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I just don’t understand it.  There is a health crisis taking place in this country and people couldn’t care less. The health crisis in the African American community is at another  level. Our breast cancer numbers are unbelievable,as well as our prostate cancer, heart disease, and diabetes numbers. Why do we embrace unhealthy lifestyles? Why do we embrace food that we know is garbage? It’s so frustrating for me, but I think it comes down to one word – accountability.  It’s so much easier to laugh at a man or woman who is 5’7” weiging 350 lbs.

We tell our women, “It’s OK to be obese, as long as you’re confident.” That’s a lie. The bottom line is if your lifestyle puts your health in jeopardy, then you need to make a change.  When an obese celebrity says eat what you want, do what you want, people lap that up. What seems to happen most of the time is, that same celebrity is told to change his or her lifestyle or (s)he won’t be here much longer. Then, that celebrity will start preaching the correct message, which is health first.

It makes me sick when I hear women that lead  healthy lifestyles being referred to as “skinny Bs.” Those ladies should be embraced as examples of how everyone can live long, healthy lives.  Chronic diseases shouldn’t be dominating our community like they are. We need to educate ourselves on the power of living healthy.

I’m a living example. I’ve had a kidney disease called FSGS since 2002.  FSGS causes scarring of the kidneys, which leads to improper  filtering of the kidneys. I was told in 02’ that there wasn’t a cure, and that I’d be on dialysis within two to three years.  I studied this disease, made some changes to my lifestyle and eating habits, and my kidneys have been stabilized since  2004 with no dialysis. A friend of mine had a cousin that was diagnosed with a kidney disease around the same time I was. I saw that same friend a few years ago at a local gym. I asked him how his cousin was doing.  He told me his cousin had passed away. His cousin neglected his medications because he didn’t feel any negative symptoms (which is very true, you don’t)  and he later lost his life.

The death of my friend’s cousin could have been avoided. Unfortunately  in the African American community scenarios like his happen much too often. I’ve been called a “health freak” numerous times. I’ve had people ask me “why do you eat that crap?” This is  amazing to me.

When I was diagnosed with my kidney disease the doctors had no idea how I acquired it.  It had nothing to do with living an unhealthy lifestyle, just “bad luck” I guess. This, however, is not the norm. Years of eating fried, fatty, sugar-laced foods is the downfall of thousands of African Americans yearly. I think this kidney disease was a blessing in a way, because I wouldn’t be here trying to inform people of the changes that need to be made in our community if I hadn’t been afflicted.

To all the PC readers, this message isn’t about being “mean” to the obese, it’s about  getting people to understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. We all deserve to live long, healthy, disease-free lives. The only way we can do this is to educate and motivate people to understand how important living healthy really is.

I’ll try this approach. we all work hard to provide our families with the best of the best. Imagine if you lost half of your household income. Imagine if the money you had saved for your children’s education suddenly had to go towards medical bills for a disease you didn’t have to have. This happens all the time in our country.  Medical bills are one of the major causes of bankruptcy in the United States.

I would like to think being healthy is enough motivation for people to make a change. If this isn’t the case, think how devastated you would be if your American dream was shattered because of lacking the discipline to change your eating habits. Please, folks, consider making a lifestyle change, it will be the best move you’ve ever made for you and the people you love.

Make sure to read: Five Foods You Can’t Say No To But Should and 5 Inventions By Blacks That Changed Healthcare

For More Information On Ken Coward Visit His Personal Website. You Can Also Follow Ken On Twitter.

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