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Health Disparities in African Americans

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 1907 words Published: 5th Sep 2017

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Despite the continuous improvement and attention to the entire health of Americans, the African Americans are prone to more chronic health problem as compared to other races. The disparities are multi-variant and are contributed by numerous issues such as the social, economic status and the lifestyle behaviors. The heart and cancer disease are the major leading causes of death among the African Americans aged from 18years as per the 2002 census. In 2009, health expenditure of USA reached $2.5 trillion, but despite the tremendous increase, there exists a disproportionate health condition that is defined according to ethnic and racial lines. Though the causes related to disparities in health are diverse, it remains significant to understand the part played by the social-economic status in the health of an individual. People experiencing low economic status can be characterized by poor sanitation, poor housing, poor working conditions and unbearable social environment (Airhihenbuwa and Liburd 3). Moreover, issues of inadequate health care resources and poor health care system, accessibility that impact the health directly or indirectly are evidenced in communities where economic instability exists. Among the African Americans, the effects of poor economic status are pronounced with mortality and morbidity remaining high in America.

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The African Americans have the highest level of obesity in America with 58% of the men and 59% of the women being either overweight or obese. An overweight person is a 2-6 time likely to experience high blood pressure as compared to normal weight. This can be substantiated by the continuous increase of African American suffering from health problems related to obesity, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and stroke among other problems. As per the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease ranked as number one in killing the African American as compared to the other races as a result of their lifestyle and the poor economic status that subject them to poor health conditions. It is documented that 36% of the African American deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease which is more than 290000 people who die each year (BRANNON 214). The smoking behavior among the African American is high as compared to other races living in America and is associated with an increase of disease manifestation since it raises the blood pressure overworking the heart as it tries to maintain the blood flow. The culture of African American also facilitates to health disparities among the races (Braithwaite, Austin and Taylor ). The tradition of the African American revolves around the family, interacting and sharing, which mainly centered on foods that have high levels of fat, calories and thus these people are less concerned about health consequences.

Intervention plan

The intervention purpose to reduce the racial and ethnic disparities that exist in health among the Americans. The disparity in America has been extensively documented, and thus an intervention program is needed to reduce it, ranging from quality of care, language difficulties, and accessibility to health care and the insurance cover.

The intervention plan revolves around a program designed to enhance equity as well as compelling the government to assess on policies that uphold health equity among the Americans. Equity, according to the Institute of Medicine is one of the major fundamental realms towards high-quality care. The plan purposes to encourage an integrated approach that is evidence based and adopt practices that can reduce the existing disparities.

The plan aims to transform the health care in America and can be accomplished through the government focusing on the equitable distribution of healthcare amenities in all regions to ease the accessibility that has resulted to increased disparities. The effectiveness of pay for performance strategy need to be evaluated to ascertain the best mechanism to be adopted to enhance effective services.

In terms of increasing the efficiency and accountability, the plan reflects on the well-being of the people. The economic status subject people in different classes and the disadvantaged people economically face the challenge of accessing the best health care services and thus a health insurance that is standardized need to be implemented to ensure the health care professional equality treats the patients. Sensitize the people on the importance of upholding various issues to ensure disparities in health is reduced. For instance, the African American need to understand their culture facilitate to disparities realized in America (Airhihenbuwa and Liburd). Through sensitizing on the importance of creating a culture of equity through ensuring the people understand disparities are problems and that they exist among themselves through their patients and thus a need for responsibility is required to address the issue as a way of accomplishing health equality in America.

In advancing the health, safety and the wellbeing of the Americans, the plan reflects on the impact of the lifestyle adopted by the people facilitates the disparities in health care. America has different races with African American culture identified as vulnerable to attract numerous health issues. In this consideration, an awareness initiative to uphold activities towards better health services and low level of diseases need to be put in place. Initiating a system that facilitates a collaboration of all stakeholders to warrant an efficient system that will reduce the gap existing among the people as a result of cultures can be managed with a program focusing on equality among the American people.

The importance of radical science and innovation is key considering the diseases that are causing increased mortality, and thus in terms of reducing the disparity, the plan encourage innovative mechanism to be adopted to ensure the treatment is available. This can be accomplished through strengthening the American health human resources and infrastructures.

Awareness of the factors that influence the eating style in terms of how much and what an individual eats can assist in making the appropriate eating choices. In America food is adequate and this poses options of something to eat especially unhealthy eating. In my nutrition plan, the issue of routine remains a priority to ensure people, upholds balanced meal while the children learn the cultural and social skills (Braithwaite, Austin and Taylor ). Highlighting of unhealthy food and discouraging them and encouraging the consumptions of fruits and vegetables.

Nutrition plan

Ensure your daily meal upholds balance diet. On this part avoid pre-packaged, frozen, microwavable and any other unhealthy food. Timing is a key factor that needs to be observed on issues of food to avoid eating many times in a day. Take one breakfast, lunch and supper and a snack in a day and uphold this diet. For breakfast, you need to take a strong one to have the energy for the day and should be nutritious and uphold balanced diet. Lunch should uphold balanced diet and adequate as well as dinner with avoidance of snacks and unhealthy eating prevailing.

Benefits of physical activities

As reflected above the African American have problems with weight with a big percentage suffering from obesity. Obesity and overweight lead to energy imbalance where people consume more calories as compared to those being burnt. The calories burnt are determined by many factors such as age, gender, and body size among others, but the activities performed is the most variable factor. Activities can assist people to maintain weight, lose weight and keep it lowered the risk of heart diseases, hypertension, stroke, diabetes among others.

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Adopting this strategy among the African American community the level of health issues and the mortality rate will reduce significantly. To implement the strategy in an effective way can be through sensitizing the people through the available media sources on the importance of physical activities. Through this mechanism, adopting a foundation that aims at enlightening the African American on the importance of checking the weight and assisting them in various ways to activities they can engage into work on their body weight. Though the foundation might not reach every person, but the sensitization remains the key factor to manage body weight and other lifestyle activities that subject them to continuing health problems (Jackson 4). The issue of inadequate knowledge of the measures that can be upheld to enable an individual to overcome issues of obesity, overweight, hypertension and heart diseases that are heavily associated with the mortality of the African American and the entire population of America.

The economic stability of African Americans is way down as compared to other races in the country, and thus the issue, taking precautions remain a vital issue, and a foundation can be in a position to facilitate accomplishment of this issue. The foundation is in a position to raise enough money that is required to enable the mobilization and sensitization of the people on the importance of clean environment. Cleanliness reduces the transmission of diseases, and thus, despite the few health amenities in this area, knowledge remain a substantial among the people to prevent themselves from diseases. The education will also involve the significance of balanced diet and observe the mode of feeding as a way to reduce health problems. The inadequate knowledge on the best diet to control the increasing of calories and cholesterols in the body requires this program to enlighten people on the best way to balance the physical activities and the calories taken. The foundation also understands the gap that exists on the issue of understanding how insurance works and the importance of being insured either by the government or a private insurance company. Through the foundation that specifically focus on bettering and enlightening the people in the various ways, they can naturally avoid health issue could highly reduce the health problems aiming the African American community as well as the other communities in America.


Disparities in health care in America are relevant and requires substantial policies to reduce or even equate every person in the country. As reflected in the paper the African American are disadvantaged in various ways subjecting them to poor health care. However, the adoption of the right programs, equality, and health care services that fit all American can be attained.

Airhihenbuwa, Collins O., and Leandris Liburd. “Eliminating Health Disparities in the African American Population: The Interface of Culture, Gender, and Power.” Health Education & Behavior (2006): 3-14.

Braithwaite, Ronald L, John N Austin and Sandra E Taylor . Health issues in the black community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2013.

BRANNON, LINDA. Health Psychology: An Introduction to Behavior and Health. Belmont: CENGAGE LEARNING, 2017.

Jackson, Allen W. Physical Activity for Health and Fitness. Leeds : Human Kinetics, 2004.


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