7 Important Topics in African American Health
February is black history month, and we can’t talk about black history without addressing the historical reasons why African Americans have difficulties with their health. African American health has many disparities that we need to overcome, but it starts with education. Here are seven important topics in African American health.
African Americans are disproportionally diagnosed with preventable conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Looking at the COVID-19 pandemic, we are dying at a higher rate due to these higher rates of health issues. If you want to read more about health disparities in African Americans, read: Health Disparities in African Americans and What to Do About Them
Do you know the difference between health equity and healthy equality? With the health disparity gap comes other socio-economical issues that layer on the difficulty in African American health. Things like access to proper care or bias with healthcare providers lead African Americans to not only distrust healthcare systems but be underdiagnosed for adequate care. That is why in 2021, the world health organization wanted to address this issue with their focus of the year. Read more about it here: World Health Day 2021: A Fairer Healthier World
Racism and Health
The racism faced by African Americans is not only holding us back but taking a toll on our health. The generational hardships black people face are affecting us physically. The effects of racism are even found in our DNA, and it’s becoming so prominent officials have named racism a public health crisis. To learn more about this read: 5 Eye-opening Ways Racism Impacts African American Health
Outdated Health Baselines
Health professionals are using ideological bias regarding things like pain threshold. The measurements widely used to determine obesity are not relevant to our bodies. Measurements like BMI were developed with a eurocentric point of view and did not consider the structures of the other. The trickle-down effects of these measurements lead to higher insurance rates, so it’s essential to learn the bias behind them for change. Read: Here’s Why The BMI is Flawed
Health Information Bias
In addition to measurement bias, there is a bias regarding the use of sunscreen amongst melanated people. Even health professionals may buy into this narrative and not recommend the use of things like sunscreen. In fact, black people may be diagnosed with more severe forms of skin cancer because of misinformation surrounding black people and their need for sunscreen. To read more: Yes, Melanated People Need Sunscreen Too
Diversity and Fitness
If you google images of fitness or wellness, it’s primarily those of a lighter skinner look. If we want African Americans to take charge of their health, they need to see more examples of people that look like them. Many health and fitness products and companies lack the awareness to support their black and brown patrons. To read more about this topic, check out: Why The Health and Fitness Industry Needs to Focus on Diversity
African Americans have dealt with many traumatic experiences over the years. Seeing unjust killings and laws that make life more complicated can take a toll on your mental health. This is why it’s important to develop coping skills to help you deal with traumatic experiences. We must become resilient and learn the ways to cope; read: Five Ways to Cope & Build Community Resiliency Following Adverse Community Experiences
These are just some of the topics I’ve covered on this platform surrounding health and African Americans. There are many layers to this, but hopefully, we can close these generational health disparities with the proper education. Please share this information with someone who may need it.