MN’s Obesity Rate Rises


“MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Obesity rates across the country are still high despite the billions of dollars being spent on programs aimed at lowering than number, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

Minnesota is one of only five states that saw an increase in adult obesity rates last year – just shy of 28 percent.

Despite the rise, Minnesota’s rate is the 15th lowest in the U.S.

Overall, more than two-thirds of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese.

The average American today is 24 pounds heavier than his or her counterpart in 1960.” –

Obesity is a real health issue arising in Minnesota. Sometimes, it is about the choices of a unhealthy lifestyle that affects people’s. So what can we do as a community to lower the rates of obesity?

  • Encourage your family, friends, and community to exercise! Whether it’s a daily or once a week, it is much better for your health than not being physical at all.
  • Buy groceries and foods from your local farmers and markets! There are actual organic and affordable food on the market. One just have to research a little bit to get information on where to get healthier food alternatives.
  • Stray away from fast food as much as possible. Although they’re cheap, fast, and easy to get, fast foods have more fat and sodium than you need on a daily basis. You can try to reduce the amount you eat fast food as you go on.
  • Join community marathons! These opportunities are a great way to exercise, support organizations, and meet new people. You will learn that there are many people out there who share the same cause as you do.
  • Living healthy is making smart choices! Being obese is a physical struggle and a mental challenge. Anyone can be healthier just by making healthier choices. It is always hard in the beginning, but once you make it a habit to life it won’t seem as difficult as before.

The Truth About Restaurant Food‏ & Eating Out Tips


AMA’s STEP UP Youth 2015

Eating out can be a fun and social activity thing to do. But of course, it is not always healthy and cheap to eat out. Be aware that restaurant food can be just as unhealthy as fast food. Here are some reasons why:

  • Dishes can contain up to the same or more amount of salt, fat, and calories like fast food. Think about the total intake that comes from the appetizers, main dish, and side dishes.
  • Sometimes, it’s best to skip out on appetizers. Often time, people can’t finish their main course because they’re already full from the appetizers.
  • Are the food cleaner? This can vary from restaurants to restaurants. If you’re interested where the restaurants you eat at source their foods from, you can always ask the owner or do your own research.
  • Try not to order anything to drink besides water. Water is your body’s best friend and is an essential part of your diet. It’s free and keeps you hydrated.
  • Big plates equals big servings. Psychologically, when you have a big plate you feel like you need to fill it up with food. It relates to the old saying “your eyes can eat more than your stomach”. So it’s wise to portion your food and not over eat.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and Fruits & Veggies

“One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.” –
Children obesity is a real problem and still exist. There are reasons why obesity is still common in the U.S. Such as organic and healthy food tend to be more expensive so lower income families tend to buy lower quality food. Fast food and high calorie snacks are very cheap to buy and widely available everywhere. And many people are still not informed or knowledgeable on how food can affect their health. As much as it is a financial and informative issue, it is also a mental struggle. People have to change the way they think about food within themselves, their family, their friends, and so on.
But no worries, obesity can be prevented! September is the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and organizations hope to spread the word of helping others! Here are so helpful resources that you can use and please share with others on social media:
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month

Language Learning at Home


Many people today are born and raised in a bilingual home. It not only enhances the communication within the family, but help build the concept of diversity and acceptances towards different people. Also, it helps English language learners in their education when they have something to reference to and therefore, can build a better understanding of English. By being to recognize that learning at home is a resource, children and adults can use it more often

“Research suggests children educated initially in their home language learn a second language more proficiently and achieve more academic success than those who have not had such a solid foundation. Once students have built basic literacy skills in their home language, they will be able to apply those skills to the new language.”

Here are some tips on how to learn your language at home:

  • Have daily conversations with your family members that speak to you in your native language. Try to have meaningful and deep conversations that can actually help you become better.
  • Listen/watch TVs, dramas, and music! By listening to your native language, you’ll learn how to speak it better. It naturally enhances your speaking skills without you trying.
  • Reading articles/books in your own language can help you with grammar and writing. One problem with being bilingual is not being able to to read and write in both languages. So only by practicing can it help the technical components in a language.

This Month in Japan | September


Nagatsuki is the shortened form of Yonagazuki, meaning “long-night month” for what is today the month of September. Tsukimi or “Moon-viewing” parties are popular today but originally began in the Heian Era (794-1185 CE) to honor harvests and the beauty of the moon. At tsukimi celebrations, many feast on dumplings and celebrate the coming of autumn.

This month, two national holidays including Keiro no hi, or Respect for the Aged Day, and Autumnal Equinox Day are observed.


Respect for Aged day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in September and is one of many Japan’s national holidays. It’s a holiday that is spent respecting, honoring, and giving gifts to the elders. It highlights the longevity of Japan’s elderly population.

“With improvements in healthcare, Japanese people are living longer than ever and the number of people over the age of 100 is expected to reach 32,000 next month.

One in five Japanese are aged 65 or older and Japanese women can expect to live to see their 85th birthday.” –


Autumnal Equinox Day usually falls on Sept 22 or 23. It is a period of time where Japanese people pay respects to their ancestors, elders, and important family members. Also, it marks the day that daylight will be getting shorter as winter approach.

“The Japanese have traditionally called the period around the autumnal and vernal (springtime) equinoxes higan. There’s a saying that goes, “both the heat and cold end with higan.Higan lasts for seven days – beginning three days prior to the equinox and ending three days after it. It occurs twice a year, once when the blustery winter temperatures give way to spring and again when the heat subsides and the cool, crisp air of autumn arrives.

Higan has Buddhist origins. It means the “other side of the river of death.” This side of the river is the world where we live, and the other side is the realm where the souls of those who have passed away dwell. To pray for the repose of deceased ancestors, visits are made to the family grave.” –

Effective Cross-Cultural Communication and Health Literacy

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Communicating effectively across cultures is important for public health professionals. People’s ideas about health and illness can vary by cultural group and sub-group, and can affect which health literacy skills are considered culturally necessary. When communicating with diverse cultural groups, public health professionals should be aware of and adjust for linguistic differences, beliefs, values, customs, and behaviors that can affect if the audience receives your intended message.

Here are some tips to make sure you and your materials are well understood:

  • Try not to treat culture as a negative or barrier that must be overcome. Your cultural background may not be the same as your audience’s, but you can learn about and adjust for language, beliefs, and customs as you would for other factors, such as age or gender, that might affect how the audience interprets the messages. 
  • If your messages aren’t in the audience’s preferred language, consider if interpretation of oral information, translation of written materials, or a complete redesign to address cultural differences is necessary.
  • Adapt messages and materials for the literacy and numeracy skills people have in their preferred language.
  • Refer to the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards as you plan your communication strategy.

To read more about the role of culture in health literacy, please visit