WHEREAS, heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death among African-Americans killing nearly 370,000 African-Americans each year; and
WHEREAS, nearly 4 in every 10 non-Hispanic African American adults have cardiovascular disease which leads to increased health care costs; the total direct and indirect cost of cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States was $503 billion in 2010; and
WHEREAS, African-Americans develop hypertension at an earlier age and are more prone to have substantially elevated pressures than other groups in the United States; and
WHEREAS, nearly three million African-Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and millions more are likely to develop the disease in the coming years; by comparison 4.9 million African-Americans aged 20 and older have undiagnosed diabetes; and
WHEREAS, African-Americans have high rates of three of diabetes' most serious complications: amputation, blindness and kidney failure; and
WHEREAS, the Office of the Surgeon General estimates 300,000 deaths each year in the United States are associated with obesity; and
WHEREAS, African-American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the United States. About four out of five African-American women are overweight or obese; and
WHEREAS, over the last two decades, the prevalence of obesity for African American children has climbed from 13.4% to 24.4% ages 12 to 19; and
WHEREAS, African-Americans are more likely to reside in environments that do not promote physical activity or healthy eating; and
WHEREAS, promoting regular physical activity, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet, and creating environments that support these behaviors are essential to addressing these problems of poor health across the population.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP encourage units to educate and empower their respective communities on chronic disease prevention strategies that include healthy eating and regular physical activity to reduce morbidity and mortality rates of chronic diseases and critical health issues within the African-American community; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will create on its national website, and implement an online training and education curriculum on health and wellness promoting lifestyle changes made available to all units, based on NAACP compiled best practices and evidence based research; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its earlier resolutions in 2003, 2009 and 2010 supporting obesity prevention and urges its units and members to adopt an intergenerational approach to Health and Well ness promotion to reduce obesity and chronic disease (including heart disease, stroke and diabetes) with the newly launched Project H.E.L.P (Healthy Eating, Lifestyles, and Physical Activity) program.