Childhood Obesity

Powerful Essays
Childhood Obesity: African American Cooking
May 28, 2011

Introduction Obesity is a disease that has beset the lives of so many people around the world for decades. It is considered the most essential health concerns today. The focus of obesity has since shifted to concentrate on the obesity in children. Childhood obesity is on the rise at an alarming rate, especially in African American communities. The commonness of obesity in African Americans children is remarkably higher that white children (Brown, Southern, Suskind, Udall, Blecker, 2000). Schools, parents and the children themselves are all being held responsible for this heart wrenching disease. Food choices are high on the list of reasons for childhood obesity among African Americans. African Americans primarily live in the Southern United States. States like South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. These states are infamous for the southern style cooking. The purpose of this research paper is to show the direct connection between southern style cooking and childhood obesity. The southern foods that are traditional in African American kitchens and restrictions on time are causing the weight gain in African American children.

Culture and Traditions Many African Americans are used to the traditional way of making meals. Cultures and traditions are learned and passed down from generation to generation. Dating back to the 1800’s when African Americans were slaves; their meals consisted only of the “scraps” left by their white slave masters. Foods like Pork chitterlings, chicken gizzards, tripe, pigs feet and left over pieces of chicken (Person, 2009). Because these were the foods they were forced to eat, they had to make them edible. With little resources most meats were boiled and mixed with vegetables they were able to grow. These are all traditions that are still practiced today. Meats like chicken and pork are normally fried, and vegetables like greens and cabbage



References: Caprio S., Daniels S., Drewnowski A., Kaufman F., Palinkas L….Schwimmer J. (2008). Influence of Race, Ethnicity, Culture on Childhood Obesity 31(11), 2211-2221. Retrieved from ProQuest Jarrett R. (1994) Living Poor: Family Life Among Single African American Women. 41(1), 30-49 University of Chicago Press Kumanyika S., Whitt M., Gary T., Prewitt E., Odoms A.…Hodge S. (2007). Expanding the Obesity Research Paradigm to Reach African American Communities. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Person, D. (2009). No Southern Comfort in Obesity. Retrieved from USAToday.com Brown R., Sothern M., Suskind R., Udall J., Blecker U. (2000). Racial Differences in the Lipid Profiles of Obese Children and Adolescents 39(7), 427-432. Retrieved from ProQuest Sealy, Y. (2010). Parent’s Food Choices: Obesity among Minority Parents and Children. Journal of Community Health Nursing. 27, 1-11. Doi:10.1080/07370010903466072 Thompson, V., Baranowski, T., Cullen, K., Rittenburg, L., Taylor, W., & Nicklas, T. (2003). Influences on diet and physical activity among middle-class African American 8-10 year old girls. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 35(3), 115-123. Retrieved from EBSCOhost

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