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Many are affiliated with Christian denominations—notably Baptist and Church of God in Christ. Maintaining good health is associated with good religious practice.Many churches maintain a health ministry, through which congregations and parish nurses support good health with flu shots, blood pressure checks, and health education.African Americans are affected disproportionately by the leading causes of death in the US, with more morbidity and mortality from premature births, cancer, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diseases related to obesity, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.* African American men have higher rates of getting and dying from prostate cancer than other men.The family may be matriarchal, although father or mother may take on the decision-making role.For African Americans, women more than men tend to remain unmarried, and more women have been educated at the college level.Before the advent of health ministries, African American churches had mission volunteers who attended services and administered to parishioners.African Americans are becoming increasingly health conscious, seeking health screenings and treatments, although health literacy in this population tends to vary by generation.
In 1965, African Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to eat a recommended diet of fruit, vegetables, fat, fiber, and calcium.Okra is the principal ingredient in gumbo, a Creole stew, and is believed to have spiritual and healthful properties.Many of these foods found their way from the south to the north via the Mississippi River.In general, the older generation is more conservative, may have a more traditional view of gender roles, and may shun interracial dating and marriage.Elders are respected and often provide care for their grandchildren.