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A Catalyst for Change

Health Disparities that Exist

The evidence is clear that health disparities, due to race or ethnicity, sex, age, disability, geography, and socioeconomic status, directly influence an individual’s opportunity to actualize a healthy life. In fact, the most influential social determinate of health is zip code!

Large health disparities exist in rural and urban populations in countries around the world, with evidence highlighting the undeniable fact that the lower a person’s socio-economic status, the greater their risk of poor health, including:

  • 87% of premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases occur in low-to-middle income countries
  • Every day 16,000 children die before their fifth birthday
  • Life expectancy varies by 34 years between countries
  • In low income, low access areas, 50% of the population has limited access to supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Cardiovascular disease disproportionately affects non-Hispanic blacks and individuals of lower socio-economic status
  • Diet-related disparities mirror the increased proportion of cardiovascular disease in at-risk populations
  • Inequalities exert significant social, relational, and economic costs to individuals, families, communities, healthcare systems and nations
  • Food “swamps” present in low-income communities have a greater density of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores that serve as primary food resources
  • Food budgets in low-income areas are insufficient to ensure a healthy diet

Our Mission to Ignite Change

The lifestyle medicine movement needs to be accelerated in communities with the greatest burden of health inequities. HELP is the first national conference solely focused on catalyzing the conversation around health disparities, chronic disease, and the role of evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle to dramatically lower rates of chronic disease and establish more equitable and resilient health.

The HELP conference will be an annual catalyst for change by cultivating education, seeding conversations and igniting action to help change the future of healthcare and health equity in the United States. The conference will:

  • Serve as the seed bed for nationally recognized programs that dramatically improve healthy food access and health in marginalized communities
  • Support the creation of seminal research demonstrating the positive impact of lifestyle medicine in reversing the trend of chronic disease and health inequity
  • Increase awareness and understanding of the health crisis in marginalized communities nationally and internationally
  • Create thoughtful and culturally relevant tools and resources to help leaders empower their communities
  • Connect key leaders to collaboratively work on reproducible solutions through shared knowledge and resources
  • Train the next generation of HBCU healthcare profession faculty, students and leaders and equipt them with solutions that prioritize health equity and disease reversal and prevention
  • Unite leaders from medicine, business, faith-based, government, education and the community to cultivate and build impactful relationships