The State of African American Health & What’s Next?

Chaja Pole Head Shot

By: Chaja Pole, Health & Fitness Coach


Great NEWS! The overall death rate for African American’s has decreased by 25% from 1995-2015!


However, did you know that Black Americans ages 18-64 years are 40-45% more likely to die than their white counterparts, largely due to chronic diseases. Black Americans are 50% more likely to die from high blood pressure, 66% more likely to die from diabetes, and 100% more likely to die from a stroke. Socio-economic conditions are an important contributing factor to these numbers., such as unemployment, living in poverty, and lack of home ownership, undermine the health and well being of African Americans of all ages. With so many difficult battles being fought within our communities, we must find a way towards better health.


Now more than ever we must find ways to reverse the disturbing trend of poor health within the African American community regardless of our economic condition. Without our health we most certainly will never become more competitive on the education and economic front, as these things are obviously closely intertwined.


The human body is amazingly intricate. It is also as fragile as it is strong. In our quest to gain knowledge and survive our lifetime on earth, it is essential that we care for and maintain our bodies to the best of our ability. With health issues skyrocketing, particularly in communities of color, the necessity for proper self-care in order to compete in today’s society, is more important than ever.


What can we do? Diet and exercise are two things we as individuals can focus on in order to gain almost full control over our individual health and that of our families’.


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  • First, it is up to each individual to fully accept that we only have one body and one chance on this earth to get things right. Our body parts aren’t replaceable and without proper care and maintenance, we will ultimately fall apart. One disease or another will come for us, if not, a mediocre or poor socio-economic condition.

Chaja Pole Health Pic 1

  • Second, it is important to devise a plan or a schedule that is based on caring for one’s health. It is essential that people of color learn to consider their health a top priority and plan their lives around that singular notion. Like brushing teeth and going to school or work is part of a daily routine, so should considering nutritious meals and sufficient daily exercise.


What can you expect by adhering to those key suggestions just mentioned?


When all is said and done, wanting to be healthy and making every effort to achieve good health, will not only change the horrific statistics mentioned previously, all aspects of the lives of people within our communities will change for the better. Children will perform better in school. People will feel better and look better, which creates an overall better feeling about one’s self, creating a confidence and ability to perform at higher levels. Graduation rates will rise, work performance and rewards will rise and the community in general will become able to elevate itself from the ground up without a single hand out.


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Although this is by no means an easy task, it is not impossible, and it is entirely doable. It is a matter of commitment and dedication, accountability, and hard work. I look forward to discussing ways in which we as a community can proceed and with viable and realistic methods to achieving good health.


Chaja Pole is a Health & Fiteness coach for over 10 years (or how many actual years it its) and is major contributing writer for Ethnic Online. Chaja can be reached via email @


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