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The Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Public Health awarded the coun­ties of Madera and Merced each $230,000 to im­prove nu­tri­tion, phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, breast­feed­ing and clin­i­cal ser­vices.

The grants will ad­dress chronic dis­eases the Latino com­mu­nity faces, such as high rates of hy­per­ten­sion, heart dis­ease, di­a­betes and obe­sity, the public health depart­ment said. The per­cent­age of Lati­nos di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes in the cen­tral San Joaquin Val­ley is higher than across Cal­i­for­nia. About 83% of Latino adults in Madera are con­sid­ered over­weight or obese, ac­cord­ing to the health depart­ment.

The local health de­part­ments will work with health cen­ters, hos­pi­tals, First 5, Women, In­fants and Chil­dren and local or­ga­ni­za­tions to im­prove health dis­par­i­ties.

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