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- State Legislators Issue Call to Action to Reduce Chronic Diseases Related to Lifestyle Choices and Spiritual Outlook -
(BLACK PR WIRE)--INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On September 30, 2011, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) will host its 18th Annual Black America’s Dialogue on Health Conference at the Indiana State Capitol. This year’s topic “Disease Prevention through Transformative Living,” will focus on the link between spiritual, physical, and mental health, what practitioners can do to coordinate prevention and care, and how legislators can support their efforts.
United States healthcare spending is among the highest and, yet, least effective of all industrialized nations. The United States spends 16.2 percent of the gross domestic product on health care, however, consistently ranks in the bottom for health outcomes. Most of the health budget is spent treating chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, or worse yet, managing the symptoms of those diseases, often without ever addressing the root causes. These fatal diseases frequently can be controlled or prevented altogether through lifestyle choices such as weight management, healthy diet, and regular physical activity. What is less commonly acknowledged are the spiritual prevention measures we can take to achieve wellness, such as stress-reduction, prayer and meditation, and forgiveness. Our spiritual worldview can have enormous consequences on our physical health.
African Americans suffer from a disproportionate percentage of chronic diseases when compared to the rest of the American population. Yet, dozens of studies have revealed the positive impact the African-American church as an institution has often had on the length and quality of life for regular attendees. Researchers have found that regular religious attendance extends lifespan by five to seven years for the overall American population and up to 14 years for African-American men.
NBCSL’s health dialogue will also focus on the importance of collaboration with local organizations and the faith community in educating and supporting their members in making positive choices as well as the legislative impact NBCSL members can have by shaping comprehensive, practical state action plans.
“As legislators, we must keep our eyes on the bottom line when it comes to controlling health care spending; however, as members of the human family, we grieve over the needless suffering and deaths from diseases that can be prevented,” said “NBCSL President Barbara W. Ballard, Kansas State Representative. “I am encouraged we are bringing to the forefront the foundation necessary to lead community-based chronic disease prevention efforts -- the faith community,” continued Ballard.
This conference will stream live 9:00 am EDT to 1:00 pm EDT on September 30th and online viewers can participate at http://dialogueonhealth.nbcsl.org/.
For the past 18 years, the conference has been supported through a generous grant from Eli Lilly and Company.
About the National Black Caucus of State Legislators
The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) is a membership association representing over 600 African American state legislators from 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NBCSL members represent more than 50 million Americans of all racial backgrounds. NBCSL tracks legislation at all levels of government and actively monitors state and federal policy initiatives to provide its members with important information. Each year, NBCSL members pass policy resolutions that directly impact federal and state policy. The organization focuses on U.S. domestic policy and is committed to policies that positively affect all Americans. Learn more at www.nbcsl.org.