February 2, 2023 | New Drugs for Treating Diabetes Work for Weight Control
But Should You Take Them?
For the past couple of years, there have been a couple of injectable drugs developed, given once a week to to control blood sugar, but they also control appetite. They are now all the rage. So much so that diabetic patients cannot find the drugs. The drug imitates a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 that we naturally produce in our intestines, limiting appetite by signaling to our bodies that we feel full and prompting our stomachs to empty more slowly. But to make a long story short: it does work, it is expensive, many insurance companies won’t pay for it, it has some pretty frequent side effects and when you stop the drug, the weight can come back pretty fast. I was a skeptic until I participated in a round table on the drug. It seems after talking with most of the experts that obesity is a bigger problem than diabetes. There are 250 illnesses tied to obesity.
There are numerous good weight control diets out there, but the key is to find one that works best for you. A good diet should be balanced, providing your body with all the essential nutrients and energy it needs while helping to cut down on unhealthy fats and sugars. And good weight control diets are only effective when accompanied by regular exercise!
December 16, 2022 | Does Skin Tone Affect Your Health Care
How Skin Tone Influences Relationships Between Discrimination, Psychological Distress, and Self-Rated Mental Health Among Older African Americans
This study from the Journal of Gerontology looks at an issue seldom discussed in medical journals but well known to the black community. How skin tone, light or dark affects quality of life., looking at parameters like discrimination, and serious psychological distress. It’s no surprise that the darker the skin the higher the scores for discrimination and serious psychological distress.
Why is This Important: It is often assumed that there are no intra racial parameters involved in achieving health equity. Skin color is often ignored. It is a poorly kept perception in Black communities that light skin Blacks are treated “better” in America. Whiteness is often perceived as smarter, more resourceful and less worthy. As a child, I was the darkest one in my family and I can remember numerous instances when I was viewed differently.
Why This Is Important: The health care system apparently offers no refuge and many studies suggest that skin color dictates to a certain extent, the kind of care that is given to Black patients with darker skin tones.
November 10, 2022 | Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season – WATCH YOUR DIET
The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and of course, food. But it doesn’t have to be a time for packing on the pounds. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the holidays without putting your health at risk:
- Make sure you’re getting enough protein and fiber at each meal. This will help you feel fuller longer and prevent overeating.
- Watch your portion sizes. It’s easy to get carried away when there’s a buffet of holiday goodies, but remember that less is more.
- Fill up on healthy foods first. Before you indulge in the Christmas cookies or pumpkin pie, make sure you’ve eaten a nutritious meal or snack. This will help you avoid overeating the less healthy items.
- Don’t drink your calories. Alcoholic beverages can add a lot of extra calories to your diet, so be mindful of how much you’re consuming.
- Stay active. Exercise is always important for maintaining a healthy weight, but it’s especially important during the holidays when we tend to be more sedentary. Make sure you get some activity every day, even if it’s just a brisk walk around the block.
- And don’t invite that relative whose attitude messed up you last holiday season.
Following these tips will help you enjoy the holiday season without sabotaging your health. So go ahead and indulge in that turkey, stuffing, and sides you grandma us to make- just don’t forget to balance it out with some healthier choices too!
Sept 2, 2022 | How To Build Your Children’s Health System Before They Go to School
School starts and your schedule gets busy. At sometime during the school year you are going to need to use the healthcare system for your children. Here are some tips on putting one together.
- Be proactive
- teach your children how to make good dietary choices before they start school
- help them to develop good sleeping habits
- Choose a good health care provider for your children. If you have a good one keep them but don’t be afraid to change if it’s more convenient. Your provider will understand
- easy get in touch with and listens
- near where you live
- Develop action plans
- take a CPR course
- know the poison control number
- know which hospitals best care for children
- know what your insurance covers
These are just few suggestions that will save you time and more importantly help keep your children safe. For more information go to our website at www.aawellnessproject.org.
Aug 8, 2022 | Studies Show Certain Foods Help The May Help Prevent Alzheimers
“Science is really coming out to support the importance of a healthy plant-based diet,” says Maya Vadiveloo, an assistant professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island. “It doesn’t mean we can’t have any animal-sourced foods or low-fat dairy, but people should focus on eating more legumes and whole grains. These plant-based foods are really important for our overall health. ”According to the study, as reported in Blackdoctor.org impact of diet on perceptual speed and episodic memory was especially dramatic for Black adults. Those who ate the healthiest plant-based diet experienced a 49.3% slower decline in perceptual speed and a 44.2% slower decline in episodic memory than their peers who ate a diet with more animal foods.
There were several foods mentioned. They include:
• Green Leafy Vegetables
Food is not the only factor in the development of Alzheimer’s. But changing your diet is something you should consider at any age, before you forget.
July 20, 2022 | Can You Just Exercise Your Way To Health Without Watching What You Eat
In a study done with thousands of people over many years and reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who exercised vigorously and had a good diet with more fruits and vegetables, more fish and less red meat live significantly longer than people who just exercised. Not caring what foods they ate.
Overall physical activity levels were associated with a lower mortality risk, but those who regularly engaged in vigorous exercise — the kind that makes you break a sweat — had a particularly lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. And even just 10 to 75 minutes per week made a difference. Regardless whatever your physical activity is, diet is important. Any amount of exercise is protective but you can’t, according to the experts just rely on your workout to maintain good health.
So before you stand in line for the Monkey Pox vaccine consider a lifestyle change to protect your health.
July 7, 2022 | 8 Habits to Protect Your Heart. Now Sleep Has Been Added
While the media is worried about Monkey Pox, Black people are dying of Heart Disease. In 2020, the American Heart Association debuted Life’s Simple 7, a set of seven behaviors to help prevent heart disease and live a healthier life. This week they added sleep to make it 8. Here they are:
- Diet: The AHA recommends eating hearty fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and cooking in olive and canola oil.
- Physical activity: Kids should have active play for an hour a day and adults should take part in moderate exercise for two and a half hours a week.
- Nicotine exposure: Limiting direct and secondhand exposure to nicotine with traditional cigarettes and vapes greatly decreases one's risk of heart disease.
- Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight range optimizes cardiovascular health, and disregarding unhealthy weights can lead to an increased risk of long-term diseases.
- Cholesterol: Keeping LDL cholesterol low keeps the heart and circulatory system happy and healthy.
- Blood sugar: Monitoring blood sugar levels can prevent diseases like diabetes and damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
- Blood pressure: Levels below 120/88 mm Hg are key to long-term health.
- Sleep – 6 to 8 hours.
So before you stand in line for the Monkey Pox vaccine consider a lifestyle change to protect your health.
May 6, 2022 | Feds Set to Take Action Against Menthol Cigarettes
Federal regulators say they soon will ban the manufacture, distribution, and retail and
wholesale selling of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, an action that could save
hundreds of thousands of lives of black and young Americans.
Why That is Important: Menthol has deep roots in black communities. In the 1950s,
about 10% of black smokers used menthol cigarettes. Today, more than 85% of black
smokers choose menthol cigarettes. African Americans die of tobacco-related illnesses,
including cancer and heart disease, at higher rates than other groups.”
May 6, 2022 | Black Americans Face Challenges with Telehealth
Study after study has shown differences in telehealth access and usage among racial minorities, older age groups, and those living in rural areas. Telehealth represents an immense opportunity to connect patients who have been disconnected from the healthcare system.
However, older adults and Black and Hispanic patients were less likely to utilize
telehealth tools than their White and Asian peers, Compared to White people, Black
people were 35 percent less likely to use telehealth.
Why That is Important: I believe that Telehealth is the wave of the future and this
study suggest that many Black patients will be left behind because of lack of access to
needed technology, low digital literacy, and uneven broadband access. Without
addressing those factors, telehealth will further perpetuate health inequities in the very
communities that stand to benefit most from its implementation.
May 6, 2022 | On The Covid Front…
Restrictions of the J&J Vaccine
The Food and Drug Administration put rigid limits on who can receive Johnson &
Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, saying the vaccine should only be
given to people who cannot receive a different vaccine or those who specifically request
Moderna asks the F.D.A. to authorize its vaccine for children under 6
The company has also requested authorization of its Covid vaccine for 6- to 11-year-
olds and 12- to 17-year-olds. Moderna is proposing a two-dose regimen for children less
than 6 years old, using one-fourth the strength of an adult dose.
About the author | Michael LeNoir M.D. is Founder of the African American Wellness Project. An allergist and pediatrician who has practiced pediatrics and clinical allergy full time since 1977, he is board certified by and a fellow of both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. In 2014 he was elected and served as the 114th President of the National Medical Association.