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By 1996, 28 percent of this population was reported to have a poor-quality diet, compared to 16 percent of whites.

A poor quality diet often can be attributed to greater access to packaged, processed, and fast foods; the common practice of using fats in cooking; and the high cost of fresh produce and lean meat.

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.

An apt analogy to keep in mind is that learning about a specific model of car is helped by referencing the operator’s manual, but reading and even memorizing that manual doesn’t replace learning how to drive a car.

The following cultural patterns may represent many African Americans, but do not represent all people in a community.

Cajun and Creole cooking, which originated from the French and Spanish in Louisiana, was changed in character and composition by the influence of African cooks.

National programs to improve diet quality and the overall health of African Americans and other minority groups have been initiated.

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.

The following guides emphasize information that can be used to stimulate thinking about cultural differences and prompt questions that will help providers understand how their patients identify with and express their cultural backgrounds.

These are not fact lists to apply indiscriminately.

National programs to improve diet quality and the overall health of African Americans and other minority groups have been initiated.

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.

The following guides emphasize information that can be used to stimulate thinking about cultural differences and prompt questions that will help providers understand how their patients identify with and express their cultural backgrounds.

These are not fact lists to apply indiscriminately.

According to the University of California School of Nursing, in Culture and Clinical Care, many aspects of African American culture today reflect the culture of the general US population.