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Study: Variations in disease states and health behaviors among Hispanic groups

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, the landmark research study of Hispanic/Latino health funded by the National Institutes of Health, on Tuesday released initial findings that showed significant variations in disease prevalence and health behaviors among groups with different backgrounds. 

The findings reported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the NIH, are the result of the national study that began in 2008. The data is based on interviews conducted with 16,415 study participants at one of four U.S. field centers ─ located in the Bronx, San Diego, Chicago and Miami. 

“While many trends are consistent across all four field sites, there are clear differences between participants in each city — and more importantly, between each Hispanic group,” said Robert Kaplan, professor of epidemiology & population health and principal investigator for HCHS/SOL at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, which established and operates the Bronx field center. 

Among the highlights in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Data Book: A Report to the Communities:

  • The percentage of people who report having asthma ranged from 7.4% (Mexican) to 35.8% (Puerto Rican);
  • The percentage of individuals who had pre-diabetes ranged from 32.1% (Dominican) to 37.7% (Mexican);
  • The percent of people eating five or more fruits/vegetables a day ranged from 19.2% (Puerto Rican) to 55% (Cuban); and
  • Average minutes of daily recreational activity ranged from 17.7% (Cuban) to 28.3% (Puerto Rican). 

“Teasing out these variations can help clinicians, public health advocates and members of the community focus their energies in the right places,” explained Kaplan. “Ultimately, we hope to uncover the key factors that can lead to improved health for all Hispanics.”

The study investigators and NIH are partnering with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and other national and local organizations to increase the reach of the study. On Tuesday the Alliance released a booklet showing the data reported by all four field centers. The 40-page bilingual report is titled "About Our Health: Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos." 

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Hy-Vee to enter Twin Cities market

BY Antoinette Alexander

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Grocer Hy-Vee, which operates 235 stores in eight states, is planning a major expansion of its Minnesota operations into the Twin Cities market.

The proposed expansion would add several new stores to the Twin Cities market per year, over the next several years. Each store opened will be approximately 90,000-square foot, with an investment of approximately $14 million to $16 million, creating anywhere from 400 to 550 new jobs.

The company has one location under contract in the Twin Cities area, with several more projects in various stages of research and development.

Hy-Vee has been a fixture in Minnesota communities since 1969 and currently has 17 employee-owned stores statewide with approximately 5,100 employees.

“Our commitment to excellent customer service, health and wellness, and culinary expertise is unlike anything in the market to date,” stated Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee. “Minnesota and its residents have long been important partners, and we are proud to extend that partnership into the Twin Cities area.”

Hy-Vee is an employee-owned corporation that recorded sales of $8 billion for 2013.

 

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Bi-Lo Holdings, Delhaize Group moving forward on acquisition deal

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Bi-Lo Holdings and Delhaize Group on Tuesday announced they have received approval from the Federal Trade Commission to proceed with the transaction in which Bi-Lo Holdings will acquire substantially all of the stores in the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s supermarket chains from Delhaize. 

Bi-Lo Holdings agreed to divest 12 Delhaize America stores in the states of Fla., Ga., and S.C., and Delhaize Group has agreed to retain two additional stores and convert them to the Food Lion banner, pursuant to a consent order accepted by the FTC for public comment on Feb. 25. The order is subject to final approval by the FTC after the close of a 30-day comment period.

“We have been preparing for the integration of the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s banners and store associates for many months and are delighted to now move forward and welcome them to the Bi-Lo Holdings family,” said Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Bi-Lo Holdings.

Bi-Lo Holdings also announced its decision to close eight of the acquired Delhaize America and five Bi-Lo Holdings stores due to close geographic proximity. “Given the number of stores we are acquiring, we anticipated that we may be asked by the FTC to divest some stores to close the deal. In addition, with the close proximity of some of the Bi-Lo Holdings and Delhaize stores, we also knew that we would have to close a few stores as part of the acquisition,” Onstead said. 

Bi-Lo Holdings initially acquired the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s chains from Delhaize for $265 million in May of 2013. The deal at the time included 72 Sweetbay stores, leases for 10 prior Sweetbay locations, 72 Harveys stores and 11 Reid’s stores, for a total of 165 stores throughout the Southeast.

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