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JOHN M. PALMER Ph.D. ASK DOCTOR PALMER

John M. Palmer, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist with a practice in New York City and is presently the Executive Director of Harlem Hospital Center and the Renaissance Health Care Network

Harlem Healthy Living Dear Dr. Palmer I live in Harlem and as I look around the community, there seems to be a higher number of Blacks and Latinos who are overweight, compared to other nationalities. Am I imagining this or is it true? And if it is true, what are we doing about it? —Signed, Let’s Get Healthy, say one thing and end up doing another Dear Let’s Get Healthy: This is not your imagination, in fact, nationwide, African American women have the highest rates of being overweight compared to other groups. It has been estimated that three out four African American women are overweight or obese. The obesity problem in our community is not just limited to adults. As you look around, you will notice that a greater number of children are either overweight or obese. More than 42 percent of children in East and Central Harlem are either obese or overweight. Being overweight or obese is unhealthy at any age. While some consequences of obesity occur only in adulthood, children too, are affected. For instance, children increasingly are developing type 2 diabetes, once diagnosed almost exclusively in adults. The obesity problem in Harlem is part of an epidemic affecting Manhattan, New York City, and the nation. Two years ago, The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce put a program in place to help the Harlem Community deal with the

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The Positive Community Summer 2010

obesity epidemic by taking better care of ourselves. The program is called the Harlem Healthy Living Initiative. This year, the Harlem Healthy Living Initiative has sponsored a lecture series on health topics, provided experts to appear on radio broadcasts, put together teams to participate in health walks and runs, sponsored community health fairs, hosted health screenings throughout the Harlem Community, and held Town Hall meetings to help the community deal with the health issues that concern us. The Harlem Healthy Living Initiative has also sponsored events that bring opportunities for exercise to the Harlem Community. You may have heard about the

Walk It Out! Family Walk & Run for the Village of Harlem on Sunday, August 1, 2010 from 12:00PM to 3:00PM. This special event was hosted by Harlem Hospital Center at Riverbank State Park, and was free and open to the public. The Walk It Out! Family Walk & Run was cosponsored by the Healthy Heart Program of the NYS Department of Health, New York Road Runners, AARP, the Abyssinian Development Corporation, the Central Harlem Health Revival, and the Association of Black Cardiologists. The Walk It Out! Family Walk & Run was a formal introduction of the Walk It Out! Program at Harlem Hospital Center. The Walk It Out! Initiative is an exercise and activity program for Harlem’s senior citizens. Every week at Harlem Hospital Center, The Equinox Fitness Club offers classes that are free and open to the public. Now through September 6 on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., we offer a free kickboxing class and on Fridays we offer a Zumba Class. These are high energy workouts and we have everyone from teenagers to seniors participating. There is also the Harlem Hospital Center Sports and Activity Camp for young people aged 7 through 14 years old. The Camp meets from 11:00–2:00 p.m. every Saturday at PS 175, at 175 West 134th Street between Lenox and Seventh Avenues. Activities include dodgeball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, continued on next page www.thepositivecommunity.com

Summer Issue 2010  

The Positive Community is the only faith-based lifestyle magazine targeted to the African American market in the New York /New Jersey area....

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