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diaryofanegress

Observations of an Invisible Woman

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.

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23 thoughts on “Fat and Black: Obesity in AmeriKlan

  1. Mickey on said:

    Thank you. This really needs to be said. The one thing I have issue with are the statistics. I notice that the stats claim that Black women are the heaviest, however, it is always stated that the average dress size of an American woman is a size 14. The average American woman is also White. So, shouldn’t that mean that there are more overweight White women in the US than Black? After all, they are the majority of women in this country.

  2. Excellent points!!! That’s why I don’t believe ANYTHING that whites write about us.

  3. A woman after my own heart, talking about Black folks and our health!!

  4. Why thank you…that means a lot.

  5. mary burrell on said:

    I’ve started to limit my soda intake for a couple of weeks andi’ve lost some inches. started drinking more water. that Glory stuff in the can will kill all black people if we are’nt careful with the high sodium. And all these greasy fast food joints in the hood run by the Koreans selling us every thing from weaves to fake nails to fried chicken , fried fish grease and more grease. This leads to high cholesterol. It’s kind of scary in my hood to go walking, so i’m going to look in some fitness classes at the YMCA. I think that would be a good investment. I trying to take better care of myself. All this I’m thick as a snicker stuf has got to go. Our men even say that are’nt attracted to us. they don’t like our hair our skin. they want the white girls because they are more physicaly fit than us.

  6. Miss Mary:
    You take care of yourself…God gave us one life, one body and it’s all we have. As for white women, they too want the curves we are blessed with. Stay strong.

  7. lovelavishlexi on said:

    Definitely needed to see this! I didn’t know sugar caused depression 😦 and me and my friend were recently questioning why the processed, packaged foods are always cheaper than the healthier stuff?? smh makes no sense. Great post!

  8. Matari on said:

    Good post!!

    Back in Granny’s day the there was no “weight” crisis because the food was very different!

    The food had less additives. The cows, chickens, lamb and pigs weren’t given GROWTH hormones to increase their weight/profit margins. Neither were they given (dosed with) anti-biotics to negate the nasty/filthy inhumane conditions animals are raised in today!

    Now there’s more unnatural chemical compounds (artificial coloring, flavoring, appetite enhancers, preservatives, etc..) being put in processed foods. Even *natural* foods are tampered with by genetically modified molecular engineering that have undetermined questionable side effects – at best..

    The water/rain, if it doesn’t have acidity, has fluoride, or radioactivity.. Even the groundwater, rivers, lakes, aquifers have been polluted by all manner of crap by greed driven man’s misdeeds and callous regard for the environment.

    The never ending pursuit of insatiable hoggishness and profit is truly a mufti-pronged attack on all human life. White supremacy is like a runaway train whose brakes have failed while speeding downhill towards a gorge where the bridge has been washed out. It’s only a matter a time before the catastrophic end arrives. The train heading for calamity/destruction is too far gone and moving too fast to reverse its course.

    It’ll be interesting to see what/who will survive and come out intact from the coming devastation.
    But yeah, black folks need to get healthy quickly in order to survive today, and tomorrow! By eating less processed and fast foods, and lots more real fruits, veggies, nuts and other natural/wholesome food stuff.

  9. Please read “The Plan” and all your questions will be answered.

    Pre-packaged foods cause, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. It’s being done on purpose to wipe out all the “undesirables” in society.

  10. Supremacy is in everything, isn’t it? I believe that we are the Original Peoples of Earth and we will come out victorious.

  11. This is a really good post.

    I once saw a woman who was very thin. She told me her secret was how much she walked. I do not advise a gym membership for walking enthusiasts. No one’s neighborhood is so large that they can’t just walk out of it, lol! I hope that the enthusiast doesn’t take the bus to the center!

    But I am curious also how many African women do not want to be attractive. Without a community, some of our “Men” give women a lot of unwanted attention. I think that I heard that some surrender themselves to nonhealth for that reason.

    Beside that, I think “Don’t believe the Hype” is a good retort. Our women on track are thick. Nice, great shapes. Mmmm. Sorry. 🙂 But these White folk would probably call them “fat” or “out of shape” though these women can outrun their men. Some of our men too!

    Our women are thicker and it’s great, in my opinion. Remember how they called Michelle fat? Uhmm . . ..

    I think that these White “scholars” are just saying what Sir Mix-A-Lot told us: “Baby Got Back.” They should put their purchased PhD’s to better use. Everyone knows our women ‘got it.’ These folk waste tax money.

    But what you write on the unhealthy food is too relevant! We really need to control our economies because all we are getting is poison. Still, I’m wondering how many women, at least when they were younger, wanted to be fat.

    Unfortunately, my collegiate readings of ‘women’ were of the White experience, ’cause school only cared to teach about the White experience, and from what I read, some of them didn’t want Uncle looking at them. I don’t know how that translates to the really obese women in our community.

    Wow, I’m ranting. Haha. But I knew an obese woman. She seemed perfectly fine but had no sexual self-esteem. I don’t know how long she was obese, but I know of an event in her life where she had a sexual withdrawal. Maybe they are unrelated, but maybe not.

    But I always had a fast metabolism, so I’m in no shape to tell why this or why that.

  12. I actually enjoy you when you rant. Lol!! Yes, I’m concerned for our health. I see over weight blacks everyday and a heart attack is imminent. We must try to break out of these habits and develop healthier ones once again.

  13. ynotme on said:

    Sister,

    This post is very educational and informative…My family and I will definitely follow your advice.

  14. To walk outside, first walk out of your neighborhood, then walk around another neighborhood. Grab a friend too, if you can. But walking long distances is great and it keeps money in the Black community–if a little longer.

    Plus, when you walk around, you can see the real side of other communities. Like where do those European Jews shop. Or how the Russians are living.

    More, when you eavesdrop, you hear and see all sorts of silly stuff. Hahaha. Plus you can discover all sorts of little gems in your city.

    Just be sure to pace yourself and you’ll be fit in no time. Like when you have four hours, speedwalk an hour-thirty one way, rest for thirty minutes, then speed-walk back your way some other route.

    You can wait another week to do that again, lol.

    Tell us how it goes. 🙂

  15. Thank you…please do and stay safe while walking.

  16. GrannyStandingforTruth on said:

    Great article! I heard that Trader Joe’s is a good place to shop for food, but it’s expensive. Someone told me that the food is healthier. Do you know if that is true?

  17. Hi Granny, I’ve never shopped there. I heard the peanuts are great, though.

  18. Granny, I occasionally shop there but I mainly shop at Whole Foods. Yes, the food is more expensive but not nearly as expensive as dying early or enduring the years of suffering that often goes along with diseases like diabetes or cancer.

    Pay now ( in terms of eating healthier food) or pay later ( when you suffer then die from largely preventable diseases), but the debt for unhealthy living WILL eventually get paid! And the people who love and care for us end up paying the largest price of all.

  19. Oh wow, ok I definitely will go read!

  20. Alchemist on said:

    ••The BMI cutoff values were originally based on white people. Different ethnic group store adipose tissue differently . The NIH and WHO have different BMI cutoff values for different races. Using the NIH values hispanic women are more obese than black women. There is an article called “Current BMI Standards Inaccurate to Measure Obesity Study” by Neha Gupta. Most Americans are not aware of current research showing that the BMI values we use are becoming obsolete.
    http://www.themedguru.com/20100423/newsfeature/current-bmi-standards-inaccurate-measure-obesity-study-86134361.html

    •“When percent body fat was used [instead of BMI], the obesity rate was highest in Hispanic women (69.1%) and the rates were similar in white (58.7%) and black women (60.4%).
    http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Fulltext/2010/05000/Accuracy_of_Current_Body_Mass_Index_Obesity.17.aspx

  21. Alchemist,
    Thank you…

  22. Tyrone on said:

    Truth

    I have no love for busybodies who think they can tell others what to eat and drink, however, we as black people can do better as it relates to diet and health. Too many of us are leaving this planet way too soon because we’re still eating as if we were still on the plantation. My family is from Georgia, a lot of my kinfolk still eat chitlins, which is disgusting to me, a lot of fried food, pork, too much salt, too much soda, and so forth. Self-love is not just about loving your heritage, it’s also about loving yourself and your people enuf to be around to enjoy the fruit of our culture as well. We take our health for granted, because, we don’t age as fast as other races…Black Don’t Crack! Whites are in the gym more because they age sooner, not just to get into shape. This is the nugget that is often overlooked. Blackwomen can firm up the same way, but, most sistas are comfortable with their bodies compared to other women. Yes, i like curvy sistas to the utmost, but they still should feed the temple good food, good drink, good herbs, etc.

    Tyrone

  23. I’m writing a follow up Tyrone…I think you’ll like it.

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