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African-American health and wellness in Orange County

African-American health and wellness in Orange County

Picture of Amy DePaul

How much does prosperity mitigate race-based health disparities? Orange County's African-American community is relatively wealthy and has a high rate of access to medical care, particularly compared to other ethnic communities in the area. And yet blacks fare worse on a number of key health outcomes.


After a rousing, choir-led gospel number at Christ Our Redeemer Church in Irvine last Sunday, Rev. Mark Whitlock announced that it was time for a “praise break.”

And by that he meant “workout.”

Two fitness leaders stood before the predominantly African-American congregation and began demonstrating an abdominal exercise. Following their example, worshipers assumed a plié position and pivoted their upper bodies from right to left and back – fists raised in a boxer stance – while clenching core muscles.

The two-minute workouts are part of a larger wellness program that also includes exercise classes and beach walks that Whitlock organizes at the church.

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