This spring, the Association of Black Cardiologists produced a video, Before You Eat the Church Food, targeting the African-American community—who have high rates of cardiovascular disease relative to the U.S. population in general.
As delicious as soul food may be, eating it regularly appears to be a key factor contributing to the community’s elevated rate of heart disease.
The U.S. “obesity epidemic” is often the cause of much head-shaking in Canada. But Canadian comfort food and community wide unhealthy eating is much the same as south of the border. As a global study by the World Health Organization has shown, Canadians are in the same ballpark as the regional average when it comes to obesity.
The 2011 CBC series Village on a Diet (which can be streamed from the CBC website) documented the effort by residents of Taylor, a small community in British Columbia, Canada, to lose weight by breaking the cycle of unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. A full 60% of the village’s inhabitants were either overweight or obese. With the help of some instructors, they set out to collectively lose one ton in 10 weeks.
We may not be able to lose a full ton for every Taylor, B.C.-sized group of 1,400 people. – But addressing community-wide unhealthy eating might be a good way to initiate healthy change.