An Apple a Day

 


 

Black History Month should prompt conversation about health

February 28, 2017

As we wrap up Black History Month in February, it’s also an important time to talk about the health disparities many African Americans face.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “African American adults are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension), and heart attack and stroke deaths than white adults. Individuals living below the federal poverty level are more likely to have high blood pressure compared with those living at the highest level of income.”

Additionally, while people of varying race, gender and ethnicity are at risk for heart disease and stroke, older people and African Americans are at higher risk than others. Nearly half of all African-American adults have some sort of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, and about two out of every five African-American adults have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, less than half of them have it controlled, putting them at even greater risk.

Cancer is also a major health concern for blacks in America and the second leading cause of death. While breast cancer rates have dropped for white women, black women have the highest death rates of all racial and ethnic groups, and are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer. Black men, meanwhile, are more likely to get prostate cancer earlier, and it tends to grow more quickly.

The best recommendations for all Americans are to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise, give up smoking, dial back your use of alcohol, explore your family history for heart disease and stroke and make regular appointments with your health care provider for well checks.

Let’s make February a time for getting our health and wellness right!

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.

 


 

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

February 15, 2017

We don’t always think of the role that dental health can play in our overall health, but the reality is, how well we take care of our teeth can have an impact on our body.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poor oral health and tooth decay have been linked with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease and is associated with risk behaviors such as tobacco use and consuming foods and beverages that are high in sugar.

Health issues that result from poor dental health can be costly too. The CDC reports that the US spends more than $6 billion of productivity lost for missed work due to dental issues annually.

So, the answer is simple – we can prevent many health issues by taking care of our teeth. This means using fluoride toothpaste, brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding sweets and sugary drinks and seeing a dentist regularly.

And when it comes to our kids – they should start visiting a dentist for a first checkup by the age of 1. Because staying healthy means starting early and factoring in all aspects of our health and wellness.

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.



 

Go ahead, enjoy a healthy snack today

February 6, 2017

Since February is National Snack Month, you might expect to hear from us Public Health folks that snacking in between meals is a no-no.

The fact is,  healthy snacking is a great way to keep your metabolism moving and your energy level grooving – as long as you choose smart snacks, that is.

Healthy snacks can stave off hunger and keep you from overindulging at mealtime. They can help you to incorporate better, healthier food options, such as carrots or celery sticks. And they can help you to maintain healthy portion control.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a fun list of recipes for healthy snacks on its website, along with tips for afterschool snacks for hungry youngsters who return home after school and head for the fridge on its MyPlate site.

You’ll find help with healthy meal planning here and can get some great tips for buying the healthiest foods and snacks for your family here.

So, go ahead. Pick up a snack today and watch your overall health and wellness improve.

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.