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FITLIFE

Food related illness….a circumstantial concern?!

Food related illness….a circumstantial concern?!

by Michelle Mitchum

September 07, 2017


Have you ever wondered to yourself, why certain diseases are more prevalent in certain communities?  Diabetes is 60% more prevalent in black Americans versus white Americans (WebMD.com), and black Americans are over 2x more likely to suffer limb amputation as a result to the disease, and 5x more likely to suffer kidney disease. Lastly, black Americans are more likely to develop high blood pressure earlier in life, and are most likely to develop complications from the disease.


Genetics is partly the blame for the disparity, however socio-economic factors cannot be ignored.  27.6% of black Americans live below the poverty level. .  A persons’ quality of life is largely dependent on the amount of their annual income.  The federal income guideline/cut-off for a family of 4 is $44,000 in NYC. (Not sure how a family of 4 in NYC is expected to live well with that income).  According to the Huffington Post, 45.6 percent of New Yorkers are barely making ends meet, even with more adults working full-time since the recession. A combination of low wages, rising rents, and a lack of benefits is largely to blame.

 

Earning below the median income, guarantees some quality-of-life based challenges. The quality of the neighborhood that you are able to afford to live in is often depressed, because these neighborhoods isolate their residents from resources they need to reach their potential.  Crime rates are higher, education levels are lower and valuable nutritional resources are scarce. Fast-food restaurants are in abundance and most affordable food in the marketplace lack high nutritional value. Of all of the issues that plague these communities, this is the most obvious culprit when discussing the issue of food related illness. 

 

Take a look at the rate of certain illnesses in the black community versus the white community, (as stated earlier diabetes is 60% more prevalent in black Americans versus white Americans and black Americans are over 2x more likely to suffer limb amputation as a result to the disease, and 5x more likely to suffer kidney disease.)

 

When we speak of the difference in the rate-of-occurrence of such illnesses, the disease and poverty rates of each are direct reflection of one another. If the access to preventative measure, such as ‘affordable’ nutrient rich foods, affordable health care between the groups were equal, the rates of incidence in the black community would drastically decrease.

 

 

 

 

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