Introducing “Health Talk”
A major but highly neglected aspect in the art of thriving while Black is taking care of our health. Black health in America is complicated. Health disparities are a major issue and despite the US government saying it’s a priority for the past 10 years these disparities, rather than being eliminated have either changed very little or worsened over time. African Americans have higher incidence of and worse health outcomes from the major chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Heart disease, Stroke, Hypertension as well as many types of cancers when compared to white Americans. Similarly disturbing health disparities exist for non-Black PoC as well.
Health standards are not really developed for Black people and things like BMI and dietary guidelines do not reflect the reality of Black life in America. Many of us live in unhealthy environments. As humans, we adapt to our environments. Thus, if we are well adapted to an unhealthy environment then too many of us find ourselves unhealthy and do not know how to work our way back to good health. Being healthy is challenging in a world that;
- does not make healthy living easy and
- does not make being Black easy
The historical and institutional differences in health care for PoC combined with the unique stressors of being Black in America is literally damaging our health and killing many slowly. The current spotlight is rightly on racist murders and police brutality. In the midst of this our health and wellbeing, our self care and the need for PoC to have a health system that isn’t systematically racist remain ongoing issues.
My graduate studies center around health behavior and health education so I will be launching a segment on this blog called “Health Talk.” Every other week there will be a post on a health-related topic ranging from the basics of how our bodies work and what they need, to more psychological and sociological approaches to wellbeing and the issues surrounding health. This is called a biopsychosocial approach. The idea is to educate and not only increase the understanding of health, but also to help create a culture of health that empowers vulnerable people and engages issues of justice and practicality. In other words, I want wellness to become a part of our daily lives and how we interact until being healthy becomes part of our culture. I also want to ensure issues of health justice are being addressed and that we begin to look at health in a practical, real-life way rather than as an unattainable ideal.
If you have topics you’d like me to address in my role as a health educator (Please note: I’m not a medical doctor) do feel free to make suggestions or ask questions on my Facebook page. My first “Health Talk” series is going to be on Nutrition Basics. It will be 8 posts providing a foundation for understanding what our bodies need and how to start making healthier decisions. Look out for the first in the Nutrition Basics series in 2 weeks. If you’re trying to lead a healthier life, if you’re in the health or fitness industry, if you believe in health advocacy and want to help create a culture of health in our communities then please read, share and apply the information I will be posting. It is important and useful for anyone. In between “Health Talk” posts you will get my regular musings about various topics from my Blackademic perspective because, you know, balance. Thank you for all your support!
© 2015 Kelene Blake, All Rights Reserved