Although the CDC recently reported that only a fraction of persons all ages (13.5%) are in fair or poor health, there’s a long line of alarming statics surrounding health in the African American community.
Take for instance that in 2011-2014, 37.6% of men 20 years and over suffered with obesity. While there’s nothing wrong with a little extra cushion for the pushing, compare that to the 56.9% of women 20 years and over suffering from obesity: a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems – and things begin to get real. Not to mention, non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity coming in at 47.8%.
While obesity can be self-treated, by adopting a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise, if left unaddressed it can lead to obesity-related conditions like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer — some of the leading causes of preventable death.
Oddly enough, the CDC goes on to report that heart disease, cancer and stroke are all leading causes of death in the Black community.
So what is the number one cause of death in the African American community? Heart disease. In 2013, heart disease accounted for 23.8% of deaths in both the non-Hispanic black populations. On the other hand, cancer accounted for 22.5% of deaths.
So how does one help prevent developing one of these diseases – at any age?
Top Cardiologist and researcher and former president of the American Heart Association, Dr. Clyde Yancy says that “50% of our efforts in reducing heart disease and stroke come from embracing better health choices. We’re talking lifestyle changes changes. We’re talking about good living, not just existing. Because truly, every choice we make can have a lifetime effect on our health.”
Dr. Yancy says instead of telling you that “you shouldn’t eat this, and not too much of that, let’s embrace our best health potential. Let’s talk about a life success plan that works for everybody; men and women, old and young, everybody. This plan has a name: The Simple 7. Seven simple steps that when taken together can help you reach your best health potential.”