Black Diet and Wellness - US - December 2009
The connection between food, tradition, family and history is a deep one for African Americans. Many items that make up the Black diet today have been prepared and eaten in much the same way through several generations in the US. Although recipes and preparation have remained the same, the lifestyles of Blacks in America changed from a primarily Southern rural existence to an urban life in the Northeast and later, the Midwest.
A hidden cost of the “soul food” diet began to increase until today it has reached crisis proportions—the cost of good health. Many of the health problems suffered by Black Americans today are influenced to a great degree by dietary factors. African Americans have higher rates of death from heart disease, diabetes, most cancers and stroke than any other racial or ethnic group. They are also the most likely to suffer from overweight and obesity. Black children, especially girls, are more prone to obesity.
This report will examine how historical, cultural, marketing and lifestyle factors all affect the dietary choices of African Americans. Mintel looked at the following issues:
- Do Black men and women truly understand the keys to a healthy lifestyle?
- What beliefs and behaviors contribute to the high levels of overweight and obesity?
- Why are Black people more likely to be overweight or obese than any other racial or ethnic group?
- What role does the marketing of food and beverages play in dietary choices? And how can this role become more positive and supportive of a healthy lifestyle?
- What role do the healthcare industry and healthcare providers play in providing information and support for a healthier lifestyle?
- How do Blacks perceive their own body size? What do they consider to be overweight?
- How do Black adults view their efforts towards a healthier lifestyle?
- What are the reasons that traditional weight loss methods and programs may be less effective among African Americans?
- How can marketers participate more effectively to support healthy lifestyles and healthier eating?
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