Obesity balloons in African-American communities
Lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits, combined with a genetic predisposition to heart disease and stroke, is raising the risk factor for cardiovascular disease among overweight and obese African-Americans. To combat the obesity epidemic, the American Heart Association is offering free summer programs within the African-American community focusing on various health issues, including healthy cooking, physical activity and cholesterol. The programs are designed to reach people in their homes, churches and workplace. �The one good thing about obesity is that is preventable, but you have to know how to change your lifestyle,� said Augustus Grant, M.D., PhD., president-elect of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at Duke University. �Obesity can end up being the one factor that increases rates of heart disease and stroke in the African-American community.� According to AHA statistics, 77.3 percent of non-Hispanic black females are overweight and 49 percent are obese; 60.7 percent of non-Hispanic males are overweight and 28.1 percent are obese. More information can be obtained from the AHA at 800-AHA-USA1, or www.americanheart.org
Not with Spike�s name
The fight between filmmaker Spike Lee and media giant Viacom over the latter�s use of the word Spike in the name of Viacom�s TNN station turned further in Lee�s favor when a preliminary injunction by the state Supreme Court in New York City barred TNN from changing its name to Spike TV. Viacom, which stopped displaying the Spike TV logo on television screens, said it stood to lose about $16.8 million in advertising commitments in excess of $100 million. The company argued that the word �spike� is not synonymous with the filmmaker and is a frequently used word. Lee complained that the name change would associate him with the station and the �demeaning, vapid and quasi-pornographic content of Spike TV.�
A new march on Washington
Forty years after Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his �I Have a Dream� speech in the nation�s capital, his son, Martin Luther King III, and a list of followers will reenact the march in Washington D.C., and other cities to mark the anniversary of the August 28, 1963, event. �Poverty, racism, militarism and violence are still very much real in our society,� King said. �We�ve made strides, but we are not where we need to be in 2003.� King said organizers are focusing on people ages 18 to 30 in hopes of educating them about his father�s ideals and registering them to vote.
Black doctors suffer in silence
In a recent report released by the British Medical Association, almost nine out of 10 doctors in Britain said race played �a significant role� in determining whether or not they had a successful career. The findings came just weeks after the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, accused the National Health Service of being �chronically and consistently� racially biased against patients and staff. Other findings revealed that doctors of all races are generally reluctant to speak out against racism in the NHS because of fears it could damage their careers. The report surveyed 476 doctors who qualified in 1995. Seventy-six of the doctors were ethnic minorities and the rest were white.