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Health Promotion in Minority Populations – African Americans

Health Promotion in Minority Populations – African Americans

Sample Answer 

Health Promotion in Minority Populations – African Americans

Description of the Ethnic Minority Group – The Health Status and How Race and Ethnicity Influence the Groups Health

The phrase African American, also commonly referred to as Afro-American, Negro, or Black American, is commonly used to identify Americans who have partial ancestry from the black racial groups in Africa or progenies of enslaved black people in the country, a majority of which were shipped from Africa. The American Community Survey conducted in 2009 showed that African Americans represented approximately 12.4% of the total U.S. population or 37,144,430 million people. In the 2010 U.S. Census, this figure went up by nearly 42 million people, inclusive of multiracial Negroes, representing 14 percent of the U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.).

African Americans are some of the many minority groups in the United States that are facing different health challenges. According to the Noonan, Velasco-Mondragon, & Wagner (2016) report, African Americans have a higher risk of developing and dying from acute and chronic diseases than Whites. They also have the highest incidence rates nationally. Currently, the percentage of Blacks of all ages grouped having ‘poor’ or ‘fair’ health is approximately 13.8 percent (CDC, n.d.). The number of women and men with obesity aged 20 years and above is 56.1% and 37.5%, respectively. For hypertension, the percentage of women and men aged 20 years and above is 44.0% and 40.5%, respectively. The CDC (n.d.) also reports that African Americans have the lowest insurance coverage in the country, with nearly 12.1% of those aged above 65 years lacking health coverage. The mortality rate is 335,667 people annually, with heart disease, cancer, and accidents leading the race. Lastly, about 10.97 infant deaths per 1,000 live births are recorded yearly.

Among the many factors attributed to poor health among African Americans, the most widely researched are social and racial discrimination. It is argued that America is unfair in terms of distributing resources and wealth, employment, and payment of workers, often favoring Whites and discriminating against Blacks and other minority races. This has negatively impacted the well-being and health of these minority groups. According to a report released by the Center for American Progress, Blacks own just one-tenth of the wealth their white counterparts possess (Hanks, Solomon, & Weller, 2018). A majority of Black families are also more likely to encounter harmful income shocks, although they are less likely to receive emergency aid. Despite higher unemployment rates and low educational attainment, African Americans are also more likely to receive lower wages than their white counterparts.

Health Disparities and Nutritional Challenges

Several health disparities exist in the African American community. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (n.d.), the life expectancies of blacks stood at 76.1 years in 2015, with 72.9 and 78.9 years for men and women, respectively. On the other hand, the average life expectancy for whites was 79.8 years, with 77.5 years and 82.0 years for men and women, respectively. Similarly, the mortality rates for blacks are usually higher compared to their white compatriots for homicide, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, pneumonia, influenza, asthma, cancer, stroke, and heart diseases. In 2017, the Health and Human Services department also reported that 55.5% of African Americans used private insurance compared to 75.4% of whites. In the same year, 43.9% of blacks also used public insurance and Medicaid services, compared to 33.7% of whites. Furthermore, 9.9% of blacks were uninsured, compared to 5.9% of whites.

Studies have significantly attributed higher health disparities of African Americans to several nutritional challenges, including food preferences, attitudes, behavior, and belief. According to NutritionFacts.org (n.d.), blacks are more likely to consume less plant-based diets and more meat than other populations. This low-fiber, high-meat diet has been linked to higher rates of diseases such as multiple myeloma, obesity, heart disease, and other related conditions. Similarly, in a study conducted by Kolahdooz et al. (2016) to examine the food intake patterns and behaviors of black kids and adolescents (5-8 years), it was found that only 33% reported frequently taking vegetables, while 34%, 34.9%, and 32.3% indicated frequently consuming candies, sweetened juices, and sweetened drinks, respectively.

Barriers to Health for this Group Resulting from Socioeconomics, Culture, Education, and Sociopolitical Factors

Several barriers, termed as the social determinants of health, have continuously affected the ability of African Americans to live a healthy life in the United States, including education, sociopolitical, socioeconomics, and culture (HealthyPeople.gov, n.d.). Regarding socio-economic factors, studies have shown that blacks face racial discrimination, which is linked to poor education and housing, low income, and access to substandard health services. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (n.d.), in 2017, the median household income for blacks was $40,165 compared to $65,845 for whites. Also, 21.4% of African Americans had graduated with a bachelor’s degree and above, in comparison to 35.8% of whites. All these factors contribute to the health issues affecting the Afro-American population. Socially, blacks are more likely to engage in violence than whites, increasing their risk of premature death, disability, and injury. The culture, beliefs, and attitudes of blacks also deny them the opportunity to live a healthy, disease-free life. They are likely to eat more meat and fewer fruits, thereby, stand a chance of suffering from diabetes, heart disease, and other dietary conditions.

Health Promotion Activities Practiced by the Group

African Americans have, in recent years, undertaken different activities to promote their health and well-being. For example, several nationwide or regional organizations, associations, and groups have been established to educate, enlighten, and create awareness among fellow Negroes of the need to practice healthy living, including eating healthy diets (fruits and vegetables) and exercising. For instance, The Center for African American Health (n.d.) is specifically focused on promoting the well-being and health of blacks in Metro Denver by providing evidence-based, community-centered disease management and prevention services, events, and programs. Other common associations include the Black AIDS Institute, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the African American Breastfeeding Alliance, and the African American Health. Through these initiatives, community members have embarked on a journey to address some of the causes of major health disparities by enrolling for more college degrees, exercising constantly, as well as changing their nutritional intake, attitudes, and cultures.

Care Plan

Primary prevention is the most appropriate care plan for the African American ethnic group considering its unity needs. This measure is the most practical, cheaper, and easier to implement for blacks because it can address the onset of diseases, injuries, and related health issues before they start. It is impractical to give financial aid or treatment to the over 37,144,430 people, but it is possible to prevent future injuries, illnesses, and health issues before they come. This should include changing the community’s culture, beliefs, practices, and behavior to be more health-sensitive, including training them to eat and appreciate healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruits, rather than processed foods and red meat. Training and health promotion should be major ingredients of the health plan to achieve this behavioral change. Also, access and utilization of healthcare and other key social services, such as quality education, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, equal employment, and higher pay, among blacks should be increased through policy changes. These are the primary social determinants affecting their access to quality health.

Cultural Beliefs and Practices that Must be Considered When Creating a Care Plan

For the healthcare plan to be effective, it is imperative to consider African Americans’ cultural practices and beliefs. In particular, the new plan should consider five major things: spirituality, orality, improvisation, rhythm, and time. According to Oney et al. (2015), African Americans exhibit less anorexic, bulimic, and dieting attitudes and behaviors. Bulimia is an eating disorder related to consuming extreme levels of food within a short time, followed by shame and guilt. Anorexia, on the other, is the behavior associated with losing weight through exercise or controlled eating. Thereby, the most effective theoretical model that would best sustain a cultural health promotion effort for African Americans is the TRIOS (spirituality, orality, improvisation, rhythm, and time) theory. This is because recent studies, including the one done by Oney et al. in 2015, demonstrate that blacks score high in all the five elements of the TRIOS model, making it a suitable model for the group.

References

CDC. (n.d.). The health of Black or African American non-Hispanic Population. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/black-health.htm

Hanks, A., Solomon, D., & Weller, C. E. (2018). Systematic inequality: How America’s structural racism helped create the black-white wealth gap. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/reports/2018/02/21/447051/systematic-inequality/s

HealthyPeople.gov. (n.d.). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health

Kolahdooz, F., et al. (2016). Food and nutrient intake in African American children and adolescents aged five to 16 years in Baltimore City. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 35(3), 205-216.

Noonan, A. S., Velasco-Mondragon, H. E., & Wagner, F. A. (2016). Improving the health of African Americans in the USA: An overdue opportunity for social justice. Public Health Reviews, 37(12). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5810013/

NutritionFacts.org. (n.d.). African Americans. Retrieved from https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/african-americans/

Oney, C, et al. (2015). Eating behaviors and related cultural attitudes of African American men and women. Health Psychology Open, 1-8.

The Center for African American Health. (n.d.). Empowering the community to live well. Retrieved from https://caahealth.org/

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). ACS Demographic and housing estimates: 2009 – American community survey 1-year estimates. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk

U.S. Department of Human & Health Services. (n.d.). Profile: Black/African Americans. Retrieved from https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=61

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Question 


Health Promotion in Minority Populations – African Americans

Select an ethnic minority group that is represented in the United States (American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian American, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander). Using health information available from Healthy People, the CDC, and other relevant government websites, analyze the health status for this group.

In a paper of 1,000-1,250 words, compare and contrast the health status of your selected minority group to the national average. Include the following:

  • Describe the ethnic minority group selected. Describe the current health status of this group. How do race and ethnicity influence health for this group?
  • What are the health disparities that exist for this group? What are the nutritional challenges for this group
  • Discuss the barriers to health for this group resulting from culture, socioeconomics, education, and sociopolitical factors.

    Health Promotion in Minority Populations – African Americans

    Health Promotion in Minority Populations – African Americans

  • What health promotion activities are often practiced by this group?
  • Describe at least one approach using the three levels of health promotion prevention (primary, secondary, and tertiary) that is likely to be the most effective in a care plan given the unique needs of the minority group you have selected. Provide an explanation of why it might be the most effective choice.
  • What cultural beliefs or practices must be considered when creating a care plan? What cultural theory or model would be best to support culturally competent health promotion for this population? Why?
  • Cite at least three peer-reviewed or scholarly sources to complete this assignment. Sources should be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and public health content.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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