Make Thanksgiving Table-Talk Something to Chew On

In between, the good food, the football games and other activities that come along with Thanksgiving, consider spicing-up the holiday gathering with a conversation about health. In 2004, the U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona declared Thanksgiving as National Family Health History Day. The idea behind the designation is to encourage those gathering for Thanksgiving dinner to talk about their family health history and document diseases and conditions that affect family members.

Start the conversation by asking about your close relatives’ health—people like your parents, grandparents, siblings or aunts and uncles. Knowing your family health history is important when it comes to you managing your health and your medical care. You might be asking why? Consider this–there are some common conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancers and stroke that are genetic, or run in families. When you’re equipped with this information, it can help you and your health care provider develop a plan to lower your risk of developing diseases that may be common in your family. So, this Thanksgiving, remember to add family health history to the menu.