African cooking class encourages healthy living to address racial disparities in health

2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago Wednesday, August 02 2017 Aug 2, 2017 Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:17:00 AM CDT August 02, 2017 in News
By: Casey Edwards, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Not all Americans are equal when it comes to health, but one local class hopes to use cooking to educate and motivate people to change their behaviors in an effort to address these disparities.

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department and the nonprofit organization Oldways are hosting the “Taste of African Heritage” class in Columbia. The class lasts from July 24 through August 28 and is held at the Family Impact Center.

According to Oldways representative Kyle Potvin, the class is funded by a grant through the Walmart Foundation, so participants do not have to pay to take it. It is first come first serve, and there is a waiting list to get in.

But this is not only a cooking class. In this class, people learn the history and culture of African cooking in order to eat healthier.

According to the American Heart Association, African Americans are more likely to have heart disease and high blood pressure than other Americans. The American Diabetes Association reports African Americans are 77% more likely to have diabetes than white americans. Some of these health problems are genetic, but class instructor Verna LaBoy said the food education and community support offered in the class can help address some of these problems.

“I’m feeling better. I’m losing weight. I feel more energy. And I’m surrounded by people that are excited about the same thing and it’s contagious,” LaBoy said.

LaBoy said she suffers from hypertension, a form of high blood pressure, and wants to use what she teaches and learns in the class to naturally improve her health and stop taking medication.

To prove participants get positive results from the class, instructors measure a person’s weight, blood pressure and even waist circumference at each class. Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Health Educator Laura McCulloch said data is not yet available on any changes.

Dee Campbell Carter attends the class and said she has lost three pounds since starting. People aren’t only seeing change in their bodies; some participants have even started their own gardens and used what they grow in their cooking.

“We now have a garden with greens and we grow our own greens and we eat greens everyday, which we didn’t use to,” Campbell Carter said.

Though the class has a focus on African cooking, LaBoy said everyone can benefit from learning healthy eating habits in this style.

“You don’t have to be African American to be in the class and to enjoy the rich culture and the foods of the African continent,” LaBoy said.

The problem of disparities in health between African Americans and white Americans is a nationwide issue, but LaBoy said she believes the benefits of A Taste of African Heritage class can transform the health and lives of people of all races.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Helias Catholic High School won’t have to borrow Jefferson City High School’s stadium anymore after it opened... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:18:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri State Parks officials say they can't verify that solar eclipse glasses the agency sold meet... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Eclipse Events
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys for a Missouri man convicted of killing a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter 19 years... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:30:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - The man shot and killed at a trailer park outside the Sedalia city limits Thursday afternoon has... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 5:12:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: The suspect is now in custody and was processed in the Boone County Jail Friday evening. ... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:16:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two U.S. senators from Kansas and Missouri say an emphasis on protecting the nation's food supply... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:11:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
FULTON - Dr. Benjamin Ola Akande stepped down as the 21st president of Westminster College Friday to pursue jobs in... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:03:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Continuous News
BOONE COUNTY – Attorney General Josh Hawley’s voting in the special election on Aug. 8 is being called into question.... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 3:35:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker who temporarily posted a Facebook comment hoping for President Donald Trump's assassination could... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 3:06:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS — Two St. Louis police officers are injured after a car crashed into their police car. Police... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 1:33:30 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
WASHINGTON- President Donald Trump has fired controversial White House Chief Strategist Steven Bannon, multiple sources reported Friday. Bannon was... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 1:08:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A police investigation has prompted a modified lockdown at Russell Boulevard Elementary School. Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 12:39:31 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - A state medical board suspended the license for a doctor after finding he improperly gave drugs to and... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 9:27:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and woman Thursday afternoon on suspicion of burglary. Deputies were dispatched... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:53:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
RAYMORE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a suspected improvised explosive device has been detonated near a suburban Kansas City patrol... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:37:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Thousands of people are expected to gather at the state capitol Friday for a rally against the... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:07:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Police Department will be participating in the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Around one hundred years ago a team of astronomers confirmed Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity using the... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in Eclipse Science
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
11pm 73°
12am 72°
1am 71°
2am 70°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
10:30p
The King of Queens
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld