Exercise and Diet for boosting Black women’s health

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The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) operates a program that encourages Black women to maintain a healthy weight by becoming more physically active and eating healthier foods called “Sisters Together: Move More, Eat Better.�

The NIDDK initiated the program in the nation’s capital to call attention to the health risks caused by the high rates of overweight and obesity among African-American women. Recent statistics indicate that over 50 percent of all Black women are overweight or obese, and the numbers are steadily rising. High-fat diets, super-sized portions and lack of physical activity are resulting in extremely high rates of type 2 diabetes in Black women. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The centerpiece of the program is a series of free publications designed to encourage Black women of all ages to improve their health:

• Celebrate the Beauty of Youth
• Energize Yourself and Your Family
• Fit and Fabulous as You Mature
• Walking...A Step in the Right Direction

Each of the publications offers age-appropriate tips for incorporating physical activity and healthy eating into daily living. Free copies of the Sisters Together publications are available by calling 1-877-WIN-4627 or by visiting ww.niddk.nih.gov/health/nutrit/nutrit.htm, the WIN website.

"We understand how difficult it is to modify lifelong habits," said Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Deputy Director, NIDDK and Grand Marshal for the Sisters Together launch. "This is precisely why we are not suggesting that African-American women make dramatic changes overnight. What’s important is to take incremental steps toward becoming healthier. Big changes often start with a few small steps."

Sisters Together is a program of the Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a national service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Leslie Curtis


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