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

1 year 7 months 2 weeks 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
MOBERLY - Businesses in Moberly say they'll feel the effect of a new zoning measure which would require future medical... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 2:13:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Police Department responded to a shots fired call on Hanover Boulevard Wednesday morning. Police said the... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 1:28:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY - Prosecutors filed murder and child endangerment charges against a Maries County mother three days after her daughter... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 12:40:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The man accused in a 2002 rape that resurfaced after a DNA discovery years later has been found... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:43:00 AM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
AUXVASSE - Police are asking for the public's help finding 49-year-old Jeffrey Ennis, who has been accused of domestic assault.... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:05:00 AM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With elections in Columbia just weeks away, voters will have the chance to meet candidates and discuss other... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 3:30:00 AM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
OMAHA - Amtrak service between Kansas City and St. Louis has been temporarily suspended due to increase freight train traffic... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 9:59:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY - Prosecutors have charged Tracy Ellis with second-degree murder and child endangerment after a Sunday night house fire... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:34:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - When Madison Lawson shops at a retail store, she tends to leave empty-handed. “I want to dress... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday plans to restructure four state agencies and promote economic development is in... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 6:36:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Youth soccer games with the Jefferson City Area YMCA scheduled for Saturday are canceled due to Missouri... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 6:00:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man went on trial Tuesday in a 2002 rape case that prosecutors say was cracked with... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 4:10:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Victims of clergy sexual abuse said the Jefferson City Diocese needs to be more open about a priest... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 4:09:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools released a revised school calendar to make up five lost snow days without extending classes... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 3:54:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence was expected to visit the Midwest on Tuesday to view flooding caused... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 3:39:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The MU Police Department announced Tuesday it had fired an officer after a photo of him in blackface... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 2:10:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A man who says he was conned by someone he met at the Central Pantry in Columbia feels... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 1:30:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
HALLSVILLE - The Hallsville School District notified parents Monday of a threat toward students that happened in the previous week.... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 10:04:00 AM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 40°
7am 42°
8am 42°
9am 45°
10am 48°