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Analysis of African American Healthcare

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Cine Sanders

March 3, 2005

Article Review

The article on Black America Web entitled "The state of Black America, Part 4: Health as Wealth" (Lewis, 17 Jan. 05) is mainly addressing how African Americans should get check-ups, eat a healthier diet, exercise, among other things to maintain their health. The authors main point of writing an article about health is so that African Americans will be propelled to take preventative measures to prevent and treat disease that may be debilitating or lethal, to get professional help if they are not feeling mentally prepared, and to put aside mistrust of the medical profession.

One reason, stated the author, for the state of health for Black Americans is "in dire straits" is because blacks have fallen behind other races in getting quality health care and insurance. Dr. Michael Floyd of Meharry Medical College in Nashville Tennessee, who specializes in internal medicine, was used to explain the medical aspects of the article. African Americans have a tendency wait until we're sick to visit the emergency room instead of visiting a primary care physician. Visiting a primary care physician may lead to an early diagnosis in people and an offering of sound advice on leading a healthier lifestyle. The weakening economy is largely a benefactor in the lack of adequate health care in blacks. Politics and the economy play a role in our access to quality healthcare and how we deal with diseases and medication, but much of responsibility falls on us to become more informed.

A lot of the problems African Americans have (like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, renal disease, etc.) can be averted by exercise. The author used a certified personal trainer, Kimberly Garrison to help prove this point. Garrison says blacks have become too comfortable being oversized, have too many excuses when it comes to working out, and need to make working out appropriately and choosing a healthier diet part of our daily routine to have a long term benefit. Garrison named a few solutions,like committing yourself to cutting fried foods, get good cardio exercise three to four times a week, and add additional weight training to tone and strengthen muscles. She also stated blacks should make exercise a priority over getting their nails and hair done, driving expensive cars instead of having an importance on feeling good and being in good health.

Psychologist, author, and lecturer Na'im Akbar says more people are depressed today because our community has had a decline in social and spiritual support systems, which causes blacks to have a more difficult time dealing with depression. Migrations from hometowns, breakdown of families, and the foray into middle- and upper-class economic levels have been detrimental to the support systems like a network of family and friends. Akbar believes materialism has crept into our lifestyles allowing mundane things in the vein of clothes, cars, what people own to dictate how we feel. He also adds substance abuse as another outcome of the loss of support systems,



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