Department of Health and Human Services
groups within the United States. For example, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (2003) has documented higher rates than whites, of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer and kidney disease in African Americans, Hispanic Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Despite the fact that women live longer all over the world, women experience health outcome disparities in some parts of the world. The risks associated with child birth equalize life expectancy rates in poorer and less developed nations. Women are also more vulnerable to HIV infection in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East (United Nations, 2010).
The Healthy Diet Connection to Health It is generally accepted that a healthy diet is part of what makes us healthy. Food consumption, for many is something that can be altered in order to improve health. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. The World Health Organization (2004) states that 80 percent of deaths from heart attack and strokes could be prevented with healthy eating, avoiding tobacco, and exercising. Consumption of fruits and vegetables can help to prevent cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer, diabetes, obesity and micronutrient defi- ciencies (World Health Organization, 2003). Related to food consumption, there is a worldwide obesity epidemicwith the number of overweight persons reaching over one billion. The amount and types of food eaten coupled with inactivity are the culprits. Many diseases are attributed to obesity. These include: type two diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, pregnancy complications and some forms of cancer. Simultaneously, there are approximately 1 billion people who suffer from hunger; a diet of insufficient food quantity and nutrient rich foods deficient (Gardner, & Halweil, 2000). Malnutrition hits children in low-income countries the worst. It stunts their growth, and increases childhood mortality. Women with malnutrition suffer from iron deficiency which increases risk of maternal mortality and infants with low birth weight (Darnton-Hill & Coyne, 1998).
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