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April is Minority Health Month!

April is Minority Health Month!

Current data from numerous university and national studies support that children and adults who live in lower socioeconomic communities and those who contend with structural discrimination on a regular basis often live shorter and less healthy lives. In its effort to eliminate negative or inequitable health outcomes for families, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Texas State Office on Minority Health are challenging communities to identify and implement change actions to curb, control and ultimately eliminate these negative outcomes at the local level. {{more}}  With the state of the current economy, the cost for a healthy meal is consistently more expensive than the cost of fast food or junk food. Example, $3.00 buys a full meal from a fast food restaurant, but the high levels of fat, salt and sugar in these meals only serve to decrease health and increase the rising percentages of obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease in our populations. Data further supports that these conditions are higher and negatively disproportionate among the poor and people of color. There is a better way! The Abilene CUADD Health Equity Sub-Committee has taken the OMH’s challenge and plans to hold three Minority Health Month events that the committee is calling “Eating Healthy on a Budget.” The goal is to help us all learn to make healthy, good-tasting meals on a lower budget, and to make overall healthier food choices. The first of the three events will be held on Wednesday, April 3rd and hosted by the New Haven Community Church located at 650 Corsicana Avenue, Abilene. The group has partnered with the Texas A&M Extension Service who will deliver a professional curriculum and a meal preparation demonstration with a taste-test to follow. This event should prove to be fun, informative and delicious. The community and public are invited. Other dates and locations will be provided at the conclusion of the first event. Other groups and partners planning events include Hendrick Medical System, CUADD and individual community members. Sharon Owens is the Regional Disproportionality & Disparities Specialist with the Texas Department of Health & Human Services Center for the Elimination of Disproportionality & Disparities. Contact Ms. Owens at Sharon.Owens@HHSC.state.tx.us.