Health Bits: Obesity, Cholesterol, & Diabetes

-A +A
0

The higher your cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease. High cholesterol is a health problem for African American women. However, African American women have lower cholesterol levels than white women. Control your cholesterol by getting your cholesterol checked, exercising, eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and keeping a healthy weight. Ask your health care provider about how often you should get your cholesterol checked.

Diabetes Tips and healthcare

You can get diabetes if your body does not use insulin right. Insulin in your body changes the sugars in food into energy.

Type 1 diabetes happens when your body destroys its own cells that make insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin. Diabetes affects women of all ages. Overall, African Americans are twice as likely to have diabetes than whites.

A growing number of children are getting type 2 diabetes. Children have a greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes if they are overweight or if a family member has it. Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in African American children under 20 years old.

People with diabetes have a higher chance of having problems with their skin, mouth, kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes, and feet. African Americans experience higher rates of at least three of diabetes' most serious complications: eye disease, amputation, and kidney failure. Although type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, there are steps you can take to prevent and control type 2 diabetes:

• See your health care providers regularly. Don't forget about the dentist and eye doctor!
• Don't smoke.
• Control your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, your blood pressure, and your weight.
• Exercise (30 minutes most days of the week is best).
• Check your feet everyday for blisters, red spots, swelling, or cuts.
• Stay aware of how you feel-if you notice a problem, call your health care provider right away.

African American Women and High Cholesterol

Over 25% of American women have blood cholesterol levels high enough to put them at risk for heart disease.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in all parts of the body. It comes from two sources: your body and the food you eat. Your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs. Eating too much cholesterol in animal foods like meats, whole milk dairy products, and egg yolks can make your cholesterol go up. Cholesterol blocks blood from flowing easily through your body.

The higher your cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease. High cholesterol is a health problem for African American women. However, African American women have lower cholesterol levels than white women. Control your cholesterol by getting your cholesterol checked, exercising, eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and keeping a healthy weight. Ask your health care provider about how often you should get your cholesterol checked.


Risks of being Overweight and Obese

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, breathing problems, arthritis, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea (breathing problems while sleeping), osteoarthritis and some cancers.

Obesity is measured with a Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI shows the relationship of weight to height. Women with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while women with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese. All adults (aged 18 years or older) who have a BMI of 25 or more are considered at risk for premature death and disability from being overweight or obese. These health risks increase as the BMI rises.

Your health care provider can help you figure out your body mass or go to www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/calc-bmi.htm. Not only are health care providers concerned about how much fat a person has, but also where the fat is located on the body.

Women with a "pear" shape tend to store fat in their hips and buttocks. Women with an "apple" shape store fat around their waists. For most women, carrying extra weight around their waists or middle (with a waist larger than 35 inches) raises health risks (like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer) more than carrying extra weight around their hips or thighs.

Fifty percent of adult African American women are obese. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can lower your risk for many diseases. And physical activity is an important part of weight loss treatment. Try to be active (30 minutes most days of the week is best) and eat better to help prevent and treat obesity.

Also Check Out...

NYC Tests Mali Traveler For Ebola
It Never Gets Old
BRITS HONOR FIRST BLACK ARMY
A Tale of Two Cities
NEARLY HALF A MILLION JOIN ROUSING
Ntozake Shange speaks to