trendsetters to influence people in places such as cafes and nightclubs
  • using online and new media, such as encouraging consumer interaction to design a new pack for a cigarette brand
  • placement of tobacco products and brands in films and television programmes, including reality TV and soap operas
  • corporate social responsibility activities such as donating to charity.

Tobacco industry advertising and sponsorship targets young people.  About one third of youth experimentation with tobacco occurs as a result of exposure to tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.  Worldwide, 78% of young people aged 13-15 years old report regular exposure to some form of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.  In the United States of America, smoking appears in 66% of movies rated PG-13, and adolescents are the most frequent moviegoers.  Additionally, young people aged 13-15 years are up to five times more likely than adults to be offered free cigarettes by a representative of a tobacco company.

A comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship is required under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).  A comprehensive ban reduces tobacco consumption regardless of a country’s income level.  WHO’s report on the global tobacco epidemic 2011 shows that only 19 countries (representing just 6% of the world’s population) have reached the highest level of achievement in banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Charities and community projects should never accept tobacco industry support. Tobacco companies use corporate social responsibility activities to promote themselves as good corporate citizens, normalizing tobacco use and creating goodwill in the community.  Consumers should be alert to tactics used by tobacco companies to exploit advertising and promotion bans.

Join us in participating in the dialogue about World No Tobacco Day! Talk about it and Share it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha using hashtag: #WNTD2013!