Archive for the Health and Wellness Category

We’re Shrinking

Posted in Fashion and Beauty, Health and Wellness, Race and Culture with tags , , , , , on January 10, 2009 by Noli
Courtesy of

Courtesy of

An economist named John Komlos did a study regarding the correlation between standards of living and body size that will be released by NHANES.  Supposedly, everyone is getting taller…but Black women who are getting SHORTER.  We average 5’4″ now, but in the 1960’s we averaged 5’5″.  Generally, mankind gets taller with each generation unless there is “war or famine.”  White women are getting taller, so why are we shrinking?

Komlos believes it is tied in some way to our high rate of obesity…I think it also may be due to high stress and/or socioeconomic conditions.  Let’s get it together ladies… []

Black Superwomen More Likely to Have Pre-Term Births

Posted in Community, Health and Wellness with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2008 by Noli


Black women are twice as likely to have babies before the 37th week of their pregnancy…though 38-42 weeks is the norm.  Since we are more likely to give birth early, we are more likely to also have problems with our preganancy or our babies are more likely to have problems.  Supposedly 12% of Black women have a gene defect that causes a decrease in collagen…and collagen is the protein that strengthens the sac that the fetus grows in.  This decrease in collagen increases the chance of pre-term births.  Black women should eat healthy, exercise, take vitamins, stop smoking, and lose weight if they want to decrease their changes of pre-term births. [WJZ-TV 13 Baltimore]

Meharry Developing “Chemical Condom”

Posted in Community, Health and Wellness, Race and Culture with tags , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by Noli
Photo courtesy of Larry McCormarck, The Tennessean

Photo courtesy of Larry McCormarck, The Tennessean

Dr. James Hilbreth at Meharry Medical College is testing a cream that may be able to block the transmission of HIV.  The cream supposedly removes cholesterol, which is needed for HIV to be transmitted.  This is an important development, especially since Black women are disproportionately affected by HIV and possibly feel ashamed in many cultures to request the use of a condom.  If the cream can be used, women would not even need to make their partners aware of the protection, which may help to decrease the spread of the virus.  This is still being tested, but if the FDA approves it, it may be available as soon as five years from now.  This could save a lot of lives! [The Tennessean]

1st Annual National Black Women’s Town Hall Meeting in DC

Posted in Community, Health and Wellness, Politics, Race and Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2008 by Noli
Photo courtesy of NYU Alumni Magazine

Photo courtesy of NYU Alumni Magazine

On Friday, July 11, 2008, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) held a Black Women’s Town Hall Meeting in their headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue.  The purpose of the Town Hall Meeting was to put together the Black women’s agenda to be presented to the Democratic and Republican parties prior to the election.  Dorothy Height, the NCNW Chair and President Emerita, made the opening remarks, and the panels were laden with phenomenal women including Faye Wattleton (Center for the Advancement of Women), Dr. Julianne Malveaux (Bennett College), Daphne Valerius (produced “The Souls of Black Girls”), Sheryl Huggins Salomon (NiaPulse), Eleanor Hinton-Hoytt (Black Women’s Health Imperative), Dr. Jane Smith (Spelman College), Melanie Campbell (Natl Coalition on Black Civic Participation), Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley (Howard University), and Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever (NCNW).  Blanche Williams, who does a talk show on XM Radio and has a book entitled “Greatness by Design,” was the moderator.  Barbara McKinzie, National President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., also accepted the Landmark of Greatness Award on behalf of her sorority.

The major issues discussed were the rise in AIDS among Black women, poverty, lack of healthcare, and the need for quality education….none of which were new, but the discussions proved beneficial for the purpose of creating the Black women’s agenda.  During the discussion of Black women’s issues of economics, Dr. Malveaux stated that since most Black women are trying to maintain households on their own in an economy where two incomes are necessary, economics will continue to be one of our primary issues.  Does everything come back to the decline of the Black family?!

Floretta Jones One of 100 AA Women in the US with a Doctorate in Biology

Posted in Community, Health and Wellness with tags , , , , on June 15, 2008 by Noli

Floretta Jones received her Doctorate in Biology from the University of Texas San Antonio.  She is one of 100 African American women in the United States with such a degree.  While receiving her Doctorate, she wrote her dissertation on the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation, which deals with the brain.  Originally from San Antonio, she hopes to take her doctorate and become a congressional fellow in Washington, DC.  Go Floretta!!!!!  [Article]

Gabrielle Union to Join Susan G. Komen’s “Circle of Promise”

Posted in Entertainment, Health and Wellness, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2008 by Noli

Did you know that African American women with breast cancer have a 36% higher mortality rate than white women?  Susan G. Komen for the Cure started the “Circle of Promise” (, an initiative lead by prominent African American women, to educate and engage African American women about the disease.  On May 29, 2008, they announced that Gabrielle Union, Lalah Hathaway, and Synthia Saint James will become National Ambassabors for the Circle of Promise, joining Xernona Clayton, Patti Labelle, Rene Syler and others.  [PR Newswire]

Is Inequality Making BSW’s Sick?

Posted in Community, Health and Wellness, Race and Culture with tags , , , , , , , on March 23, 2008 by Noli

Unnatural Causes - Documentary on PBS

“Unnatural Causes” is a four part documentary that examines inequality in wealth, geography, race and other social differences that may have some causal relationship to poor health.  One part of the documentary focuses on Black women having premature babies at a rate that is twice that of White women. They study noted that since the normal factors that lessen the likelihood of premature babies (mom in great health, high quality of life, wealth, etc.) don’t decrease the numbers much  for Black women, race must be a factor.  They essentially concluded that the racist treatment of Black women puts stress on our auto immune system, which increases our chance for having premature babies.  Not sure if they said it that plainly, but I will.  The documentary will be on PBS this week…check local listings or times or go to  Also, check out the documentary website at