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Photo Credit: Nick Giuliani
Changes in availability of healthy, traditional foods and accessibility to opportunities for physical activity have greatly affected the Somali community. Our research shows that only 18% of Somali men and women surveyed meet the recommended daily levels of moderate physical activity, only 6% of Somali adults consume 3 or more servings of vegetables a day, and only 29% consume 2 or more servings of fruit a day. These changes are undoubtedly beginning to affect the health of Somali community members—putting them at greater risk for obesity, diabetes and other risks for cardiovascular disease.
Keeping cardiovascular disease at bay is a challenge that WellShare is addressing with the help of its Somali partners. Through the Somali TV project, WellShare was able to create unique health campaigns aimed at educating Somali youth and adults about how to prepare and eat a balanced diet, get more exercise and prevent diabetes and heart disease. Our messages reached the eyes and ears of many within the Somali community. In the coming months and years, we hope to continue to develop our extensive contact within the Somali community to share more information and study results with Somali community members in Minnesota.