Fat and Black: Obesity in AmeriKlan
We need to talk. This is getting worse. And not because I love black people doesn’t mean I won’t be honest. The master, in his graciousness, gave us the food that he didn’t want. If you were a House Negro, that meant eating what he ate. Field Negroes, on the other hand, had to fend for themselves. They ate leftovers of pigs, cows, rabbits and sometimes, snakes. You know the leftovers as innards or chitterlings. We, being the Original Peoples of the Earth, used natural spices like pepper, salt(as a preservative…a post on the origin of high blood pressure to come), “bush” a.k.a. oregano, peppermint, bay leaves, etc…to make the flavour of this strange new food go down a little easier. We mastered the outdoor cookery whites claim they invented and called “barbecue” and used fruit juice and brown sugar a.k.a. “granny’s molasses” to spice up ham, chicken and alligator.
Food, being the essence of life, became imperative. And working out in the fields for 15 hours with the overseer waiting to pounce, made the black man’s tummy rumble…hard. So we ate. And ate. And ate. For blacks, food is love. When you visit granny and she has a sweet potato pie in the oven sprinkled with cinnamon, it takes you back to your childhood when she would cook on an outdoor oven. For blacks, food…is everything. And that’s the problem. Eating with a vengeance was necessary to maintain one’s strength on the plantation.
Well, we ain’t on the plantation no more. But we sure eat like it! Being pushed into the ghettos via white flight, with little resources like fresh farmer’s markets, home-grown vegetables and “granny’s bush tea” that cures damn near everything, we ate, drank and smoked what was available to us. Fast food. Liquor. Menthol cigarettes(A post yet to come on blacks and Big Tabacco).
All apart of “The Plan”
Food, like heroin, is a drug. When you try to find a job and you’re told nothing’s available, it adds to your sorrow for you know works exists…just not for you. So you eat. When you want to buy a house in your neighbourhood of choice and you’re told that there are no available homes, it adds to your disappointment, for you know a house exists…just not for you. So you eat. And when you see someone else get that promotion that you were qualified for because they are “friendly” with the boss, it adds to your stress…So you eat. And keeping things real..this economy isn’t helping our situation. All apart of “The Plan.” And please read “The Fear”
I hate statistics. They are always skewered because they are written by white men on our behalf, which is why I hardly use them. I did research last night and came up with this:
Recent reports show that substantial differences exist in obesity prevalence by race/ethnicity, and these differences vary by sex and age. For example, according to 2005–2008 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 51% of non-Hispanic black women aged 20 years or older were obese, compared with 43% of Mexican Americans and 33% of whites. Among females aged 2–19 years, 24% of non-Hispanic blacks, 19% of Mexican Americans, and 14% of whites were obese. Efforts are being made to reduce these disparities by focusing interventions on subgroups with high prevalence of obesity.
Source: CDC 2011
If this is indeed true…what could be some of the underlying factors?
1. Poor education about diet and exercise
2. Being “thick” is sexy and womanly in the black culture. If you’re a man, you are a “teddy bear”
3. Granny says, “Clean your plate. There are starving kids in Africa!”
4. Being naturally big-boned(not all of us but enough)
5. Just being plain lazy about exercise
6. Poverty…This is HUGE! Ever go to Foodmart and see all the fried, frozen foods that are marked 10 for $5.00 while the fresh zucchini is 3.99/lb? Ever wonder why food stamps and WIC will pay for certain items and NOT for others? Hmmmm……
7. Big business PURPOSEFULLY develops fast food joints in low-income neighbourhoods whilst wealthier white neighbourhoods ALWAYS have “natural foods” markets.
8. Food is “love”
9. ” We’ve always eaten like this in my family!”
10. “We just don’t know what else to eat!”
Guess what? Keep eating like that and diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart attacks and congestive heart failure is just around the corner. And remember folks, we also do not have access to decent healthcare. In fact, many Coloureds in AmeriKlan are uninsured…so I dare you to tell me something isn’t “going on.” Guys, I want the best for you. But I can’t help you if you don’t help yourselves. So get off the couch, stop buying sodas or, if you MUST, drink them in extreme moderation, take a walk, park at the furthest space and walk an extra 1/8 of a mile, if the money will allow, buy a treadmill for colder weather, drink WATER, not fruit punch ( sugar causes depression ), don’t use extra salt…in fact, just sprinkle on Mrs. Dash with fresh herbs and fresh pepper and call it a day. Fast food should be a once in-a-while treat, like ice cream. When you are finished eating, put the plate away so you don’t pick…and tell grandma you’ll only have one helping of Pecan Pie. And walk, walk, walk. Africans are natural walkers and runners…let’s get back to that.
Please pass this around to all brown people. Education matters.