It was my pleasure to participate in a new annual event associated with East Carolina University and Eastern AHEC entitled -- "The Jean Mills Health Symposium." This was the 3rd annual event which honors the memory of Jean Mills. Keeping the tradition continuing, Mr. Amos T. Mills, III sponsors the event in collaboration with East Carolina University, Pitt Memorial Hospital Foundation and Eastern AHEC. The symposium helps to address current health issues affecting African Americans and Hispanic Populations in eastern North Carolina. The symposium is designed to:
- Identify current issues in health disparities research;
- Describe current ECU research evidence in health disparities;
- Discuss the future directions of health disparities research at ECU;
- Provide networking opportunities for researchers, practitioners and community who are interested in reducing health disparities; and
- Apply health disparities research in practice to reduce health disparities and improve health services.
As Mr. Amos Mills, III emphasized in his message to the audience -- "We need to solve the problem of obesity.....because this relates to all of the major chronic health problems affecting the African American population.... it is a human problem."
There were several faculty presenters from East Carolina University including the Keynote Speaker -- Dr. James Johnson -- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In the early afternoon, I gave my presentation during the session entitled, "The Impact of Obesity and Nutrition." This presentation focused on the major cultural health issues related to my book entitled, "Food Choice and Obesity in Black America: Creating a New Cultural Diet." I talked about how African Americans generally perceive health, body image, food, dieting, physical fitness, and exercise. Additionally, I presented my cultural health plan -- The New Black Cultural Diet -- to establish a lifestyle strategy that will be both effective and manageable.
The major objectives of my presentation were to:
- Provide health disparity data on overweight and obesity issues related to African Americans;
- Highlight one of my research studies showing the disparity in the African American population;
- Present qualitative data on African Americans' perspective related to body image, food preferences, and exercise/physical fitness.
- Engage the audience to view and understand these cultural health issues from the perspective of the African American.
I had a great time presenting to this audience and they were very receptive to the major themes from my book. In fact, several participants shared some very insightful cultural health information on how they are individually modifying and changing their dietary pattern and lifestyle pattern in order to live a better quality of life! This was very rewarding to hear and I enjoyed their participation immensely!
That's the latest from this Medical Anthropologist!! As always, Follow Your Dream!!