The relationship between obesity, diabetes, and mental health In the African American community is a persistent concern that demands attention. According to American Heart Association statistics, 55% of Black women and 38% of Black men have obesity. This disease significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes among African Americans. Based on findings from the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, 13.4% of Black men and 12.7% of Black women have been diagnosed with diabetes. In addition to the lifelong physical toil of managing diabetes, there is also an undeniable toll on mental health. This webinar will cover the effects of obesity and diabetes on mental wellness as well as how to promote a holistic approach to overall health and well-being that is specifically designed to meet the needs of African Americans.
- Explain the interconnectedness of obesity, diabetes, and mental health in the African American community, emphasizing key risk factors and complexities
- Explore and counter social and self-stigma surrounding mental health and obesity, proposing strategies to foster an open, understanding environment for care
- Discuss the significant impact of obesity and diabetes on mental health, focusing on stress, anxiety, and depression, while emphasizing the need for lifestyle medicine interventions and empathetic support systems
Tiffani Bell Washington MD, MPH, FAPA, Diplomate of American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Diplomate of American Board of Obesity Medicine, Diplomate of American Board of Lifestyle Medicine
Dr. Bell Washington is a Harvard Trained Public Health specialist and Quadruple Board-Certified Physician who specializes in Obesity Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine, Adult Psychiatry, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is a graduate of Harvard T. H. Chan with a Master of Public Health and concentration in Health Policy and Leadership. She completed undergraduate education at Norfolk State University (a Historically Black College and University), medical school at Medical College of Virginia, and residency and fellowship at Wake Forest School of Medicine. She is pursuing her Executive MBA with a concentration in healthcare management at Yale School of Management (class of 2025). Dr. Bell Washington is passionate about advocacy, research, improving diversity and equity through leadership and decreasing stigma and bias surrounding chronic illnesses such as mental health disorders and obesity. She is an executive board member for the Black Psychiatrists of America and serves as the Chair for the Lifestyle Psychiatry committee. She currently works as a Medical Director with Elevance Health (Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, WellSense MA) where she focuses on child psychiatry, health policy, quality of care, and population health measures.
Annelle Primm MD, MPH is the Senior Medical Director of the Steve Fund, an organization focused on the mental health of young people of color. She is also a member of the Black Psychiatrists of America Council of Elders.
Mental health clinicians, peer advocates, and the general public