The evidence base for associations between eating patterns and specific health outcomes continues to grow. Strong evidence shows that healthy eating patterns (reducing sugar and sodium intake) are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Moderate evidence indicates that healthy eating patterns also are associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancers (such as colorectal and postmenopausal breast cancers), overweight, and obesity. Added sugar reduction, especially by decreasing sweetened beverages and increasing water consumption, needs to become a major health education effort in our schools, clinics and in our families.
Racial/ethnic healthcare and health disparities exist in our country for minorities living in poverty or in middle class neighborhoods where they live with chronic stress – low income jobs, high unemployment, crime, drugs, gangs, substandard housing, unsafe public spaces, guns, lack of nutritious food and drinks, lack of clean air and water and our undocumented family members live in constant fear of deportation and family break-ups. The consequences of these social determinants of health are early childhood obesity that lead to young adult heart disease, diabetes, asthma, HIV, cancers, depression and mental illness and drug addictions.
NHMA will be discussing policies for Congress and the next Administration to develop more culturally relevant public health education programs. Also, NHMA and other national minority health leaders are meeting with the US Department of Health and Human Services to discuss key ways to build programs for our minority populations' health following this briefing. Some other policies include access to affordable insurance and medications, improved mental health services, increased recruitment and mentoring of minority students to medicine and nursing careers in our communities, quality and coordinated care and research on minority patient centered health delivery and prevention.
About National Hispanic Medical Association:
Established in 1994 in Washington, DC, the National Hispanic Medical Association is a non-profit association representing the interests of 50,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States. Its mission is to improve the health of Hispanic and other underserved populations. www.nhmamd.org
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SOURCE National Hispanic Medical Association