doctor receives award
Dr. Vanessa Salcedo, a pediatrician
on staff at SBH Health System (St.
Barnabas Hospital) and Union Community
Health Center, has received
the 2019 Young Physician of the Year
Award from the National Hispanic
Medical Association (NHMA).
The award goes to individuals who
have made a signifi cant contribution
to Hispanic health through their continued
work as young physicians of
NHMA. She was presented with the
award at the recent National Hispanic
Health Conference at the Hyatt Regency
Crystal City Hotel in Arlington,
Dr. Salcedo spearheaded the creation
of the very successful Healthy
Beverage Zone (HBZ) project that was
launched borough-wide to encourage
individuals and institutions to limit
consumption of surgery drinks and
sports drinks in the interest of combatting
childhood obesity, liver disease
and diabetes. There are now 60 organizations
in the Bronx that are partners
of the HBZ. This includes hospitals,
health centers, houses of worships,
schools and other workplaces.
Both SBH and Union Community
Health Center have run campaigns in
recent years, under Dr. Salcedo’s su-
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3371 Eastchester Road, Bronx, N.Y.
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pervision, that removed these drinks
from the institutions while encouraging
patients, families and guests to
drink water and non-sugar sweetened
beverages instead. Since then, New
York City has voted to ban restaurants
from including sugary drinks in children’s
meal menus, requiring them to
serve water, low-fat or non-fat milk or
100 percent fruit juices instead.
Dr. Salcedo cites sugary beverages
as the number one additive of sugar to
a young person’s diet. “It’s really frustrating
as a pediatrician to routinely
see these kids with health problems
due to sugary beverages,” she said.
According to Dr. Salcedo, HBZ is
particularly important for the Bronx,
which has the highest consumption of
sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in
NYC with 27.8% (335,000 adults) consuming
at least one SSB daily. In 2015,
Bronx residents spent $185 million
purchasing sugary drinks.
Since 2009 the Bronx has annually
ranked 62nd out of 62 counties in New
York State in terms of poor health outcomes.
The Bronx has the highest rate
of obesity in New York City, with 32
percent of all adults considered obese,
as well as the highest rates of diabetes
and heart disease.
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