Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Friday, 23 October 2015

Physical Activity From a Public Health Perspective

With an increasingly older population in the US, physical activity is a beneficial lifestyle factor that will contribute to functional ability, lower risk of early death, lower risk of coronary heart disease, lower risk of stroke, improve bone health, decrease body fat and contribute to reduced feelings of isolation and depression. As a positive decision for one to take, active physical activity is a form of empowerment towards making healthy lifestyles. This dovetails into one the goals of Healthy 2020: promote quality life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages.

Physical activity is one example that showcases the benefits of interventions linking interpersonal, organizational, community and public policy. These directly impact on individuals who in turn can implement or contribute to life improving changes. If a parent with a risk of hypertension, is encouraged to engage in exercise, this will reduce on episodes of high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. This in turn would mean less costly health care as well as being an example to the family as far as leading a healthy life goes. The inherent advantages of this kind of lifestyle and the fact that it has been documented to cause preventable mortality, made it my choice.  Physical activity is one factor that will have great impact on public health. The objectives of physical activity re-enforce my choice:

1. reduce proportion of adults who engage in no leisure-time physical activity by 32.6%. This is realistic.

2. Increase the proportion of physician office visits that include counselling or education related to physical activity.

3. Increase legislative policies for built environment that enhance access to and availability of physical activity opportunities by;

a. increasing community scale policies for built environment.

b. increasing street-scale policies for built environment.

c. increasing transportation and travel policies to enhance access.

These objectives will provide opportunities for people to engage in such efforts that prevent mortality due to inactivity. There will be a reduced risk of early death; lowers risk of coronary heart disease; lowers risk of stroke; improves bone health; decreases body fat; and a reduced tendency of isolation and depression.

1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Healthy people 2020. Retrieved from
2. McLeroy, K. R., Bibeau, D., Steckler, A., & Glanz, K. (1988). An ecological perspective on health promotion programs. Health Education Quarterly, 15, 351 - 377. Retrieved from

3. Turnock, B. J. (2016). Essentials of public health (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Fruits and Vegetables From a Public Health Perspective

Yesterday, three friends and I were talking about the axiom: "a fruit a day keeps the doctor away." I am a health advocate in charge of African Immigrants in America. I help them engage in healthy living practices as well increase their interest in healthy living practices; as well show them the benefits of actual attendance (in other words all I do is ensure they will turn up for ''doctor's'' appointments) at medical check up events.  So, for me it is " a fruit a day is a healthy way to live." I thought this would be a good topic and I want to share it with you. We shall talk about fruits, vegetables and their nutrition benefits.

We are talking of: zucchini, mangoes, tomatoes, eggplant, apples, bananas, olives, lettuce, carrots, onions, garlic, broccoli, jalapeno, pepper, spinach, beet, citrus, cantaloupe, grapes, berries, nuts, corn, 

Half of our plate should consist of fruits and veggies. For a 2,000-calorie diet, it is advised that we eat two cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies each day. Fruits are low in calories, making them a great choice for those planning to maintain a leaner body.  Fruits and vegetables provide fiber. Fiber helps move food along the intestines as it gets prepared for further digestion. Fiber slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates thereby helping with the slow absorption of sugar. An adult needs about 32 grams of fiber a day in our diet. fiber helps regulate an irritable bowel and therefore is a prevention measure for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Dr. Lisa an expert nutritionist advises "Choosing a colorful assortment vegetables is best, as different benefits exist in the different color spectrum. The orange pigment found in carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, for example, contain the antioxidant beta-carotene. The deep red pigment found in tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which is linked with prostate health."

Fruits and vegetables are a source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. These, protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. They regulate cholesterol, help with maintaining healthy joints, boost immune system, provide useful radicals in the body and build healthier bones.

So, go ahead get a large cup and fill it up with all colors of fruits cut in small pieces. Half of your plate should be filled with vegetables. Find time to eat both the fruits and vegetables.