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Many are affiliated with Christian denominations—notably Baptist and Church of God in Christ. Maintaining good health is associated with good religious practice.

And fast foot companies have specifically targeted African American communities as a growing market for their products.

Although many African Americans eat foods such as greens, beans, and rice, which are rich in nutrients, economic issues and deep-rooted dietary habits create challenges for changing behaviors and lowering disease risk in this population.

By 1996, 28 percent of this population was reported to have a poor-quality diet, compared to 16 percent of whites.

A poor quality diet often can be attributed to greater access to packaged, processed, and fast foods; the common practice of using fats in cooking; and the high cost of fresh produce and lean meat.

In general, the older generation is more conservative, may have a more traditional view of gender roles, and may shun interracial dating and marriage.

Elders are respected and often provide care for their grandchildren.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.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.Okra is the principal ingredient in gumbo, a Creole stew, and is believed to have spiritual and healthful properties.