Obesity is a precursor to illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes

By William K. Alcorn



Breast cancer, childhood cancers, general health and how to deal with student loans were among topics discussed Saturday during the Youngstown Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s symposium on health and finances.

An estimated 100 people attended the event from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority facility at 131 W. Boardman St.

Speakers were Dr. Rodney Hill, OB-GYN, who discussed breast cancer; Stacy Quinones, outreach adviser at the TRIO Educational Opportunity Center housed at Youngstown campus of the Eastern Gateway Community College, who talked about helping students deal with their college loans; and Dr. Louise Hayes, a retired pediatrician who grew up in rural Alabama and practiced medicine with the Trumbull Mahoning Medical Group.

Hand-washing has a lot to do with keeping children healthy, said Dr. Hayes, who is a “big proponent of immunizations and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.”

“We served a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables today so that children could see what they look like,” said Dr. Hayes, who recommended that parents encourage children to grow little gardens of their own as a source of healthy food.

“If I can get parents to do anything, it would be to do whatever they can to prevent obesity in their children by feeding them fresh fruits and vegetables and getting plenty of exercise, such as jumping rope, to avoid serious future illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes,” she said.

To reduce the risk of cancer in children, about all that can be done is to keep them generally healthy, Dr. Hayes said.

She offered these tips: Make sure they wash their hands with soap and water every time they walk in the house; limit exposure to tobacco smoke and to pesticides in food; eliminate excessive salt and sugar in their diet; get them immunized; and make sure children and teens get eight to 10 hours of sleep.

“I have the hardest time seeing what’s in shopping carts at the supermarket. I always say if you can’t read what’s on the label, don’t buy it,” Dr. Hayes said.

She also recommended that children and adults drink a glass of water when they wake up in the morning. “It flushes your system,” she said.

The Youngstown Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is an organization of college-educated women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service, the programs of which target the black community.

The sorority has a five-point program consisting of educational and political awareness, economic development, physical and mental health and international awareness, said Susan M. Moorer, president of the local chapter.

The group’s current international project is providing personal-hygiene products for girls and school supplies for the New Abetensu M.A. Basic School in Eastern Ghana, Moorer said.

Chantelle Hallman and Julie Greene were co-chairwomen of the symposium. Event sponsors were Family Self Sufficiency (FSS), Mercy Health, Molina Healthcare, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority and Dr. Rodney Hill.

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