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And fast foot companies have specifically targeted African American communities as a growing market for their products.Although many African Americans eat foods such as greens, beans, and rice, which are rich in nutrients, economic issues and deep-rooted dietary habits create challenges for changing behaviors and lowering disease risk in this population.The following guides emphasize information that can be used to stimulate thinking about cultural differences and prompt questions that will help providers understand how their patients identify with and express their cultural backgrounds.These are not fact lists to apply indiscriminately.An apt analogy to keep in mind is that learning about a specific model of car is helped by referencing the operator’s manual, but reading and even memorizing that manual doesn’t replace learning how to drive a car.The following cultural patterns may represent many African Americans, but do not represent all people in a community.
The structure in African American families is often nuclear and extended with non-related “family” members.
Body and Soul: A Celebration of Health Eating and Living for African Americans offers information targeted to African Americans on eating a health diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
African Americans often have strong religious affiliations.
Soul food may refer to meals made with fried chicken, pork chops, chitterlings, grits, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and hushpuppies.
Dishes such as hoppin’ John (rice, black-eyed peas, and salt pork), gumbos, jambalyas, fried porgies, and potlikker may all be considered soul food.
African Americans are affected disproportionately by the leading causes of death in the US, with more morbidity and mortality from premature births, cancer, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diseases related to obesity, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.