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In 1965, African Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to eat a recommended diet of fruit, vegetables, fat, fiber, and calcium.

By 1996, 28 percent of this population was reported to have a poor-quality diet, compared to 16 percent of whites.

Soul food may refer to meals made with fried chicken, pork chops, chitterlings, grits, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and hushpuppies.

Many of these foods found their way from the south to the north via the Mississippi River.

Cajun and Creole cooking, which originated from the French and Spanish in Louisiana, was changed in character and composition by the influence of African cooks.

The structure in African American families is often nuclear and extended with non-related “family” members.

The family may be matriarchal, although father or mother may take on the decision-making role.

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