Food Choice and Obesity in Black America: Creating a New Cultural Diet

Food Choice and Obesity in Black America: Creating a New Cultural Diet

by Eric J. Bailey
     
 

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Anthropologist Eric Bailey uses a cultural and holistic analysis of African American food preferences to show how black Americans generally perceive health, body image, food, dieting, physical fitness, and exercise. As is true of Americans overall, black Americans are becoming more overweight and obese than ever before. So, too, they are seeing the consequences:

Overview

Anthropologist Eric Bailey uses a cultural and holistic analysis of African American food preferences to show how black Americans generally perceive health, body image, food, dieting, physical fitness, and exercise. As is true of Americans overall, black Americans are becoming more overweight and obese than ever before. So, too, they are seeing the consequences: heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, and Type II diabetes at earlier and earlier ages. Bailey offers a new cultural diet for black Americans and a prescription for working collectively, not only to understand this critical health issue, but also to establish a lifestyle strategy that will be both effective and manageable.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The very existence of this book, a research-based cultural approach to dietary change, is noteworthy. Bailey begins by leading the reader through nutrition-related health problems common to Americans and particularly prevalent among African Americans: overweight and obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. What is different is that he then considers African American cultural perspectives on factors such as body image, exercise, and food choice. He concludes by proposing a new approach to lifestyle change for African Americans. Bailey uses a direct writing style and includes data from his research in this work, which has a textbook layout with chapter objectives and review questions, making it appropriate for college lecture format…. This is a valuable, timely complement to general food and culture titles….Highly recommended. All collections." - Choice

"Food Choice and Obesity in Black America is a very insightful, informative book—perhaps the first of its kind. It incorporates quantitative and qualitative data, national statistics, historical facts and andecdotal experience as the means to describe how culture is important to the key components of healthy weight among African Americans: disease burden, food choices, and physical activity habits." - Journal of the National Medical Association

"Bailey is to be commended for having the courage to present numerous qualitative and quantitative data sets that illuminate the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that exist within African American communities. The qualitative methodologies are especially valuable to the reader who wants to gain some insight into the impact of sociocutlural influences on the internal-external affective and cognitive processes of African American women coping with obesity….This volume is recommended for anyone in the general population and for practitioners in training who want to learn how to provide culturally informed interventions involving food preferences, exercise, and diet for African Americans. This volume can also be used in women's studies, Black studies, child development and family studies, psychology, sociology, education, and cultural anthropology courses. It is easy to read and is filled with data and suggestions on how to implement significant lifestyle changes in a culturally informed manner." - PsycCritiques

"Bailey examines the cultural and medical issues surrounding overweight and obesity issues in the African American community. He first reports on medical data regarding obesity among African Americans, later providing chapters on African American body images, the cultural history of African American food preferences, African American attitudes towards exercise and fitness programs. He concludes with discussion of how to successfully incorporate cultural concerns into diet and physical fitness programs." - SciTech Book News

"Taking both a cultural and holistic look at the black community's health plagues—heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and Type II diabetes—Bailey serves up his own version of a new cultural diet. Rather than condemning traditional African-American culture, he wants to use its rich heritage to help blacks address and solve their life-threatening weight issues….His book takes a fascinating and thorough look at the West African and early Southern roots of soul food….If, as Bailey writes, culture is the key in winning this battle of overweight and obesity, African Americans surely have a head start on conquering their own two-headed plague." - Chicago Sun Times

"Not only is obesity more prevalent among Black Americans than other ethnic groups, Blacks also are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And they are more likely to experience higher rates of serious complications from the disease, such as blindness, amputation and end-stage renal disease. There are many cultural reasons for the higher rates of obesity, as Bailey cites in his book, having to do not only with food but also with physical activity." - Arizona Republic

"If Doctors, Healthcare and the Fitness industries ever wondered why African Americans are not coming in droves, this book is a Must Read! By simply overlaying Eurpean Ethnic ideals onto Black Americans, a disservice is being done to both ethnicities. Eric Bailey has a catch-phrase that should be on the tip of everyone's tongue in the aformentioned industries: 'Culturally Appropriate'. …A sure winner in the fight against obesity for Eric Bailey." - Encouraging Health

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313081965
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/30/2006
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
211 KB

Meet the Author

Eric J. Bailey is a Medical Anthropologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology and Family Medicine at East Carolina University. In earlier roles, he served as Program Director for the Masters in Public Health Program in Urban Public Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, as well as Health Scientist for the National Institutes of Health National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

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