Community Commons is proud to be the home of Salud America! Growing Healthy Change; a site dedicated to empowering healthy community change for Latino children locally and across the nation.
Kids are Sweet Enough Without Sugary Drinks
In 2011, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) created a campaign to educate parents about the health hazards of providing too many sugary drinks to children, especially among black and Latino families where rates of overweight/obesity are especially high. The commission didn’t see much decline in rates of consumption or obesity but were still optimistic that they could have an impact. In 2014 the team decided to look into what went wrong and to relaunch a bigger, better campaign.
Using focus groups, the coalition found that their message was a good one, but the images and wording they used in the ads were misleading. “We had an internal team convene as well as engaging other partners to determine what are some of the best ways to really get the message out and have a meaningful impact,” said Nineequa Blanding, Director of the BPHC.
That level of engagement helped focus the campaign and refine the message. The new ads are colorful, age appropriate, and validate how much parents care about the health of their children. The ads are popular with the community and are seen as a positive way to reinforce healthy choices.
Tools to Help You Make This Change
Salud America provides detailed information about the development of the “Sugar Smarts” campaign and offers many sugary drink resources. Community Commons offers maps and data that can visually engage community members; demographics and neighborhood data that make planning easier; and reports to help make the case to policy makers.
The map above shows areas of Boston that have a higher concentration of youth that are of Black or Latino descent. This can help organizations find neighborhoods in which to focus efforts. The map below zooms into the Chelsea neighborhood and adds transit stops and grocery stores, which are some of the places the BPHC identified for their print ad targets. Simply click on either interactive map to see this data for your own city or visit our Map Room to create new maps.
Community Health Reports
Indicator reports offer another excellent opportunity to look at factors that affect the health of your region. Create a Community Health Needs Assessment indicator report by simply entering your state and county (or several counties) and the data will automatically populate for you.
From there you can explore information such as demographics, social and economic factors, and health behaviors and outcomes. The data and visual graphics are downloadable and can be put into your presentations or grant applications.
Unsure how to use the tools highlighted above? Our support page has short videos and how-to exercises to get you stated.
Learn more about this Salud America! success story or enjoy our other Salud Hero features