All Articles Tagged "wellness"
Ever notice that any discussion on weight in the African-American community seems to only center on women?
I’ve noticed it. In blogs, on television and in news articles. Everyone wants black women to get fit, especially men. Boris Kodjoe once went on an ill-advised and bone-headed Twitter tirade/rant aimed at overweight black women. And NPR even ran a piece a couple of months ago on how half of African-American women in the U.S. are obese. It seems that everyone is obsessed with our weight and is out to save us from the terrible health dilemma associated with being fat. You could sort of understand as all the studies and crunched numbers show black women have the highest rates of being overweight and obese compared to other groups in the United States. Truth be told, it couldn’t hurt for us to focus more on our health and well-being. However our weight, as black women, is not the full story.
According to the latest statistics provided by the Office of Minority Health in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, while 78 percent of African-American women can be classified as overweight or obese, the number of black men classified as either overweight or obese is 71 percent. And while black women represent a disproportionately large number of those classified as obese (as having a Body Mass Index of 30 pounds or greater), black men as a group were more likely to be classified as overweight (as defined as having a BMI at 25 percent or greater than the standard) than black women. In other words, what we have here is a situation of the fat pot calling the fat kettle a fat a**.
So how did the conversation about weight within the community become so skewed? I think that one of the reasons why the issue of obesity in the community has transformed into a women-only issue is because of our societal impulse to believe that women, and more importantly their bodies, are for gawking. Women are more often described, judged and criticized in terms of what we look like, rather than what we think or do far more than our male counterparts. As such, our society has created numerous industries – from cosmetics, to fashion, right down to weight loss regiments and programs – which help to further reinforce the notions that a woman’s body, particularly her shape, holds more value than anything else she has to offer.
The ironic thing is that obesity rates have increased sharply in the United States over the past 30 years in general, and today, nearly one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. These children are developing diseases normally associated with adults, such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. African-American children ages 6 to 11 are more likely to be obese or overweight than white children. And yet we spend a majority of the time focused on women.
Likewise, black men are more likely to be overweight the older they get, have a shorter life span than black women, and according to the Center for Disease Control, are more likely to die from preventable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. While we either chide or celebrate celebrity women such as Mo’Nique, Gabourey Sidibe and even down to Rihanna every time their weight fluctuates, we as a community are virtually silent about their male counterparts like Heavy D and Patrice O’Neal and Rick Ross, whose own weight issues have either contributed to poor health or even death. This gender specific emphasis on weight management might be effective in shaming the fairer sex into shape, but only focusing on women has done a major disservice to our men in the community, who are almost equally at-risk for obesity related illnesses.
This past weekend, I went past my grandmother’s house to visit. Over the last 10 years she has had a heart attack, two strokes and eventually a triple bypass surgery. Now she is on oxygen. Unfortunately, watching my grandmother deteriorate in front of my eyes has been all the inspiration I need to ensure that I am eating right and in the gym at least three times a week. Yet my uncle, who lives and helps to take care of my grandmother and has been a vocal critic of my grandma’s inactivity for years, suffered his first heart attack a few months ago. And still, his main focus is on what my grandmother ain’t doing as opposed to what he needs to be doing for himself.
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By Ryan Rivera
Anxiety may be one of the most common mental health conditions in the country, and yet few people are willing to admit that their anxiety is causing a serious problem. Anxiety is often considered normal, especially in its milder forms, and indeed there are times when feeling anxious makes a great deal of sense (an important meeting with a client, or a job interview for example), and otherwise fairly harmless.
Yet there’s no denying that there are also times when anxiety affects your life in a negative way, and in some cases that anxiety can be fairly consistent. Persistent anxiety may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder – and for many, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) affects their life fairly regularly. If you experience anxiety when no anxiety should be present, and you find that that anxiety is affecting your quality of life, there may be more going on than you think.
You can see what qualifies as GAD in the DSM-IV-TR, but it’s not uncommon to have an anxiety problem without realizing it. So here are some potential signs to keep an eye out for.
These days we are flooded with the latest and greatest diet trick, weight-loss measure or life-changing vitamin. Let’s get real; most of us don’t have the time or money to indulge in every new fad. How about we take a look at an easy way we can take care of our health today and everyday from here on out. Water. Check out these eight ways that water proves to be not only important for your health, but also necessary for weight loss and overall well-being.
About “Keeping Families Healthy”
Temperatures are dropping, school is in full swing and the holidays are the corner. This can only mean one thing: cold and flu season is here. In this episode, you’ll learn some ways to help keep your family healthy and in order.
Episode Links & Resources
- LINK: Tips to Stay organized
- SOCIAL MEDIA BRIEF:
Want More Mommy In Chief? Watch these episodes:
- Episode 1: Are You A Good Enough Mother?
- Episode 2: New Motherhood and Balancing A Bust Work Life
- Episode 3: How to Decorate an Eco-Friendly Baby Nursery
- Episode 4: Foodie, Nicole Friday on Kids and Career
- Episode 5: Melissa Beck, From Hollywood to Stay At Home Mom
- Episode 6: Single Mom in The City
- Episode 7: Mommy Mogul and Marketing Wiz Monique Jackson at Home With Her Boys
- Episode 8: Beauty Maven Jodie Patterson Talks Four-Day Work Week for Moms
- Episode 9: Tonya Lewis Lee on Motherhood and the Importance of Women’s Health
- Episode 1: Back 2 School
- Episode 2: Happy Halloween
- Episode 3: Socially Responsible Kids
- Episode 4: Money Talks
- Episode 5: Keeping Families Healthy
- Episode 6: Thanksgiving Madness
- Episode 7: Highlights and Best Moments
- Episode 8: Stylish Moms
- Episode 9: Best Apps for Moms
- Episode 10: Socialite Kids
- Episode 11: Hair Talk with AfroBella
- Episode 12: Happy New Year!
If you haven’t heard by now, not only do pretty girls rock, but pretty girls also sweat!
Sponsored by the popular organization T.E.E.N. Diaries, and The Society of Girls, Inc., on September 24, Project Butterfly touched down in NYC. Manhattan to be specific. Teenagers and young adults sported T-shirts that said “Pretty Girls Sweat” and showed that they do by busting out their best double dutch, jumping rope in place and participating in a lot more heart-pumping activities. The event was hosted by R&B singer Keri Hilson, a former basketball and swim star.
When she arrived, Ms. Keri Baby rocked her Nikes, the same “Pretty Girls Sweat” shirt everyone else was wearing, and a Nike hat to keep her hair from sweating out (we hear that!). She was ready to blend in with the nearly 100 young girls in the venue, and to help motivate them.
“A lot of girls you’ll notice, in life, they shy away from adversity. First yield sign they see, they don’t push through it, they kind of back away. Now a boy grows up and sees a red light and will run right through it. Guys have a certain drive and competitive spirit within. I think it’s important to show young girls that ‘Hey, you can do that too.’”
Known for its work to help minority girls make a smooth transition into adulthood, organizer T.E.E.N. Diaries was influenced by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. CEO Aeshia DeVore Branch says events like Project Butterfly are both important and necessary for young women because they can help take the stigma out of exercising and incorporate fun, sweat-inducing activities into girl’s lifestyles.”We want to teach them that they can find multiple ways to have fun and be fit. So that’s what they walk away today with saying, ‘You know what, I can jump rope and I can dance even if it’s not typically exercise, and I can listen to my favorite music and burn calories.’”
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss
I believe that the key to happiness is being your most authentic self and not caring what other people think. Some may agree, some may disagree. But that’s what I believe.
Marijuana, or cannabis, has been used by humans for thousands of years. And recently, there’s been a ton of controversy regarding the use of medical marijuana and marijuana in general. I’m sure we all know someone else *cough* who has used marijuana. By the general population’s standards, marijuana use is not seen as a very serious issue or offense. And many physicians have even lobbied for the recreational use of marijuana to treat many medical conditions.
Remember the nursery rhyme “Old McDonald Had a Farm?” We’d sing how Old McDonald had a farm with pigs that go “oink” and cows that go “moo.” Well now it seems like the nursery rhyme needs some updating. Looks like Old McDonald has added some genetically engineered sugar beets and super-fast-growing salmon to his farm. And he’s even traded in his overalls and weed wacker for a white lab coat and chemistry set.
Today we have genetically modified (GM) foods and genetically modified organisms (GMO). There are tons of GM foods including: flour, soy, milk, canola oil, and aspartame (a sweetener). And the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture)- government agency that regulates what’s grown on farms- recently approved the use of three new kinds of genetically engineered foods: alfalfa, a type of corn to make ethanol, and sugar beets. They also approved a super-fast-growing salmon- which will be the first (and most likely not the last) genetically modified animal to be sold in the U.S.
Though they’re mass marketed, the use of genetically modified food is a subject of enormous controversy. Many have been very leery of GM foods- mainly because the effects of these foods haven’t been studied long term. And some physicians and scientists argue that GM foods may be contributing to the rise of autism, obesity, diabetes, asthma, cancer, heart disease, allergies, reproductive problems, and many other common health problems plaguing Americans. To many people, GMO is just another way of saying “God Move Over.” And their fear of GM foods is based in this line of reasoning: How often do things turn out well when you mess with God’s work?
Back in 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated that GM foods pose serious health risks and called on “physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” They also called for labeling of GM foods in stores. But it looks like the USDA and the FDA aren’t trying to hear it.
Sexual abuse is a taboo subject in black families and in the black community at large. In surveys of adults, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men report that they were sexually abused as a child. And in 90 percent of cases, the perpetrator was a family member or someone that the victim knew.
I love food!! And there’s the old saying- “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So if you love food as much as I do and you’re concerned about preventing some of the most common cancers in black women, why not kill two birds with one stone? Certain foods may help to prevent many common types of cancer in black women- like breast cancer, colon cancer, and even ovarian cancer. For many of us who’ve made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight by eating less, here’s a great reason to eat more! Here’s my recommendation – make sure you enjoy these yummy fruits, vegetables, teas, spices, and sweets to help protect you from some of the most common cancers in black women. Here are 10 yummy cancer-fighting foods!