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Bruce Johnson 'Church Food' Doc Targets Blacks' Diets

WI Web Staff | 4/24/2013, 9 p.m.

Bruce Johnson has been a reporter and anchor for WUSA-9 in the District for more than 30 years. But it almost didn't work out that way.

Johnson suffered a massive heart attack 19 years ago at the age of 42 while on assignment. Had it not been for the emergency care he received at Greater Southeast Community Hospital (now United Medical Center) in Southeast by one of the District's top cardiologists, the Emmy-award winning journalist would not be on a crusade today to save the lives of others, most specifically, African Americans, from the lethal consequences of heart disease.

Author of the book "Heart to Heart," Johnson has joined with the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) to target the church and the clergy to stem the tide of heart attacks and strokes. More than 1 million Americans will die of cardiovascular disease, Johnson notes, and African Americans die from heart disease and stroke at a rate 50 percent higher than other racial groups. African Americans die from heart disease more often than from deaths due to cancer, accidents, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, liver failure, suicide and homicide combined.

At the ABC conference on health disparities held in the District this week, Johnson presented his documentary, "Before You Eat the Church Food." It's a very serious examination of how churches promote the cultural and dietary habits that are killing black people, as well as the efforts many churches are making to improve the health outcomes of their congregants.

We are proud of Johnson for becoming such a hard-charging advocate for healthier lifestyles and we join him and the ABC in urging our readers to watch the documentary at http://www.beforeyoueatthechurchfood.com/ along with making healthier choices beginning today for you and your family.