Exercise is key to longer lives. (Courtesy photo)
Exercise is key to longer lives. (Courtesy photo)

How frustrating is it to watch the news day after day and hear how African Americans are the hardest-hit during this COVID-19 pandemic? It doesn’t seem to matter whether we are the minority or majority — our stats keep coming up higher than others.

According to an April 8 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though the racial breakdown from the population in the report was 59% white, 14% Latino and 18% Black, 45% of hospitalized coronavirus patients were white and 8% were Latino, while 33% were Black, suggesting that Black populations might be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

In Chicago, new data released Saturday showed that 70 percent of people who have died from COVID-19 in the city were Black, according to a report by the radio station WBEZ. Yet Black people make up only 29 percent of the city’s total population. Why do you suppose this is true? Hosea 4:6 says it best: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

My extended family has experienced a COVID-19 death — a 64-year-old man from Detroit. This General Motors retiree and deacon with a dynamic singing voice was a textbook case as described by the CDC. He had the three common health disparities — Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and a high body mass index.

Now that National Diabetes Month is once again upon us, this column is my effort to help each of you understand how health challenges such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity can either cause devastations or, with proper knowledge, be managed.

Back on Christmas Day 2000, when my mother passed away from complications of the three culprits, my family was uninformed about diabetes. We wanted to know more about the disease that took our mother in such a brutal fashion, so much pain and suffering, a classic case. Mother had both legs amputated, she had kidney failure, so she was on dialysis. Mother had at least 10 strokes or more, and she suffered with high blood pressure for years.

As her oldest daughter, I promised to educate millions of people regarding the causes and preventions of Type 2 diabetes. In sharing with the general public, my mother’s living shall not be in vain. Let’s now talk about causes of all three of the conditions that African Americans find themselves suffering with.

First, let’s talk about how this problem got started in the 1600s. It goes all the way back to slavery days. Dr. Sherita Hill Golden, who heads the Diabetes Center at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital, said on my radio interview, “During Grand Rounds, the team of doctors discussed how back during the time when Blacks were enslaved, the masters were the only ones to suffer from diabetes.” The masters were free to eat and sleep, they didn’t work in the fields from sunup to sundown, but the enslaved did. It didn’t matter what Black folks ate, especially if they were working in the fields.

The big news is, we can all shake off the shackles of these three killers — diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity — by simply changing our diet. Eat less carbohydrates and more green leafy vegetables, cut down on sweets, and only eat portion sizes. Secondly, take 30-minute walks at least five times each week. Lastly, eliminate excess salt and stress from your lives.

More next week.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email lyndiagrantshowdc@gmail.com or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.

Did you like this story?
Would you like to receive articles like this in your inbox? Free!

Lyndia Grant

A seasoned radio talk show host, national newspaper columnist, and major special events manager, Lyndia is a change agent. Those who experience hearing messages by this powerhouse speaker are changed forever!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *