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The family may be matriarchal, although father or mother may take on the decision-making role.
For African Americans, women more than men tend to remain unmarried, and more women have been educated at the college level.
African Americans are affected disproportionately by the leading causes of death in the US, with more morbidity and mortality from premature births, cancer, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diseases related to obesity, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
* African American men have higher rates of getting and dying from prostate cancer than other men.
Institutionalization of elders has historically been avoided, with sons and daughters taking on the family caretaker role.
Many African Americans like hearty meals that may include meat, fish, greens, rice, grits, white and sweet potatoes, corn, turnips, eggplant, peanuts, and homemade desserts.
Soul food may refer to meals made with fried chicken, pork chops, chitterlings, grits, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and hushpuppies.
Dishes such as hoppin’ John (rice, black-eyed peas, and salt pork), gumbos, jambalyas, fried porgies, and potlikker may all be considered soul food.
Traditionally, many elders eat a large noon meal on Sunday after church.
Body and Soul: A Celebration of Health Eating and Living for African Americans offers information targeted to African Americans on eating a health diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
African Americans often have strong religious affiliations.
Before the advent of health ministries, African American churches had mission volunteers who attended services and administered to parishioners.
African Americans are becoming increasingly health conscious, seeking health screenings and treatments, although health literacy in this population tends to vary by generation.