Oct 26 2011

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Bestseller, ‘American Grown’

I don’t know if the first lady of the United States named her book “American Grown” with the intention of  b***h slapping those who’ve accused her over the years of being unpatriotic (the same ones who accused her husband of being a non-American.)

But, ahem, take that.

Though the title could easily be a tongue-in-cheek reference to Michelle Obama’s American roots, the book is actually about roots of another kind–the ones you find beneath the dirt in the White House garden.

“American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools, and Communities aims to explore “how increased access to healthy, affordable food can promote better eating habits and improve the health of families and communities across America,” according to a press release issued Monday by the Crown Publishing Group.

“Mrs. Obama will describe how her daughters Sasha and Malia were catalysts for change in her own family’s eating behavior, which inspired Mrs. Obama to plant an edible garden on the South Lawn — the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s ‘Victory Garden,’ planted during World War II.”

The first lady did not receive an advance for the book and all proceeds will be donated to charity, the statement says. Random House Inc., Crown Publishing Group’s parent, will also make a donation of the books sales to a charity.

American Grown will be on sale nationwide starting April 10, 2012.

Jul 28 2011

Black Mothers Are Least Likely to Breast-Feed … Is a Breast-Feeding Doll the Solution?

A recent CDC report found that non-Hispanic black women in the U.S. were least likely to breastfeed compared to other racial groups, despite the fact that breast milk provides superior nutrition, natural immunity, and possible allergy prevention for babies who receive it.

Data suggest that there may be experiences unique to non-Hispanic black women that contribute to their decision to bottle-feed:

  • Lack of culturally relevant information and images of non-Hispanic black women breast-feeding.
  • Perceptions that breast-feeding is inferior to formula feeding or conflicting messages about breast-feeding.
  • Need for non-Hispanic black women to return to work sooner, where, until recently, support for breast-feeding was often insufficient.
  • Lack of social or partner support.

Spain-based Berjuan Toys thinks it has the solution to raising those breast-feeding rates — a breast-feeding doll that acculturates young girls to value breast-feeding and view it as a normal part of motherhood. Breast Milk Baby comes with a halter top that a child wears to “nurse” the doll. Located on the outside of the garment is an appliqué where the child places the doll’s mouth to simulate breast-feeding. The doll makes motions and suckling sounds when a sensor in its mouth is near the appliqué. The doll sells for 69.99 and is currently only available online. Two million have been sold in Europe.

Those for and against the toy are equally vehement about why their opinion is the right one. A Facebook page “Against the Breast Milk Baby Doll” has been created, and an online petition asking U.S. toy stores not to stock it has been circulated. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly mentioned the doll on his show, saying it pushes little girls to grow up too soon.

Berjuan Toys rep Dennis Lewis says the doll is a much-needed antidote to a culture that advocates bottle-feeding at the expense of breast-feeding, even though it’s known to offer health benefits for mother and child.”This is an important issue, because if little kids start learning about breast-feeding when they’re young, it becomes an easy choice for them when they are older,” Lewis says. The doll is a fun way to let children play out “the importance of natural breast-feeding.”

It seems a bit ridiculous to spend $70 bucks on a doll that is supposed to encourage behavior an imaginative child will do without the high-tech gadgetry. A child who witnesses breast-feeding will emulate it in play. My daughters saw me nursing their younger siblings and when they played “mommy” they pretended to breast-feed. The sucking sounds coming from the doll are unnecessary and a little creepy n my opinion.

-by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com

Jul 22 2011

Abandoned at Birth Now an AIDS Activist: Hydeia Broadbent’s Life a Testament to Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Born HIV-infected to a crack-addicted mother and diagnosed with full blown AIDS at age 3, Hydeia Broadbent was not expected to live past the age of 5. More than 20 years after receiving that death sentence, this beautiful young woman blogs, tweets and travels the country to educate people about the importance of AIDS prevention, testing, early diagnosis and treatment.

“Early diagnosis can be the difference between life and death,” says Broadbent. “Too many people become aware of their status when it is too late for life-saving medications to be effective — I am in this fight because I truly do not want others to go through what I have gone through — but also keep in mind, a positive test result doesn’t have to mean a death sentence.”

Some uninformed people hear stories like Broadbent’s and believe that because HIV-positive people are now living much longer, prevention is not a big deal anymore. Broadbent warns audiences not to fall into that trap. This young lady knows firsthand that living with AIDS is no walk in the park. The drugs have serious side effects, are very costly and they must be taken every day. If you are following Broadbent on Facebook or Twitter, you know her emergency room visits are frightening and expensive.

“People think because I was born with HIV my story does not apply to them,” warns Broadbent. “Well, this same disease I am living with is the same disease you can get if you don’t practice safe sex and know your HIV status and the HIV status of your sexual partner. I ask people to use my testimony as a warning of what you don’t want to go through.”

If you have been thinking about getting tested, but still haven’t found the courage or will to get it done, let this young woman’s concern for you give you the nudge you need to be concerned about yourself.

“We are responsible for the choices we make and I challenge everyone to be accountable. Every 9 ½ minutes someone becomes infected with HIV. Knowing your HIV status is not only a representation of self-love but also states what kind of person you choose to be. Not knowing your HIV status and having unsafe sexual relationships means you could possibly be infecting others,” Broadbent says.

Visit www.HydeaiaBroadbent.com for more information on this awesome young lady.