The National Center for Health Statistics has recently released figures that show 50% of all African American women are obese. In response to these statistics, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and its foundation are spearheading the 2007 Black Health Empowerment Project Tour, which aims to increase awareness of the detrimental effects of obesity, and encourage healthy living and eating.
CBC chair Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) states: "This event gives families an opportunity to learn about important health issues, speak with experts and explore available resources. It also empowers them to make informed choices that will affect them for a lifetime."
The tour begins in Detroit on June 16, 2007 and travels to Atlanta, Cleveland, Virgin Islands, Dallas and New Orleans.
Best of all, it's free and a fun family activity!
Another tour coming to a city near you is the 50 Million Pound Challenge. The challenge is a national effort spearheaded by Dr. Ian Smith, a physician, journalist and author (pictured on left-you may recognize him from Vh1's Celebrity Fit Club). The challenge is aimed at taking control of our lives and good health by getting fit and losing weight.
The website states that the number one health challenge facing African Americans is being overweight (80% of adult women and 67% of adult men). Equally worrisome is that 20% of African-American teenagers between the ages 12-19 are overweight, and this number appears to be rising.
Being overweight, which can lead to obesity, affects life expectancy, and can cause diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer.
Numerous celebrities have joined this effort, including Patti LaBelle, Steve Harvey, Omarion, Biz Markie and other African American leaders.
Visit the website to get tools, tips, a personal weight tracker and to find out where you can pick up your own Challenge kit from your local State Farm Insurance office, the sponsor for this initiative. Upcoming tour cities are Memphis, Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta and St. Louis.