Friday, June 16, 2006

Introducing The Madd Eater...

If you haven’t found the time, or had the chance, to read, watch, learn, or think about the foods that we eat, I highly encourage you to do just that. I recommend Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and Super Size Me, the much criticized documentary on the fast food epidemic narrated by Morgan Spurlock. Both sources demonstrate how important and influential the fast food industry has become and how its far reaching effects impacts us all in some way. Those impacts can be felt in the political arena, through social interaction, economic and environmental conditions, and quite obviously, in our health and total well-being.

Who am I? Let me take a step off of my soapbox for a moment. I am a 20-something who currently resides and works in Northern Virginia. The area, though expensive offers a lot of options and resources that are not prevalent in other regions of the globe. My life as been greatly influenced, first by these two sources, but subsequently by the many other resources I have and still are researching. I must reiterate that I am not in fact trying to preach to anyone or tell them what to do. I am not trying to tell you what’s best for you because frankly I don’t have the expertise to do that. I just find this information fascinating and helpful to my way of life. My plan is to contribute to this site, W.E. A.L.L. B.E., bi-weekly. But with the rigors of life, it will probably end up being as time permits. I do, however, encourage all of the loyal visitors to W.E. A.L.L. B.E. to read and contribute to my column. We’re all finding our way and learning everyday. I don’t have all the answers. I am a work in progress. As Steve Harvey said, “Don’t trip, He’s not finished with me yet.”

Why is this important to me? Why is this important to me and should be to you? (This will be the only preaching you hear from me, I promise!) In the Covenant with Black America there are alarming statistics that plague the minority communities, but especially, the black community. And let me say this, despite what your personal opinions are toward the messenger or messengers credited with the Covenant, the stats don’t lie. They are not falsehoods like the Presidential polls.

* More than 1 out of every 3 black people have hypertension; the highest rate in the world. Hypertension can damage kidneys and lead to stroke, heart failure, and heart attack when not treated.

* Of all men ages 20 or older, 36.9 % of African Americans have high blood pressure, compared to 25.6% of their white male counterparts.

* Nearly 70% of black adults between the ages of 20 and 74 are overweight; more than half of ALL black women are overweight. Overweight is defined as bodily weight in excess of the normal for one’s age, height, and build.

* Black women are close to 80% more likely to die of a stroke than white women, and 30% more likely to die from a heart attack.

* More than 2.2 million African Americans have diabetes.

* African Americans with diabetes have a 27% higher death rate than whites with the disease.

My family has a history of diabetes. I lost my grandmother to. My grandfather has it. My uncle has it. We also have a history of obesity in my family. My family was never big on going to the doctor either. My mother, who never went to the doctor while I was growing up, started to go. When she came up to visit me after I had gone for a checkup and was performing her motherly duties of going through my cabinets and refrigerator to inspect what I was eating came across some unhealthy snacks. She questioned them, and I rebutted with the usual, “That is too expensive, I can’t afford that.” She replied with something I will never forget, “You can pay for it now, or pay for it later.” After that moment I started to really research this stuff. So, I’m paying now. I don’t want to pay later after looking at how some of my family members and my friends’ family members have had to pay later.

In the end, I hope others will take my information and the information I share and apply it to their own lives, as I hope to take the information you share with me and apply it to my own. Stay tuned for my first column on the flavoring of our food.

Until Next Time,


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