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African American Health

African American male`s eating habits

12/10/2007

Question:

I have a step son the has a diet that I consider high in fat and whatever else comes with junk foods. He has been allowed to go to the store at his leisure to buy honey buns, chocolates, sodas, etc. When he visits I have to watch him because he will over do it on snacks. We have other children and I will bake cookies or a cake on Sundays and dish out a small portion for dessert. However, he will dig and find the left overs and then eat uncontrollably. I want to educate him on his risks. Everything I find points to obesity. He is 14, tall and thin. I think he beleives his thinness will save him. Please help me locate literature. CNN had a great late night special on the eating habits of African American Children`s eating habits and deseases that are stemmed from that. I have been unable to find it.

Answer:

Thank you very much for the question.  From your discussion, you have every reason to be concerned.  Often, poor dietary habits begin in adolescence and persist into adulthood.  Educating your step-son as well as providing nutritious dietary alternatives is a good first step to changing is eating behaviors.  There are a number of websites that discuss this information.  I have attached links to websites by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) in the Department of Health and Human Services.  These sites provide up-to-date information on nutrition and have special fact sheets that are geared to African Americans.  I hope that you find this information helpful.

Related Resources:

Nutrition Information - American Academy of Pediatrics
Nutrition Information - Office of Minority Health
Nutrition Facts - Centers for Disease Control

For more information:

Go to the African American Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati