April is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) as National Minority Health Month (NMHM). NMHM’s goal (which is aligned with theEATschool's) is to showcase individuals and organizations working to reduce health disparities and improve the health of minorities. This year’s theme is Give Your Community a Boost (#BoostYourCommunity), which focuses on the importance of advancing health equity.
In recognizing NMHM, theEATschool highlights health disparities amongst minority populations in America and how plant-based diets may reduce adverse health outcomes for these communities.
In the United States, many racial and ethnic minorities face higher rates of chronic disease and other health conditions due to many factors surrounding socioeconomic status, genetics, and many others. Here are a few statistics regarding the state of health among minority populations in the United States:
Minorities are 1.5 to 2 times more likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with a chronic disease.
African Americans experience higher incidence rates and worsened health outcomes for common chronic diseases.
Older African American, Asian American, or Hispanic American adults are twice as likely to report severe depressive symptoms than non-Hispanic whites.
In 2018, African Americans were twice as likely as whites to die from diabetes-related complications.
These disparities can arise from a lack of access to public health care resources. Most chronic conditions arise from poor dietary habits and physical inactivity. These health behaviors lead many minorities to face diet-related disparities, defined as “differences in dietary intake, dietary behaviors, and dietary patterns in different segments of the population, resulting in poorer dietary quality and inferior health outcomes…” (Satia, J.A., 2010). Diet-related disparities can impact a person’s physical and mental outcomes, which leads to a higher incidence of morbidity and mortality in minority populations.
Fortunately, studies have shown that minorities can improve their health outcomes by adopting a plant-based diet. For example, one study revealed that plant-based diets could lower the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) amongst African Americans. Another study showed that Hispanic Americans who adopted a plant-based diet could reduce obesity-related complications, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. These studies indicate that a plant-based diet can benefit racial and ethnic minorities facing diet-related disparities.
The reality is, we can change this narrative and it starts with us empowering one another to eat to live!
Are you ready to change the narrative and thrive on a plant-based journey? Sign up for a 1:1 coaching call with Genny or join our group coaching programs to take control of your health today!
In love and health,
Holistic Nutritionist, Fitness Coach and Plant-Based Cook