Why Are 4 Out Of 5 Black Women Obese, Overweight?

This statistic, from a BU Today report on fighting obesity, is enough to ruin your morning: “No population in the United States has a higher obesity rate than African American women, four out of five of whom are overweight or obese, according to a 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

No population has a higher overweight and obesity rate than African-American women (Spree2010/flickr)

The causes of this alarming obesity rate are various and complex and range from genes and diet to socioeconomic status and the environment, according to Julie Palmer, a senior epidemiologist at Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center who has coordinated the Black Women’s Health Study since 1995. In the BU piece, Palmer details some of these causes and potential fixes:

On Diet

“…when the women were asked how often they ate out and what type of fast food they chose—burgers, pizza, Mexican, Chinese, fried chicken, or fried fish—those who frequently chose the first option had the most consequences. “We found that eating burgers from fast food or other restaurants definitely increased risk for obesity,” she says. “This was after controlling for soft drinks and after controlling for total fat. There’s something about red meat; we don’t know exactly what it is. And then there’s something about eating that type of meal and everything that goes with it. It was clearly worse than eating the fried fish, fried chicken, or the pizza.”

Palmer published their findings in biannual newsletters sent to study participants, with the recommendation that they substitute diet soda or water for regular soda and order pizza or Mexican, which has more nutrients and fewer calories than burgers. “We’re trying to identify things that people can actually do,” she says. “Because you can’t just say, ‘Lose weight,’ or, ‘Don’t eat so much.’ That’s really hard to do.”

On Motherhood

“Childbearing also proved a factor in weight gain. In a 2003 paper published in Nature, Palmer and her colleagues reported that African American women who have children young, are overweight at the time of pregnancy, or gain an excess amount of weight during pregnancy have a higher prevalence of obesity compared to white women.

And while they don’t have any results yet, the BWHS team is trying to learn if breast-feeding helps a woman “reset her metabolism” to decrease weight gain following pregnancy. The percentage of black infants who are breast-fed has shot up markedly in recent years, but it still lags compared to other groups. According to the CDC, 65 percent of black infants were breast-fed compared to 80 percent of Mexican American and 79 percent of white infants in 2005 and 2006. Palmer hopes her group’s research will encourage more black women to breast-feed and persuade policy makers to pass legislation facilitating breast-feeding in the workplace.”

On Discrimination

“Psychological and social factors also have an impact. “Women who report more experiences of racism have been shown to be more likely to become obese,” Palmer says. About 55 percent of study participants reported experiencing discrimination at work, according to a July 2012 BWHS newsletter. Palmer also found that participants who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods—where grocery stores are scarce, parks and sidewalks aren’t maintained, or crime is rampant—often gained weight or were obese.”

The Bottom Line

‘…children everywhere need to be taught healthy eating habits. Cities must clean up parks and quash violence to encourage physical activity. And urban planners should design more walker-friendly neighborhoods.

“We need to fund more small-scale or local-level efforts to help people make these changes in their lives,” Palmer says.’

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  • UhNa

    Black women are disgusting.

  • Tonididitonem

    Take this down. Take this down.

  • Tonididitonem

    And how dare this website police my comments but let black women bashing run rampant. Disgusting racism and bigotry, not to mention intraracial hatred and misogyny.

  • Rowan Guthrie

    This epidemic of obesity amongst black women has multiple levels of causes. Number one I think is the oppression of their upbringing under the guide of parents who love, but are too wrought by systematic racism and generational poverty that in some cases fosters poor living conditions, the absence of the traditional family unit,and consequently creates epigenetic outcomes that are similar to the generation of people who are spawns of concentration camp survivors. The trauma of being abused by the external system is imprinted in the genes of the next generation and the next…..

  • Rick McCallister

    With Black & Latina women, the issue is slightly more nuanced than with White women. At least in the US.

    Impoverished Inner-city communities are primarily Black & Hispanic as the result of Red-lining policies in the 70′s & 80′s. That means that large-volume businesses traditionally avoided those communities. Grocery stores included.

    The result is that most people in (let’s call these neighborhoods what they are) ghettos don’t have access to food beyond Walgreens and a local corner store. That means a lot of garbage convenience foods, and not much in the way of produce. This creates what’s known as a “food desert,” which is also common in predominantly poor Southern White communities.

    Without increasing Rural and Inner-City access to healthy foods, the problem will not go away.

    As for how Black & Hispanic men have avoided the same fate, check out their rates of first-offense incarceration. It’s hard to get fat on a diet of fruit salad and prison loaf.

  • MystiKasT

    Blacks are a scourge upon the world. They ruin entire neighborhoods when they move in.

    • Rick McCallister

      Aaaaand flagged. You’re not welcome in the US.

      • ChaosOverkill

        Flag worked really well, and sadly… his kind is welcome in plenty of places in the US.

  • sherwoodgrant

    I can give several valid reasons why black women are faced with this
    modern day dilemma that was not the case just 30 years ago.

    1. more money to be made when a person is sickly (obesity/ overweight is a dis-ease). So much effort is put in comforting this condition than solving.

    food has changed dramatically, kool-aid is not even the same of the
    past. The Frankenstein foods are creating disruptions of the souls of

    3. women do not want to cook or do not know how to cook.

    health is not encouraged in schools were black girls attend so there
    option to release frustrations is fighting and/or eating, these black
    girls have grown up to be women with bad habits.

    mainstream have misinformed on health which have caused mass
    confusion. Some are able to navigate thru the lies but others get caught
    in its web.

    women look for easy way to get healthy and when this really don’t work
    they promote thickness, which most times will turn into obesity, as
    being acceptable.

    women is focused on the numbers when they should focus on health on a
    wholistic level. Getting stronger, faster and more flexible should be
    goal not weight loss.

    too much pressure to be fitter, and pressure can bust pipes, so they
    give up and succumb to hanging out with friends that think like them.

    Some Men act like this is not a problem while they use them. Some prey
    on those that lack confident so they never seek to encourage them to be
    healthier. Not saying all lacks but majority does.

    So many women feel they know how to eat right (whatever that looks
    like) and think that they only lacking exercise when the diet is 80% of
    the work.

    I can add more but this should do.

  • beastwork

    Top two excuses why black women are fatter than the rest.

    1. My man likes me thick (big butt, big boobs etc)
    2. I can’t exercise daily because my chemically processed hair/weave will curl up if I sweat. (my fabulous hair is more important than my health)

    neither of these two physical attributes is worth the fat gut that comes along with it

  • Jamila T. Thompson

    THEY (BW) didnt just buy into feminism. In order for that to happen there was an extreme breakdown of family. Her choices are not isolated from the man. And the men experienced racism, Unemployment, addiction and many other reasons that cause them to leave their families which affects everyone else and therefore the decline in wellness, spirituality etc. This overall imbalance has resulted in highly stressful economic, spiritual and emotional illness. The burden of emotional trauma from unhealthy relationships, inadequate provisions and emotional insecurity from the absence of the man as protector and provider has resulted in decline of her health..Depression & stress are coupled with obesity. Do not isolate this issue. WOMEN AND MEN MUST BEING FAMILY TOGETHER..IN ORDER TO DO THIS BOTH MUST COMMIT TO WORKING TOGETHER BY ASSUMING THEIR ROLES TOURS progression. If there are challenges men should not exit their families!

    • LotusBud

      No, BW on the whole don’t want to put in the work to be skinny. There’s nothing out there that is worth all that effort. If there was, more would at least try but getting a man isn’t much motivation, because even the nastiest, least attractive, funkiest ones out there have no problem getting “something” from the male species. And they seem to be ok with whatever that is. However, it certainly won’t be a Top Dog, unless they are willing to put in the time and effort.

    • Inquizative

      Why don’t you elaborate on the alarming number of men that are pushed out of the family, pushed away from their kids. How so many blk women have kids with full intention of being a single mom or being ambivalent or don’t care about getting married first. How they feel they will not let NOT being married stop them from being a mother, because, “they don’t need no man.” However, their kids need a dad in the home but the blk mother either doesn’t care or is ambivalent. How society coddles this behavior.

      How about how when they decide it’s time to have a child just because her “biological clock is ticking” and for that reason alone, she’ll have a baby out of wedlock by some hapless sperm bank man who may already have kids in double digits, you know, the man with the pretty hair who is no position to be her husband let alone a father….again.

      The woman chooses the man, she has to allow him inside her body, she has to let him in. With modern contraceptives, men don’t get women pregnant, women allow themselves to become pregnant. Women have total control over procreation, total control of giving birth or not, Even if she does give birth she doesn’t have to be responsible, neither as a parent or financially if she chooses not to and this is fully supported by law. Men don’t have these options.

  • Maria

    this is a sad topic but is so true and no need for bad comments all I can say is women need to stand up for they self and if your fat no need to blame anyone or make excuses there is no one to blame but your self for simple fact that no one put a gun in ur head to eat a lot and go to all this so called fast food that makes u gain all this founds and having kids is no longer a excuse go out there and walk play with your kids outside instead of sittin inside the house and gossip on phone and instead of wasting your time worrying about all this comments here prove to ur self that your not one of this women thy have to talk abouthat me for my comment all you want but truth hurts so do something about it get up that couch and work out its for your own health not anyone here and this gose to all big women

  • Charming Labyrinth

    the author Rachel Zimmerman a white women needs to understand that black are malinated people and we are biological different. i.e she burns in the sun. We don’t!
    Dumbed Down Article- and she gets paid for this? Lol

  • Charming Labyrinth

    FACT! Many black women DO NOT want to be skinny those are many who they are calling overweight, not those that are obese are usually due to economics and lack of proper knowledge! Being skinny is European obsessive desire. Black women when they reach womanhood, they like their shapely body.

  • Fatimah Elamin

    It’s a shame that people have the nerve to act like their mother, sister, aunts, and best friends are not obese. They are caucasian women. The slant here is to pick a group of women that you think you can bully into believing that is just them. Better look around, you are married to them sleep with them and you help feed them. The real truth about it is that it is an epidemic of all races men and women. Get off the BBW. because everyone’s health and weight can stand to have some changes made.

  • Clifton Richard

    A sedentary lifestyle devoid of exercise & healthy eating habits, is the main culprit.

  • nevenera

    The original studies on what is a healthy weight were done in the 70 on only white women. Thus 80% of black women might be overweight or obese if compared to white women, but it might be useful to do a study in black women to find what overweight and obese levels that are actually relevant to that group.

    When you get numbers like 80% you know there is a problem with either the statistics or the ruler that is used to measure. Other research studies showing that being overweight for black women is not medically as harmful as it is for white women, and that obesity again is not as harmful for black women as for white women again shows that perhaps the wrong ruler is being used.

    For example on article (Black Women Live Longest When They’re “Overweight”)
    noted that:
    “But if we look at the details, we see that only for the very fattest
    black women — the outliers — is being overweight associated with higher
    mortality. What the statistics actually show is that black
    women, more than anyone else, have an elevated risk of death if they’re
    in the “normal weight” category, and live longest if they’re in the
    “overweight” category.”

    Which again indicates that the wrong ruler is being used to measure black women, black women and…not all black women are the same, black women recently emigrated from some African countries like Somalia and Ethiopia might actually on average be smaller than most other women.

    When 80% of a population is abnormal, then something is very wrong with your definition of normal.

    • Charming Labyrinth

      ^awesome! we are biologically different. With more muscle mass and more.

  • Clifton Richard

    It’s the lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle. You can add to the fact, the embracing of a backwards thinking rationale of being BBW,or “thick”. The consumption of unhealthy foods plays a culprit role,as well. Numerous studies & even commonsense should tell you about the many negative effects/consequences of being overly heavy or obese. The CDC(Centers for Disease Control) has also concluded such findings. Particularly,you’d find a sorta “fat acceptance” in American society,specifically. It appears to be getting worse. People are too set in their destructive ways. It’ll take an affliction in order for some to wake up. High blood pressure,heart problems,cancer,etc,etc,etc…unfortunately. It’s also a burden on the tax payer & healthcare insurance industry. There’s nothing positive nor beautiful about it.


    Black women have no “shame.”

    They don’t care that they are fat, ugly, smelly, loud-mouthed, racist, nasty … spread for every feral black male in the ghetto-hood etc.

    They have no shame that they have 10 babies by 10 different ferals and that they can’t afford to support a single one of them.

    They have no shame that they have never worked a day in their lives and that they never will.

    Pure scum.

    • Gerelle Redeemed Gleaton


      • Dee

        That describes me perfectly and you forgot to mention that I am a scientist and I have a PhD ;)

        • Gerelle Redeemed Gleaton

          You go girl. I am proud of you!

          • jhh

            I’m so glad to see educated black women writing to say they’re out there.
            But you didn’t mention whether you count yourselves among the overweight or obese black women.

            Our economy is difficult for many, and I’m sure there are plenty of low income, poorly educated women who have multiple children each with a different father, who’s skin is fair/white. I don’t think it’s as simple as cultural differences. I wonder if it is some genetic thing. It may be food consumption, but where’s the research? It concerns me.
            I don’t even think I have the authority to say the 11 year old black girl I know, who is taller than me and weighs 210#, is not healthy. I have no idea how to judge what is healthy for her body. But I think it deserves some attention from health and science.

          • Gerelle Redeemed Gleaton

            Hello. I am not overweight, nor obese and my weight falls within the guidelines for my height.

          • jhh

            That’s what I expected. Thanks for telling us. I think education and self esteem may be considerations.
            Let’s educate and empower these girls before weight becomes a problem. See if it makes a difference.

      • LotusBud

        Ok, you’re the exception but I can see there’s truth to this article on a daily basis.

      • MystiKasT

        His statement was correct though. Black women will spread their legs for feral ghetto black thugs that run as soon as the woman gets pregnant.

        Black women: the lowest on the totem pole.

        You wouldnt be mad if what he said wasnt true!

    • EAS

      Oh please keep it moving if you don’t have anything constructive to say about this very serious topic.

    • Craig

      you’re an idiot!

    • Angelica Bell

      This is the most ignorant post I’ve seen in a while. And you have nerve to have the peace symbol as your icon. Re-evaluate yourself. You’re clearly dealing with some demons of your own. Don’t take it out on others.

      • MystiKasT

        His statement was correct though. Black women will spread the legs for feral ghetto black thugs that run as soon as the woman gets pregnant.

        Black women: the lowest on the totem pole.

        • Angelica Bell

          Please continue to expose your ignorance. No really, please.

        • pat thompson

          Spoken like a true narcissistic sociopath!!! You are the lowest and most depraved type of vermin on earth!!!

    • Please Think

      You are obviously a troll and I feel sorry for anyone who has not realized that anyone can post anything online now and hide behind a computer screen. The worst thing that Black women can do is actually take your comment seriously instead of calling you out for the troll that you are.

      • MystiKasT

        His statement was correct though. Black women will spread the legs for feral ghetto black thugs that run as soon as the woman gets pregnant.

        Black women: the lowest on the totem pole!

        • Please Think

          Aaaaand another generalizing troll. As if people can’t see that ur just copying and pasting the same thing over and over again in the comment section. People are trying to have a serious conversation here. Seek help for whatever inner demons you’re battling.

        • Tonididitonem

          Wow. Is this a joke?!

    • Jeff William Priess

      i love how this comment is so hateful and yet your “logo” is a peace sign that rainbow-colored….. really? you bring that logo to shame the “rainbow” is a symbol of equal rights and tolerance to all humans.

      • MystiKasT

        His statement was correct though. Black women will spread their legs for feral ghetto black thugs that run as soon as the woman gets pregnant.

        Black women: the lowest on the totem pole….

        • Angelica Bell

          Wow posting the same ignorant statement over and over throughout the page bc you aren’t even creative enough to think of anything specifically directed to what the person said.

    • Tsizzle

      This is so correct. That’s why so many of you get mad. Because it’s true. If not you wouldn’t comment.

    • LotusBud

      You are referring to hoodrats, not black women. There are black women who are true role models and go getters, so you can’t lump all of them in one category. That’s like me looking at a redneck hillbilly and claiming they represent white men.

    • pat thompson

      You talk a lot of “TRASH” Pun intended!

  • washingtonsquareparksucks

    why do these women think its ok?

  • Russell Turner

    You can’t blame BW’s obesity on racism. It is a cultural problem; mainly the fact that they bought into feminism more fervently than non-black women… so black women, quite frankly, don’t care how humiliating it is for them to represent our ethnicity witch such a level of physical mediocrity… It’s akin to not bathing, if you ask me.

    • EAS

      Sad but true.

    • shawn Mc

      cmon now you know what you putting in your mouth is bad, you just choose to ignore it

    • Please Think

      Why don’t you address the REAL issue instead of saying that BW became obese when feminism became popular? We all know that estrogen causes the body to hold onto fat more than testosterone does. In fact, testosterone actually makes the body want to purge more fat. I’m not saying that women get a free pass because they are women but hormones are in fact the reason why you can have both men and women living in the same conditions, eating the same food and women’s weight will be more affected. Add that to the fact that many low income areas do not have fresh produce available and also the prevalence of CHEMICALS in processed foods. This can also be traced back to emotional/mental health issues that have not been addressed. I do not know you but your comment really makes you sound like you are solely blaming Black women for the way African Americans are viewed as a race. Also it is not true that BW bought into feminism more than white women did. Please do more research into this. I hope that you gain a deeper insight into the socioeconomic factors that influence weight in America.

    • Dee

      As mentioned before the problem is that the metric used to determine what is or is not a healthy weight was devised for white women and does not work well for black women for whom a healthy weight is higher. What is a bigger health problem for black women is that many studies have shown that with every thing else being equal they don’t get as good medical treatment, as swift medical treatment or as good medical information from doctors and many docs have been found to have unconscious biases against blacks. Google it and google project implicit. Food for thought if black women had been used to develop the charts and were used as the measure of beauty this discussion would be about how too many white women are underweight.

    • LotusBud

      I just think BW just stopped caring. Perhaps when welfare hit, they didn’t need to look good to get a husband, because they weren’t allowed by the government to have one.

  • Apa

    I admit, I’m white, that having been said I would like to point out African-Americans have a far healthier view of themselves and their bodies than whites. They are FAR LESS likely to suffer from an eating disorder than whites.

    Before you accept the measurement of obesity, maybe you should look more closely at who and how the ‘standard graph’ was created. It was created by life insurance companies and health insurance companies.. you know, the ones who have been making huge profits by sticking heavier people with higher rates.. it might be a bit self-serving.

    Through history larger women had been the beautiful ones, only in modern times has that idea fallen away. I think we need to look at the whole person, not just a number on a scale. If someone is active, and comfortable… if their blood pressure is reasonable, and other indicators of health are fine, who cares what a graph says.

    • Nikki

      Actually, I think a lot of black women suffer from binge eating disorders.

      The reason why I got fat was because I was depressed and ate junk food to cope with my unhappiness. I was 16 when this happened and now I’m working on trying to lose the weight. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

      • LotusBud

        I agree, a lot is due to depression.

  • Ks

    I am amazed, appalled and disgusted at the comments here. Is this a WBUR audience? I am going to have to find another source for news. Obesity is an American problem don’t forget that. Some of you should look back and read your comments-shameful and wrong on so many levels.

  • memcats

    Eating an unhealthy diet and the lack of working out is the main reason for the obesity that exists among black women. If you can’t afford a gym membership it doesn’t cost anything to walk in the park or your neighborhood.

    • Phyllis Craine

      Sure great idea as long as your neighborhood is safe and you won’t be the victim of a drive-by shooting

      • tatum635


      • memcats

        Yeah stop making excuses. I am sure they could drive to a safe place to walk if they fear waling in their neighborhood. They could also become mall walkers.

        • KH

          You mean at one of the numerous indoor malls in Boston…or even available via public transportation…those malls? Because there’s only I can think of and that’s in Cambridge.

          • memcats

            I am not familiar with the malls in Boston, but I would think that a person could find a safe place to walk. Bottom line you can’t eat badly and don’t exercise and expect to be healthy. Most people who are over weight can lose it. And while I am going it is not only African American women the brothers are also greatly over weight. No wonder African Americans lead the pack in diseases. It’s time for is to take control and get healthy.

        • LotusBud

          Well, even if neighborhood’s aren’t safe, youtube has more than enough free workout videos. I often exercise at home with them in the winter. Doesn’t get me very fit, but I guess it helps with my overall health. I struggle too with weight because I have a desk job where I have to sit all day. One thing that helps me control weight gain is to eat a fresh salad with everything (no pasta, rice, bread, just fresh tossed salad – even with meatballs and sauce); eliminate sugar (replace with spices) and salt (replace it with herbs and hot peppers) as much as possible. Just these changes keeps the calorie count relatively low.

    • SolDeus

      If BW are going to spend hundreds of dollars on fake hair, then can spend a few hundred on a basic workout machine if walking the neighborhood is a bad idea.

    • jhh

      Are you really sure? That’s all it takes? Where’s the research and data to back up your claim? Don’t you think most of those obese black women you refer to are walking because they must take public transportation?
      I do think diet–what people eat–must play a significant role…

    • bcarmi

      Agree! I work with mostly black women. They are such unhealthy eaters. Sodas as soon as they get to work in the AM, honey buns, cheese popcorn, etc. I just shake my head. I work out at least 3 to 4 times a week and the gym is littered with white women but you can count the black women on one hand. You lose weight by taken in less calories than you consume. There is no way around it. Everyone can excuse make all they want.

  • AMW

    well you sound very racist, and if any of you people on here actually did some research yourself, it is genetically shown that AAW have lower RMR than their counterparts, and even those that have attempted weight loss are not as successful as whites and hispanics. I could go on and on, but this board seems to be for bored racists with nothing better to do.

    • StupidPeopleRock

      What a crock of shit. Nothing but excuses. If black women are too stupid to stop shoveling shit into their maws, and can’t seem to walk farther than the distance from the couch to the fridge and back, then fuck ‘em.

  • Tina Brown

    Well, black women think it’s cool to not care about health or weight. They also love (defiantly at that) to give men the opposite of what they are attracted to. A part of me also thinks that they don’t believe there would be any benefit to being healthy because even if they’re fit, they still won’t be very attractive by most people’s standards. in essence, they have no self esteem. They’ll never admit this, but why else would you find pleasure in treating your body like crap and knowing that you are doing so.

    • StupidPeopleRock

      The vast majority of black women just look like silver-back gorilla’s. Is it any wonder the black men are going after white women?

      • Please Think

        and troll #2

      • LotusBud

        Well, I think bw understand that. I mean, if they’re not willing to make an effort to be attractive, then of course, men are going to shop elsewhere. Honestly, I really don’t believe BW care deep down inside, because if they did, they would do more. Also, they are dealing with bigger problems, such as poverty, marginalization, and health challenges. They can only handle one problem at a time.

      • Tonididitonem

        Wow. Another one.

    • Please Think

      Troll #1

    • jhh

      Again, how do you know that what you are saying is true? Are you an overweight black woman who has discussed the matter with scores of your overweight black female friends?

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidblakejones David Blake Jones

    Why in the world does our govt. give subsidies for beef, dairy, corn, and other unhealthy agricultural products and then have Michelle Obama exhort us to eat better? And why are poor people able to use food stamps to buy junk food?

    • Facts

      There are more white recipients of food stamps benefits because their are more white people in the population than there are black people. Source: U.S Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census. White, not Hispanic 35.7%: African American, not Hispanic 22% are on food stamps.

      • SolDeus

        Another fool who doesn’t understand statistics. There are many more white people than black and despite that fact, the percentages are only 38% to 22%? If white people were as lazy as blacks, the country would already be bankrupt.

        • pat thompson

          You people really are blind to to your own inhumanity!!!

      • MystiKasT

        His statement was correct though. Black women will spread their legs for feral ghetto black thugs that run as soon as the woman gets pregnant.

        Black women: the lowest on the totem pole.

        You wouldnt be mad if what he said wasnt true!

        Blacks are the laziest and worst!

    • northroad1

      The subsidies are for the farmers and their respective industries. Controlling food prices is a secondary effect.

    • Reebokanonymous

      You think beef, dairy, and corn are unhealthy?

  • redgirl813

    Why does no one ever mention the fact that so many more Americans are on anti depression meds that cause people to gain weight?

    • http://www.facebook.com/davidblakejones David Blake Jones

      cause the drug companies might lose profits

  • badu

    You’re titled said “4 out of 5 obese” when the actual figure is 80% overweight + obese. I note the anti measures said nothing about ending racism. Nor did anyone bother to speak to actual Black Women themselves. Obesity is always an excuse to bypass the actual people and centre things on the concerns of the observer. Something BW know all too well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1236181984 Kevin Snyder

      Actually, they did talk to black women. And if they don’t care if they’re overweight, then I sure don’t, either.

      But don’t dare blame RACISM! for your own shortcomings. It’s not Bush’s fault.

      • badu

        Wow, the article mentioned discrimination. You people really need your leg up, don’t you?

      • kh

        Actually, researchers have studied other health outcomes by race, for example low birth weight babies. Even when they accounted for all factors – education,health, weight, age, socioeconomic class, diet of the mother…black women still disproportionately had low- birth weight babies. In fact, a white female smoker had a lower chance than a black non-smoker. The researchers’ final decision? That racism and the lingering, daily impact of the stress of racism caused the health outcome. Please, please, please do not deny the experience of other people when you have no idea what you are talking about.

    • http://www.facebook.com/davidblakejones David Blake Jones

      Racism is real, but so is making excuses for failure. Maybe too many are willing to blame their insecurity in the workplace on racism as opposed to lower skills, and effort?

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.ridley.167 Mark Ridley

      Duh – 4 out of 5 is the SAME as 80%.

      • badu

        REPEAT “80% OVERWEIGHT AND OBESE” not 4 out of 5 OBESE as it said in the title. Gosh, learn to read.

    • Barbara

      Blaming other people for one’s own problems with obesity and/or being overweight is not going to solve anything. The biggest factor in getting to a healthy weight is realizing one’s own need for a lifestyle change. If you’re obese, nobody force fed you to make you that way. You picked up the fork and neglected exercise on your own accord. Racism certainly didn’t make you obese.

      • badu

        And no one forced you to not know what you’re talking about. Being fat or any other size is a part of a person’s overall metabolic state or profile. It has been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that weight loss dieting simply doesn’t work.

        There are potential routes to changing ones metabolic state, including weight, but those haven’t been investigated fully. The bitter and easily manipulated like yourself have helped to obscure them. You have been well used, now please shut up and let progress happen.

        • Barbara

          Are you serious? Honey, I study this stuff for a living. You just don’t know that much about humans and weight.

          No, “dieting” doesn’t work. But you know what does? Regular exercise and healthy eating. Making a permanent LIFESTYLE CHANGE is what works. The simple truth is that if you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. But if you burn more calories than you consume, you WILL lose weight. It takes time and perseverance, but everyone is capable of it.

          Yes, some people are more prone to being overweight than others, but the basic calories consumed/calories burned equation is the same for everybody. It may be harder for some to lose weight, but it is not impossible.

          Now, in my field, I’ve come to find that successful weight loss really has nothing to do with gender or race– it has to do with personal outlook and motivation. The successful individuals are ALWAYS those who stop making excuses and blaming others and accept responsibility for their own state of being. This empowers them to take action and do something about it, and only then are they able to make the necessary lifestyle changes to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

          So if you want to lose weight, quit blaming the world for your condition. Accept the fact that you alone are the one in charge of your weight, and you alone can change it. Don’t go on temporary diets, because those just don’t work. Learn about healthy foods and the right portion sizes, and gradually change your eating habits to reflect that. Start getting regular exercise. Most importantly of all, don’t stop any of these things once you lose weight. Otherwise, you will gain it all back. Empower yourself, and change your life around. You can do it. Everyone is capable of it.

          • Blade

            Well said Barbara… I’m a black man and I totally agree with everything you said. I hope my sisters take heed to your advice. Truth hurts sometimes, but is neccessary for positive change.

  • Lawrence

    Just from my observations from riding the T everyday, these women have terrible eating habits. Additionally they feed their young children fast food, even as young as 3 or 4.

    Misinformed and undereducated are possible reasons. Funny, I did not see those listed in the article. Also I believe they could be victims of advertising, if they are watching TV everyday.

    • bee

      And you sir are a part of the discrimination pool. How dare you imply black women are the least uneducated and watch the most tv out of all the groups in America and thats why they are the most obese. wtf Thats why its not mentioned; its an ignorant stereotypical perspective. Yes perhaps they do feed their children fast food, but its better than no food. The food market is privileged. Studies show Black women get paid the least too. Guess thats cause they watch tv too much too. You ever seen a wholefoods in the hood? Me either. See Mickey D’s though.

      • Please Think

        He has a point and research shows that African Americans watch more television than other races of people. I think only Hispanics were the only race that were about equal with African Americans with the amount of television that they watch. Also education is indeed a factor in the reason why many African Americans are overweight. When I say education, I mean education about a healthy body and making healthy food choices.

        • LotusBud

          Actually hispanic women make less on the dollar than black women.

      • MystiKasT

        His statement was correct though. Black women will spread their legs for feral ghetto black thugs that run as soon as the woman gets pregnant.

        Black women: the lowest on the totem pole.

        You wouldnt be mad if what he said wasnt true!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.highbocker Jeff Highbocker

    lack of work and exercise, huge caloric intake in comparison to the lack of caloric burn-off, and reproductive behavior (witness teen pregnancy rates, etc) it is really simple.