Although obesity is a health issue for all Americans to be concerned about, African Americans are more likely to be obese and suffer health consequences. Every person in the community knows someone — a father, mother, aunt or child — who suffers from physical diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke or heart disease. Dr. Ian says I have spent a lot of time over my professional career reporting and discussing how health problems show up unevenly in our population and the health dangers of obesity. A middle-aged woman, who had been battling obesity and diabetes for most of her life, once sent me an e-mail saying, If you know so much about the problems of obesity and health disparities, then why don’t you do something about them? That’s when I decided that talking about the problem was only half the solution. So I decided to put a plan together and that’s what you’ll find in The Challenge. Supporters of Dr Ian’s challenge include big name talents such as: * Mary J Blige * Angela Bassett * Michael Strahan * India Arie.. to name a few. Challenge’s Objectives for Communities: * The Challenge aims to encourage the African American community to close the gap in their health disparities by losing a total of 50 million pounds. * The aim of The Challenge is to save lives by changing the lifestyle choices we make. We want people to give up the pounds, not give up the fight. * Shed excess pounds, achieve healthier weights, and reduce the risk for life-threatening diseases * Pull together as a community and pool together strength and resources to overcome community health problems that afflict them * Learn more about their bodies and how to live healthier and longer lives * Teach youth the importance of making healthy lifestyle decisions that will benefit them for years to come More about Dr. Ian Smith: Dr. Ian Smith is currently a medical contributor to ABC’s nationally syndicated, The View, a medical columnist for Men’s Health magazine, and the medical/diet expert on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club. Dr. Smith is also the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Healthwise on American Urban Radio Networks. He is the former medical correspondent for NBC News network and for NewsChannel 4 where he filed reports for NBC’s “Nightly News” and the “Today” show as well as WNBC’s various news broadcasts. He has written for various publications including Time, Newsweek, and the New York Daily News, and has been featured in several other publications including, People, Essence, Ebony, Cosmopolitan, and University of Chicago Medicine on the Midway.
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