Does your circle dictate your health? A new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says yes. In fact, the study’s two decades of research indicates that there is a causal relationship between your crew and how long you live because your social integration is related to your physical condition. That means that although you can’t just kick your workout regimen and healthy diet to the curb, you should make sure that you have a social life. It’s as important as how active we are and what we choose to eat.
“Based on these findings, it should be as important to encourage adolescents and young adults to build broad social relationships and social skills for interacting with others as it is to eat healthy and be physically active,” said UNC-Chapel Hill professor Kathleen Mullan Harris in a press release.
What defines a healthy social circle, however, changes as you age. Here’s how having friends affects your health at different life stages, according to the study:
Contrary to what your mother may have told you, the number of friends you have in your youth is actually important. According to the study, social isolation in adolescence increased both the risk of inflammation and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
Young Adulthood to Mid-life
For most of your life, the importance of social interaction is about quality over quantity: having good friends. You don’t necessarily need a lot of them. Adults that feel more connected to others have a lower risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
The Senior Years
As you reach your sixties, the number of friends you have around you becomes important again. Although you become naturally more inclined to acquire a chronic disease as you age, seniors who are around a lot of people are less likely to hypertension and other such diseases.
“No one really knew who he was yet,” singer John Legend said of his long-time friend Kanye West while telling Huffington Post about the long, long time ago when West opened for him in New York.
Back in the early 2000s, when West signed Legend to his production company, both musicians were struggling to get a following. Around this time, Legend performed at a Manhattan club called SOBs to just a few dozen people. When West came into town, the now larger-than-life performer tried opening for Legend with shaky results.
“He was just a young producer-turned-rapper from Chicago that no one really knew,” Legend explained. Apparently, the crowd was even getting restless during West’s New York set, but, of course, this tale didn’t end in career fatality. “Pretty soon after [the opening gig], he blew up,” Legend said, but then broke into laughter saying, “I’m not taking any credit!”
The “All of Me” singer has credited West’s early encouragement for his current success. The two certainly came up together, with multiple professional collaborations throughout the last near decade and a half — notably on West’s 2010 album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
At a party thrown by deodorant brand Axe, Legend told HuffPost new details about his own upcoming album, his fifth, and West’s highly anticipated “SWISH,” both of which should debut this year.
For his own 2016 release, Legend tapped Blake Mills to produce the album. Mills is the person behind Alabama Shakes’ “Sound & Color,” Legend’s favorite record the last year.
Legend confirmed that he was a part of the early sessions for West’s album. “I feel like it’s probably evolved a lot since,” he said, knowingly joking along in reference to the narrative that West has reworked his upcoming release several times.
The Axe event took place at a multi-story venue in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood and featured Legend as a special guest as part of his collaboration with the brand in a project called The Axe Collective. This brand initiative aims to surface new music and film talent and partner them with established artists such as Legend.
Echoes from the party could be heard in the private room where we spoke with Legend. Just around the corner, drag queen Lili Whiteass was standing on a glass runway above a full-story pool welcoming partygoers in, telling one group to have an orgy before they left.
Legend, who is expecting a daughter with his wife, Chrissy Teigen, later this year — “my real last name is Stevens, so my daughter’s last name … won’t be as exciting as using Legend” the singer said with a laugh — stayed above this suggested fray for the night.
Besides a new album, Legend will also be making his Hollywood debut in the upcoming movie “La La Land,” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. In the movie, Gosling is a member of a band led by Legend’s character. Although maybe not quite as grueling of an acting shoot as the stories coming out of “The Revenant,” Legend didn’t get out of his first role unscathed.
“I almost broke my hand,” Legend said, smiling. While smacking his hand, he explained, “There was a dancer getting swung around and she kicked me in the hand.” The last time Legend was at the Academy Awards, he made Oprah, David Oyelowo and Chris Pine tear up with his rendition of Common’s “Glory” from the movie “Selma.” Who knows? Maybe in 2017, Legend will be following in DiCaprio’s inevitable footsteps with tales on the Academy stage of injurious, but award-winning, acting too.
Nationwide — If you’ve ever wondered why Black America, with its trillion dollars of spending power, can’t hang on to its money, then you are in the company of Robert L. Gatewood, author of the provocative book, PLAYED IN FULL – The Marketing Exploitation of Black America.
Gatewood, who is an MBA-degreed marketing consultant, and host of the acclaimed Marketing Pulpit Radio Show on Radio-One’s WOL in Washington, DC, considers himself the unlikely “poster boy” for Black overspending. He adds that, in the past, he too spent well beyond his means. According to Gatewood, “If a smart guy like me has struggled over the years to hang onto his money, then perhaps there’s more to this problem than basic math.”
Gatewood adds, “The forces at work ring familiar because they are some of the very same techniques used by experienced marketers that are designed to help business owners. Unfortunately those methods have been twisted and used nefariously. When the history of slavery and racism is embedded, the subjection becomes particularly acute for Blacks.”
Gatewood’s book, PLAYED IN FULL – The Marketing Exploitation of Black America, suggests that the fight for Black dollars is a generational battle that’s fought in the mind. On one side you have Black consumers who have been conditioned to spend rather than invest. And coalesced on the other side are the “Players,” people and institutions, who are possessed with a congenital zeal for extracting money from Blacks.
“It’s worse than shooting fish in a barrel,” says Gatewood. “It’s as if the fish were trained to jump out of the barrel, gut themselves, leap into the frying pan, and then light the fire.”
In the book, Gatewood exposes many sacred institutions that have wittingly or unwittingly contributed to the subterfuge; including but not limited to, the banks, the courts, the media, the schools, the military, the church, the state, the food industry, the politicians, and even Santa Claus himself.
In addition to highlighting the dilemma, Gatewood also provides a host of remedies for mending the sieve that is the pocketbook of Black America.
Nationwide — Federal government research has confirmed that African American women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, and now a new directory of the top 99 Black woman-owned businesses has been released as the only publication of its kind!
The book, entitled 99 Amazing Black Woman-Owned Businesses You Should Support! (Handbag Brands, Nail Polish Brands, Haircare/ Skincare Brands, Jewelry Brands, and More), is available in e-book format, and can be immediately downloaded onto all computers, smartphones and tablets.
The e-book features:
* The top HANDBAG brands owned by Black women entrepreneurs
* The top NAIL POLISH brands owned by Black women entrepreneurs
* The top HAIR CARE brands owned by Black women entrepreneurs
* The top SKIN CARE brands owned by Black women entrepreneurs
* The top FOOD brands owned by Black women entrepreneurs
* The top RESTAURANTS owned by Black women entrepreneurs
* The top JEWELRY brands owned by Black women entrepreneurs
* The top MAKE-UP brands owned by Black women entrepreneurs
* The top MARKETING/ADVERTISING owned by Black women entrepreneurs
Woman all over the world are encouraged to use the directory to support Black women-owned businesses, to get in contact with them for business pitches and exchange of ideas, and/or to find out who your competition is!
The book retails for just $4.95, and is exclusively available at www.eBooksandReports.com
eBooks and Reports
BY JESSE JACKSON
January 19, 2016
As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, memories of his last birthday flood my mind. He rose early and came to work. He was convening leaders from across regions and races — blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, faith leaders, lawyers, organizers. He hoped to enlist them in planning a “Poor People’s Campaign,” a march on Washington to demand jobs and justice.
Dr. King’s perspective was clear. The civil rights movement had made great progress — ended legal segregation, gained the right to vote and demonstrated the humanity of those who were locked out.
But those victories were limited in effect. Our communities were still divided on the ground. The right to vote had to be exercised over continued obstacles. Poverty was robbing children of their potential, yet the Vietnam War abroad was consuming the attention and resources desperately needed at home. Our cities were ready to blow. America was
still two nations, separate and unequal. It was time to come together. It was time to march again.
Today, Dr. King would surely be of the same mind. Our cities have become traps for the impoverished, with guns and drugs coming in and jobs gong out. What were slums then have become abandoned zones, with public housing torn down and private housing foreclosed.
The poor are ever more isolated. They struggle with only the harsh choices of poverty. Can they afford to get to where a job might be? Do they pay for the medicine they need or for food for their children? How can they keep their children safe when they have to work two jobs to keep a roof over their heads? They have no margin. One thing goes wrong
a job lost, a car breaks down, a child gets in trouble, a mother gets sick and what little stability they have managed to create is destroyed. White, black, brown — no wonder drug and alcohol take a harsh toll amid these pressures.
In his State of the Union, President Barack Obama stated correctly that the United States has the most powerful military in the world, spending as much on it as the next eight nations put together. Dr. King would not have thought this was something to brag about. Dr. King was suspicious of those who talked peace but budgeted for war. Poverty, he
would argue, is a weapon of mass destruction that must be disarmed. He would surely have warned that we have plans to rebuild countries across the world, but there is no plan to rebuild our own cities. House speaker Paul Ryan convened Republicans to talk about poverty, but Republican governors (with some exceptions) still refuse to extend Medicaid to
millions of working poor people that Washington would pay for.
America leads the world in the number of its citizens it locks up. Dr. King would not have thought this something to brag about. Now cost pressures are leading politicians to consider ending our obscene sentencing practices and reducing our prison populations. Yet there is no plan for re-entry of those who were locked up.
Locking them up for nonviolent offenses was perverse. Releasing them without a plan for re-entry, a hope for a job, is equally perverse.
Let us celebrate Dr. King by following his example. He called us to act, to make our voices known, to vote in large numbers. Violence is not the answer. Despair leads only to defeat. He called on us to stand up, to lead, to march, to demand change. We are judged, he reminded us, not by our rhetoric but by how we treat the least of these. Actions, not
words, provide the measure.
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According to Bloomberg BNA’s Holiday Practices survey, just 37% of U.S. employers grant their employees with a paid day off in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Making a slight improvement from the 35% of employers in 2014, survey results show that despite Dr. King’s birthday being considered a federal holiday for 30 years, companies are still slow to honor his legacy in the workplace.
“After three decades as a federal holiday, getting Dr. King’s birthday as a paid day off seems to be plateauing as those U.S. workers getting the day off with pay has hovered between 30 and 37 percent the past five years,” said Molly Huie, Bloomberg BNA’s Manager of Survey and Research Reports. “In fact, while not a federal holiday, the Friday after Thanksgiving was given as a paid day off in 2015 by nearly twice as many employers (71%) as Dr. King’s birthday and 46% of employers provided a paid day off for Christmas Eve.”
When compared to other federal holidays, Dr. King’s birthday lags behind drastically when it comes to being recognized in the professional arena. Based off the results, which surveyed over 350 human resource professionals, 98% of employers provide paid leave for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day; 97% provide paid leave for Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day; and 94% honor paid leave for New Year’s Day.
Employees who work for non-business organizations such as healthcare, government, and educational institutions are more likely to receive a paid day off for Dr. King’s birthday, rather than employees working in the manufacturing industry. According to the survey, just 10% of manufacturing companies provide paid leave in honor of the late civil rights leader.
In the past, a few tech companies have come under fire for their Dr. King leave policies. Apple, for example, received mixed reactions after it was made public that rather than giving their workers the day off, the company donates money to charity for every hour their employee commits to volunteering.
“As we reflect on the significance of Dr. King’s contributions, there is no greater way to celebrate his legacy than to serve the communities where we live and work,” wrote Apple’s head of human resources, Denise Young Smith, in an email to staff last year.
To see a breakdown of the industries that give employees the day off for Dr. King Day check the infographic below.
Washington, DC — Available today from PurchaseBlack.com is a new retail mobile app developed to provide customers with curated quality products from Black-owned businesses. The app fulfills the market need for a more user-friendly and fun platform for mcustomers to shop with the knowledge that all products are from 100% verified black owned businesses.
The mobile app’s additional functionality engages end users through push notifications announcing new products, real-time contests, flash sales, deals as well as promotions. Users can also connect via popular social media platforms, submit product suggestions, and watch video stories about the products they purchase via the mobile app.
“It should not be so hard to find and buy from high quality Black owned businesses,” said Brian AM Williams, CEO of PurchaseBlack.com and app developer. “Today everything happens from our phones—Black businesses should be equally as accessible as any other business and that’s what I am bringing with this mobile app—accessibility.”
PurchaseBlack is designed with simplicity in mind, which makes it easy to use. Displaying high resolution digital graphics, PurchaseBlack brings fresh vision into presenting Black retailers products. PurchaseBlack is available worldwide, for free from the iOS app store and Google Play: www.PurchaseBlack.com/Mobile
For more information, interviews, or media inquiries please contact [email protected]
ABOUT PURCHASE BLACK
PurchaseBlack.com is a curated online marketplace selling products from exceptional Black owned businesses that sell by invitation only.They want to change the conversation surrounding Black owned businesses to have them reflect the excellence contained within this business community. They aim to make it easy for the world to enjoy and support Black owned businesses and make a positive impact through conscious commerce. They will encourage intentional spending for the betterment of communities everywhere because our business is to make a difference that matters.
A doctor’s body language may reveal racial bias against seriously ill black patients, a new study suggests.
The finding could help explain why dying black patients are much more likely than whites to ask for more extensive life-saving measures and to report worse communication with their doctors, the researchers said.
“Although we found that physicians said the same things to their black and white patients, communication is not just the spoken word. It also involves nonverbal cues, such as eye contact, body positioning and touch,” said senior study author Dr. Amber Barnato.
“Poor nonverbal communication — something the physician may not even be aware he or she is doing — could explain why many black patients perceive discrimination in the health-care setting,” said Barnato, an associate professor of clinical and translational medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
However, the study wasn’t designed to show a cause-and-effect relationship; it was only able to show that communication differences exist.
The study was published in the January issue of The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.
The study included 33 hospital-based attending physicians. Black and white actors were asked to portray patients dying from advanced stomach or pancreatic cancer. Their scripts were identical.
The doctors’ scores on nonverbal interactions were 7 percent lower when dealing with black patients than with white patients, according to the researchers.
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