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Charlotte forum: COVID-19 as a health, economic and racial crisis
Historic links to pandemic's impact on Blacks
Published Thursday, July 30, 2020 9:46 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

are Black. Asthma, COPD, all of those underlying conditions are more prevalent on the westside.”

Underlying conditions may be brought on or exasperated by diet and activity, or a lack thereof.

“Twenty percent of your health is determined by biology and genetics,” Williams said.

Access to quality food has long been an issue for Black communities in Charlotte, which plays into poor diet.

“When you look at nutrition, individuals buy food based on location and what they can afford,” Williams said. “It’s one thing to say, ‘hey you need better nutrition,’ but you have to go 10 miles to the nearest grocery store to find a head of lettuce or a tomato. We have to solve for that.”

Williams said data about disparities plaguing African Americans is not new, but awareness now extends beyond the medical community to the average person.

“In the late 1970s and early 1980s when I was studying this in college, we called this community health and social medicine,” Williams said. “Now it’s called social determinants of health. It’s really the same concept. What’s different now is that there’s a greater awareness in the lay public that are non-biologic and non-genetic. As a community, we have to show more empathy, because some have privilege and some do not.”



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