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Active and Healthy Brotherhood expands study

Active and Healthy Brotherhood expands study
September 29
07:15 2016

Local study that examines chronic disease in African-American males looks to reach more men

BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE

In an attempt to reach their goal to help 440 African-American males lead healthier lives, the Active and Healthy Brotherhood (AHB), the largest study in the country for chronic disease in African-American men, has reduced age requirements to 21.

Originally, the 16-week program offered by Gramercy Research Group located on North Point Blvd. was only open to black men between the ages of 30 and 64. Gramercy president and CEO Melicia C. Whitt-Glover said, after realizing that young people are starting to take their health more seriously, they decided to open up the program to a larger age group.

“We expanded to help reach our requirement and we realized that younger men are concerned about their health and the earlier you start healthy health behaviors, the better.”

Whitt-Glover also noted the program has expanded to Greensboro and Charlotte as well. She said it is important that African-American men start paying more attention to their health because although rates of obesity, hypertension and diabetes are down among most groups, black men are still seeing a rise in all three categories.

“When you look at life expectancy, black men on average die every 7 to 10 years less than other people,” she continued. “Even when you take away violent crimes and things like that, black men are still dying at a higher rate from chronic disease and things that are preventable.”

During the study, researchers will collect information from participants related to their physical health and activity. Throughout the study, participants will be provided with information on their overall health, healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, and how to get medical care when needed.

The program will also investigate ways to improve health behaviors using an intervention that has been designed specifically for African-American men. According to Whitt-Glover, the program also gives men a place to openly discuss their health issues.

“A couple of sessions address questions like why are you afraid to go to the doctor? What does it mean to be a man and healthy? Is it okay to admit that you’re hurt and you need to go to the doctor?” she continued. “ Because a lot of guys just think they can walk it off.”

“Those are real questions that need to be asked. It’s easy to say you need exercise or you need to eat better, but what does that really mean and how can you make that happen. That’s what we talk about in the brotherhood.”

Along with learning ways to live healthier lives, participants in the program also receive other incentives including a full health profile and $75 upon completion of the program. According to Whitt-Glover, AHB goes a step beyond what you get at a doctor’s office.

“We go a step beyond. We measure your blood pressure, your kidney functioning, and then we tell you what your numbers mean,” she said. “After completing the program, participants know exactly what the next step should be to live a healthy and productive life.”

Whitt-Glover said many who have completed the program said it has changed their lives. She said many have also passed the word along about the program to friends and family members.

“Out of those who have finished the program, have only gave positive reviews,” said Whitt-Glover. “It all comes down to asking yourself, how long do you want to be here?

“The Active and Health Brotherhood is all about making sure are black men stay around as long as possible.”

Open enrollment of AHB ends on Tuesday, Nov. 15. For more information or to sign up for the next session, contact Melicia Whitt-Glover via telephone at 336-293-8540, extension 110, or by email at mwhittglover@nullgramer-cyresearch.com. 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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