Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What Will You Pass on to Your Children?

As a parent, you pass on a lot of things to your children – the color of your hair or eyes, the way that you  smile or laugh, the way that you talk.

Unfortunately, you can also pass on some not-so-good traits, a risk for diabetes or high blood pressure for example, or the likelihood of a teen pregnancy.

For African Americans, the risk is especially high. African Americans have the highest rate of adult obesity in the United States and the highest prevalence of diabetes.

Compared to other racial groups, they also have higher rates of infant deaths, AIDS, cancer and cardiovascular disease.  

If you're expecting, your health is especially important. African Americans have a higher rate of preventable infant deaths, and many cases are linked to the mother's health before pregnancy.

Experts say that the current generation of children may be the first to not live as long as their parents (Source). But it's not too late to make a change.

Live It, Change It

The Live It, Change It movement in Arizona is asking African Americans to take charge of their personal health and consider what may be passed down to future generations.

It's a message that transcends state lines and is something that everyone should consider – the choices that you make about your health influence your children, your siblings, your nieces and nephews. Change starts with you.

Health Insurance

If a lack of health insurance prevents you from going to the doctor, look into your options. You might quality for Medicaid, Child Health Plus (for children under 19) or Family Health Plus (for adults between ages 19 and 64 who do not qualify for Medicaid).

You can also buy private insurance or receive healthcare services from organizations that provide care at a reduced cost. Our Healthcare Assistance Program allows eligible individuals to receive healthcare at a Catholic Health facility at no charge or at a reduced cost.

Click here to learn about your options.

Free Screenings

According to the New York State Department of Health, African Americans are less likely to be screened for cancer and other health issues.

Attend one of our free health screenings to find out if you're at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. You'll have the opportunity to speak to a registered nurse about ways to live healthier and any health issues or concerns.

Healthy Eating

While eating a bag of chips in front of the TV or stopping at the McDonalds drive thru may be a quick fix for your hunger, your health and appearance will suffer from those decisions down the road. Shop for fresh produce and vegetables at your local grocery store or farmer's market.Make a weekly menu before you shop to make sure that you stay on track.

Not sure where to start? Click here to learn how to eat healthy on a budget.

Staying Active

Everyone should exercise at least thirty minutes a day. Go for a walk with your kids or spend time at the park.You'll enjoy quality time with your children and burn calories at the same time.

Click here for a list of Buffalo parks and recreation centers.

Don't forget to wear sunscreen!


If you're expecting a baby, sign up for Text4Baby to receive free text messages about pregnancy and child care, up through your baby's first year. Visit to sign up.

By taking care of yourself, you're setting a positive example for your children, siblings and the people around you. Your actions can help to create a healthier, happier community.

What are some ways that you can live a healthier lifestyle?

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