Thursday, January 24, 2013

Health Matters - Shame on N.A.A.C.P. NY!!!

Benjamin Jealous -President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

As I was reading an article on the court case where the American soft-drink industry argued against Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s restrictions on super sized sugary drinks, I was shocked to see that the New York chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) was standing with the soda industry.

Of all the years that I have known of the NAACP, I have attended events and supported their causes, I never really spent time reading up on their current roles and events on their website. I assumed that they understood the needs of the people that they claim to serve and so I decided to go on and take a look at their website to see if they understood the plight of the health disparities that exist among the colored people.

According to their website in the Advocacy & Issues column they wrote the following in their health section:

The NAACP brings our national voice to assist in the eradication of these racial and ethnic disparities, with a focus not only on disease prevention, but on the social and environmental factors that affect health and wellness.

The NAACP is committed to eliminating the racial and ethnic disparities in our health care system that plague people of color in the United States. African Americans continue to have the highest incidence, prevalence and mortality rates from chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Additionally issues like HIV and infant mortality have continued to overwhelm the Black community. Systemic imbalances in the health care delivery system disproportionately affect African Americans and Latinas more than their White counterparts.

This gives me even more reason to pause, wonder, scream and cry out loudly at the N.A.A.C.P. How is your support of super size soda advancing the lives of the colored people? There are many diseases and illnesses that are associated with poor diet which includes the excessive consumption of sugary drinks (soda). In fact, the number of cases of those with diabetes are on the rise and even more so in children. Type II diabetes which was once associated with older people is now becoming common with children. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2011 nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. In addition, an estimated 79 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes raises a person's risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Racial and ethnic minorities continue to have higher rates of diabetes after adjusting for population age differences. For adults, diabetes rates were 16.1 percent for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 12.6 percent for blacks, 11.8 percent for Hispanics, 8.4 percent for Asian-Americans, and 7.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites.
Mayor Bloomberg of New York

The New York State Department of Health indicates the following:

African Americans
Have the highest prevalence of diabetes of all racial/ethnic groups (U.S.).
Have the highest rate of adult obesity as compared to any other racial/ethnic group (U.S.).

American Indians/Alaska Natives
Have an infant death rate 40 percent higher than the rate for Whites (U.S.).
Are 60% more likely to have a stroke than their White counterparts (U.S.).
Women are 2.4 times more likely to have, and to die from, liver and inflammatory bowel disease cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic White women (U.S.).

Asian Americans
Have three times the incidence of liver and inflammatory bowel disease cancer as the non-Hispanic White population. (U.S.)
Vietnamese women have rates of cervical cancer that are five times higher than the rates for White women. (U.S.)

Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders
Have almost double the rate of diabetes and are almost six times more likely to die from diabetes as White residents. (U.S.)
Native Hawaiian women have the highest incidence and mortality rates of endometrial cancers for all U.S. women.

Among children ages 2 to 5 in New York, 20.1 percent of Hispanic children are obese, compared with 13.8 percent of African Americans and 12.4 percent of Whites.
Have a death rate due to diabetes that is 40 percent higher than for non-Hispanic Whites. (U.S.)
More than a third of Hispanics in the United States do not have health insurance.

Hazel Dukes President of New York Chapter of N.A.A.C.P

Here's what matters most - the health and wellness of the people. The generous donations of the big companies seems to be more important as you host galas for recognizing celebrities and each other within your organization. However, on the local levels, the people who are in need of your true representation are counting on you to care, really care about their health. It is obviously not enough to have it written on your website for we all know that actions speaks louder than words! Your actions as it relates to the health and wellness of the people is rather loud and clear.

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