Gorki De Los Santos
Leading Medical Expert Partners with Coca-Cola to Promote Active Healthy Lifestyles for African Americans in time for National Family Health Month
(BLACK PR WIRE) ATLANTA, GA – October 20, 2010 – Achieving a healthy weight and making choices for an active, healthy lifestyle must begin at home with the family, says Dr. Rani Whitfield, one of the country’s leading medical experts, whose mission is to educate teens and adults on health issues through hip-hop and other mediums.
In recognition of October as National Family Health Month, Rani Whitfield, M.D., better known as “Tha Hip Hop Doc,” joins Coca-Cola as an ambassador for its Live Positively campaign to inspire Americans to lead active, healthy and balanced lifestyles. This month, he hopes to encourage African American families, in particular, to embrace new attitudes and behaviors to combat the growing epidemic of obesity in their communities.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and the Office of Minority Health, the African American community suffers from diseases like hypertension and diabetes at higher rates of incidence than any other ethnic population,” said Dr. Whitfield. “Further, recent studies have revealed that African American girls have Body Mass Index (BMI) rates two to three times higher than their counterparts1. As parents, we have the power to set the example and teach the entire family to overcome these issues. We cannot allow ourselves to continue to fall into some of the same old habits and health situations. Wellness must be a family affair.”
“In the African American community, we have to revolutionize our culture to stay active, make sensible, balanced choices about what we eat and drink and have more fun with our friends and family. To maintain a healthy weight and be healthy is a delicate balance. Changes don’t have to be drastic; it’s about the little things, taking one step at a time and that’s easier to accomplish if it’s a family objective,” said Dr. Whitfield.
Dr. Whitfield recommends the following 10 tips to help African American families create healthier, more active lifestyles:
• Move every day. Turn on the radio and dance. Play football or basketball with your children. Do anything you can to get moving every day. 2
• Eat more fruits and vegetables and cut back on trans fats and sodium. 2
• Eat breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast signals to your body that it’s time to start burning calories and it jumpstarts your metabolism. Many studies show that kids who eat breakfast perform better in school. 2
• Have a beverage with every meal and snack. Learn how much fluid you and your children should consume each day by visiting the hydration calculator at www.beverageinstitute.org.3 Keep in mind that all calories count in maintaining a healthy weight, including those from caloric beverages.
• Don't exclusively rely on thirst. It is not a reliable measure of hydration because of medications or other health conditions. Keep a bottle of water or beverage at your desk, car or bag -- wherever you will be reminded to drink. 3
• Choose beverages that fit your activity level and lifestyle. If you are watching your calories, consider choosing zero-calorie, low-calorie or “light” beverages. Encourage your children to drink water or sports drinks during sports and other physical activities. 3
• Check food labels for the calories per serving, serving size and the number of servings. Ensure your diet is sensible and balanced and meets your nutrition and energy needs through a variety of foods and beverages. Control your calories by enjoying foods and beverages with low-calorie sweeteners or in smaller package sizes. 4
• Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity a day. This can be done all at once or in short, 10-15 minute intervals. Be sure to count time doing activities like cleaning the house or bike riding with the family in the park. 4
• Know your medical history and that of your family’s. Monitor your weight, blood pressure, and other important numbers such as blood sugar, cholesterol and BMI regularly. 2
• Keep a journal to track your family’s progress, and then reward yourself with fun activities when you meet each goal. 4
“This is a marathon not a sprint,” said Dr. Whitfield. “So start today and begin to make changes to improve the lives of African American children and everyone else in the family. Remember you have the power.”
-Live Positively is The Coca-Cola Company’s commitment to making a positive difference in the world by redesigning the way we work and live so that sustainability is part of everything we do. For more information about Live Positively, visit www.livepositively.com.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices, and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverage at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
1 Pediatrics, September 2010. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2009-3411v1
2 Rani G. Whitfield, M.D., board certified family physician, "Tha Hip Hop Doc,” Heart Disease & Stroke, http://www.h2doc.com/main/student_lounge.php?page=heart_disease
3 The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness, Hydration Checklist, http://www.thebeverageinstitute.com/hydration/tips_for_staying_hydrated.shtml
4 How Sweet It Is, The Lowdown on Low-Calorie Sweeteners, Weight Management Tips. Live Positively, The Coca-Cola Company 2009