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Is Fat The New Black?

According to recent CDC studies 68.7% of adults in the U.S. are overweight and  37% are obese. Blacks have the highest rates of obesity at 47.8% with black women accounting for 82% of the overweight and obese.

Obesity increases the risk of type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and strokes. Illnesses that disproportionately haunt the Black community. A recent policy statement issued by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), warns that obesity is on its way of overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of cancer in the country.

In the Black community, small frames on women are perceived to be undesirable to men, putting much emphasis on big butts and hips. In fact many Black women view being "Thick" (a nice way of saying overweight) is a part of their culture. A big butt is actually something to achieve in order to be a more attractive woman. Of course, the men play into these views; praising women with curvy backsides and hips to go with, but Black women have been nicely carved since the beginning of time, so where does this new infatuation with bigger is better come from? Obviously, the media. Ever since Sir Mix-A-Lot's 90's hit single and video "Baby Got Back" hit TV screens across the U.S the mainstream media has become obsessed with big butts, but it wasn't till recent advancements in technology that can give any woman a nice butt that the media started bombarding men and women alike with a more exaggerated sexualized idea that an even bigger butt is better. I'm not saying that every Black woman is born with a naturally big backside, but that shape is a racial characteristic of black women; even for the overweight and obese.

"Thick" A Nice Term for Overweight

Everywhere you look, from music videos, to TV series, movies, and magazines you see a slew of sexualized big butt women. The common video vixen slash stripper has replaced what we used to call models. Men look at these images and gawk over them, giving some black Women the impression that all they need is a big butt. Women looking at these images compare themselves becoming insecure with their own shapes. Neither the man nor woman stop to think that real women no matter how curvy don't naturally look like that. A fat girl butt with a slim girl's waist is disproportionate. Fat butts come with fat bellies and thighs, especially in women with kids. Even the most toned overweight woman's waist is proportionate with her body's mass, but that takes a lot of physical activity. We live in a generation today full of photoshopped images, tummy tucks, liposuctions, rib removals, and butt implants.

Thicker women are fighting against losing weight while slimmer women are fighting to put on some pounds. Obsessed with the media's version of the modern woman. The problem with this mentality is that most women don't understand that if you want to look like Jessica Rabbit slash video harlot it's going to cost you a few thousands. Otherwise, you can lose that belly fat by exercising; but you're going to lose some backside too or you can lazily eat your way to a bigger butt, but not without gaining weight in some unwanted areas. What's wrong with just being fit?

Statistically, 4 out of 5 Black women are overweight or obese and believe it or not some don't mind, as long as they have a big butt.

Black women of all ages report less exercise than White women. Now this could be due to not having a baby-sitter, not having enough time, or not feeling safe being active in their community.
I've even heard the "I don't want to sweat my hair out", routine.

Black Men Exercise Less Than White Women!

Did Black men think they were getting off easy? Statistically, 69% of Black men are either overweight or obese. Black men also exercise at rates lower than White women, and have the highest rate of obesity among all male racial groups. 

Men have become comfortable in their skin, not caring much about their appearances as much as women do. In the Black community a man being overweight is perceived as undesirable to most women unless he has a good financial situation. For some women, it makes them feel more secure. Women help encourage this behavior, giving men the notion that they don't have to be physically attractive or fit. All they need is money and security and they can have whomever they choose, while all they have to do is make money, barbeque, and drink beer. 

What About the Kid's

With the sole responsibility of feeding the family, the overweight mother's household is more likely to have overweight children. Physical fitness and healthy eating habits are something many Black family units lack. 67% of Black children live in single parent homes. Many mothers work raising children alone, so lunch or dinner usually consist of processed meals like hot dogs, chicken nuggets, frozen pizza, and Micky D's.

1 out of 4 Black girls and 1 in 5 Black boys are overweight. High blood pressure and type II diabetes are being diagnosed earlier in overweight children. 7 out of 10 overweight adolescents will become overweight or obese adults. This figure increases to 8 with an obese parent in the picture.

The Solution

Diet is a key component in the rising trends of obesity rates in the black community. Lower income equals cheaper and convenient food options. Fast paced city lifestyles and poverty-stricken communities leave little room for a healthy diet. Fast Food and microwavable meals are the norm for many families.

All of these statistics can change with a change of lifestyle, with families incorporating more physical activity into their daily routines and being more healthwise with their eating habits. Opting out of the usual fast food and processed meals. Choosing fruits and vegetables over high calorie junk foods filled with refined sugars and artificial flavors. Not saying changes will be seen over night, but a steady workout routine coupled with a healthy diet will give the body a balanced metabolism, which not only encourages weight loss but burns excess sugars preventing diabetes and strokes.


Link To CDC Studies

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Obesity and Cancer

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Obesity