April is National Minority Health Month, a time for publicly grappling with the health disparities that affect racial and ethnic minorities.
What is a health disparity?
A health disparity is “a type of health difference that is closely linked with social or economic disadvantage,” according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. It affects groups of people who have systemically experienced social and/or health obstacles related to factors like race, ethnicity, disability, religion, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Health inequalities are caused mostly by the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. As a result, some communities experience a greater burden of illness and a greater risk of early death than others.
Health disparities affect all of us
Health inequities cost a ton of money. On top of massive added health care costs, they also lower productivity and slow economic growth.
How can you help?
- Help increase awareness of health disparities through social media.
- Mentor young people in your community and encourage them to make healthy choices.
- Serve nutritious foods at events.
- Advocate for more sidewalks and outdoor gathering places in your community.
For more information, check out these resources