Well Nation

Examining health equity and health disparities from a national perspective.


Searching For Natural Cures: The Power Of Medical Marijuana By: Hannah Rosenberger

Pot is no longer just for rebelling against the man…or your parents. Today marijuana has cut its long hair and is pushing its way forward into productive society. Despite a deeply imbedded cultural stigma attached to marijuana use, an objective look at its incredible health benefits could help it break through.

English: DEA raid on a medical marijuana dispensary in Hollywood, California. Description is from the Flickr photo set. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1972, the United States’ Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act. This based the ban of marijuana on the claim that it had “no acceptable medical use.” …read more

Treating America’s Gun Violence Epidemic

A troubling fact to consider: firearm homicide is the leading cause of death for African Americans age 1-44. Even though African Americans make up about 13% of the U.S. population, this group is affected by over 54% of all firearm homicides. These statistics clearly show a racial disparity in terms of violence and public safety in our country.

English: Walther PPQ firearm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For years, the government and social science field have focused on two seemingly ineffective methods to reduce gun violence:

Reactionary punishment measures, e.g., throwing people in prison Programs that focus on fixing schools, homes, …read more

The Right to Control What is Inalienably Ours

A poster from a 1921 eugenics conference displays the U.S. states that had implemented sterilization legislation by then (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an African-American woman activist, both racial justice and gender equality are important to me. Thus, I was appalled when I read about the state of North Carolina’s history with eugenic sterilizations. North Carolina sterilized 7,600 people through its sweeping eugenic sterilization program and “the targets of the sterilization were disproportionately Black and female, and almost universally poor.”

Johanna Schoen, a Rutgers University historian who has extensively documented the state’s eugenics policy, stated, “The eugenic sterilization really was …read more

Reducing Obesity while Revitalizing America’s Cities

English: Photo of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma mayor Mick Cornett. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a period of five years, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was able to rally citizens and policy makers to simultaneously accomplish two seemingly unrelated and ambitious tasks – reduce obesity among residents while drawing a new group of educated “20-something” Americans to live and work in the city.

It all began when Men’s Fitness magazine ran an article in 2007 that ranked Oklahoma City as #7 on a list of “America’s Fattest Cities.” Obesity is a health issue that affects more than one-third of Americans, leading …read more

Nature Deficit Disorder: It’s a thing

Cross-posted from Nature Deficit Disorder – It’s a Thing– UNspOILed. Read original post here.

View from Buzzard Rock in George Washington National Forest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently returned from a three day backpacking trip in a remote area of the George Washington National Forest. It was a much needed vacation from my urban-focused life, allowing me to reconnect with nature, and helping ward off symptoms of Nature Deficit Disorder. Yes, that is a thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in the city, and actually prefer it to a rural or suburban lifestyle. But as someone who has …read more

A Meaningful Work-Life Experience for Autistic Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is nearly impossible to identify how many adults in the United States are on the autism spectrum. This is because the research and knowledge around autism has rapidly increased in recent years – giving the appearance that there are more children than adults with autism, however there is research to support that autistic adults suffer from health disparities at a higher rate than non-autistic adults.

autism awareness (Photo credit: Send Chocolate)

 

According to Autism Speaks, …read more

Decarceration: Resuscitating our Squandered Resources

Every year, 11% of Baltimore’s population goes through central booking. One in four African American children have a father in prison at some point during their youth compared with one in thirty Caucasian kids. The yearly drug consumption costs in Baltimore total approximately $16 billion, making our city a hotbed for drug raids and high rates of incarceration.

These are all facts that I learned during the Social Determinants of Health Symposium on Squandered Resources: Incarceration – Its Consequences, Costs and Alternatives, which was convened by the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute on April 28th. Speakers examined the reality of …read more

Racism is a Public Health Issue

Los Angeles Clippers logo (1984–2010) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By now, unless you have been living under a rock, you are aware that the NBA Commissioner announced that in addition to a lifetime ban from any business with the Los Angeles Clippers and $2.5 million fine, he is pushing to force current owner, Donald Sterling, to sell the team over his racist remarks.

When the news broke a few weeks ago, besides thinking that it was incredulous that Donald Sterling actually believes that his comments were not racist, the other immediate thought that crossed my mind was:

I feel sorry …read more

The Big Deal Around Obesity Disproportionately Affecting Minority Populations

(Photo credit: Malingering)

In honor of National Minority Health Month, the WellPower Blog team continues to raise awareness on health disparities affecting racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S., including the ways social determinants affect health, specifically obesity.

Obesity is defined as a person weighing at least 20% more than they should for their height – and it disproportionately affects minority populations, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health:

African American women are 80% more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic White women Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders are 30% times more likely …read more

Increasing Prevention and Avoiding the ER

In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the average life expectancy for black males is approximately 64 years old, compared with 73 years for white males. Racial and ethnic minority groups are less likely to have access to the preventive care they need to stay and are more likely than white Americans to suffer from chronic conditions, prompting the theme for this year’s Minority Health Month; “Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity.”

Luckily, 10.2 million Latinos, 6.8 million African Americans, nearly 2 million Asian and Pacific Islanders, and over a half million American Indians and Alaska natives …read more