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Curly Nikki

Are We Making Obesity Sexy in the Black Community?

By January 27th, 202164 Comments

Are We Making Obesity Sexy in the Black Community?

by Sherrell Dorsey of Organic Beauty Vixen

Screw what’s politically correct on overweight children and adults. Diabetes is at an all-time high and plaguing African American and Latino communities. Jennifer Hudson, Raven Simone, Mo’Nique and Marsha Ambrosious are all celebrities that have gone from voluptuous curves to hard bodies that are healthy, lean and inspirational.

Did you know that African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to ANY OTHER RACE? How ridiculous! I know that real women have curves but not rolls! I’m certainly not pointing the finger because I myself has teetered 15 pounds past my normal weight since I’ve been home. We have to take back our health and no longer accept that our susceptibility to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other preventable ailments deserves their own high-fashion collection in the department stores.

Check out this clip from NPR on obesity being encouraged in the black community. Now I’m not saying everyone should be a size two but I am saying protect your health. You can have curves and still be healthy. My typical size is an 8, when I get into those 10′s (that I had to throw on last week), I know that it’s time to put down my plate and get back on track.

Let’s be the girls we were too lazy to be yesterday and take back our health! Sexy is eating healthy, teaching our children to eat healthy, exercising regularly not just for weight control but stress reduction as well and most importantly maintaining great skin.

We have to start getting in shape and developing a healthy eating and fitness routine for a long and healthy life. After all, and I hate to be morbid, what good is a cute plus-size outfit if you could end up wearing it at your own funeral? But it isn’t all our own fault right? What has the culture done to help us further our unhealthy outlook?

Here are a few of my observations. What are yours?

  • Where’s the farmers market in the hood? Unfortunately, fast food chains reign supreme in lower-income communities and especially communities of color. Without adequate access to healthy food, our options for getting fresh fruits, veggies and meats are slim when a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods is out of our reach.
  • We don’t want to sweat out our hair. Even natural girls aren’t trying to mess up their do’. Hitting the gym means wasting money at the salon.
  • Grandma and mama made it so it must be good. Holidays and Sunday dinners are filled with fried foods, yummy starches and greens cooked in smoked turkey or hamhocks. As delicious as the food is, our cultural foods ignore the health impacts of high blood pressure, cholesterol and cancer.

The fact of the matter is we have to TRY! We have to learn more about our health, getting on a regular fitness plan and encouraging our friends to do the same.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Are you a plus-sized beauty that has thought about or taken the steps to losing weight?


  • Ms. Shay says:

    It may be the truth, and it doesn't have to be PC, but what ever happened to it being civil? People are too busy "keeping it real" to remember to be civil. People hear this everyday, all day… And until THAT person is ready to make a change, they will do what they have always done. You can't force a person to change. Standing up on a pedestal, and pontificating on the need to lose weight won't get the weight lost any faster. Weight loss is more than physical. It's also emotional and mental. Why are these things ever addressed? If you're going to address the epidemic, look into ALL the issues involved with the epidemic and provide solutions – not just the obvious. There's nothing wrong with being proud of who you are, and loving the person you are. If you equate who you are with how you look, then that is another issue.

  • Anonymous says:

    Good article. :)

  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    The link between depression and obesity is something I would like to read about. I would say more but I never read about that. I always read about the things people can see. Depression is silent and it cuts deeper than any words.

    That is all.

  • mallory johnson says:

    no farmer markets in the hood- i dispute this fact. in the southern states and rural areas there are PLEEENNTTTYYY of farmer markets. in the city like la and new york, finding a farmers market isn't a daunting task. you can find one with in 10 miles catch a bus or drive.
    can't sweat out our hair styles- find a cute natural up due or get a weave. its your job as a woman to know your hair and if you don't thats sad! tie a silk scarf ovr your due (im a track runner)
    if gma made it it must be good- AGAIN work out. we have to stop making excuses. if there is a will there is def a way.

  • CityGirl81 says:

    While I feel the author's tone can be offensive to some and this is a lot of the same information being regurgitated over and over again. I will say this. I was once at 5'9 a 26/28, high blood pressure, borderline diabetic and couldn't climb stairs to my apartment with feeling overwhelmed and that was at 23. My doctor told me if I wanted to make it to 30 I needed to do better. I will be 30 in three weeks and I am now a 14/16 and I no longer have high blood pressure or diabetes. Yes I am still considered "overweight," However, I hit the gym three to four days a week and limit processed foods in my life. My doctor said I have the lowest cholesterol levels she has seen in her 10 years of practice.

    It's easy to say get off your behind, blah blah blah. The truth is, when I addressed the emotional issues that impacted my weight I was able to start to move forward. Ricki Lake herself stated emotionally issues kept weight on her. The bottom line is there is no one size fits all when it comes to weight loss. However when I was a 26/28, I was NOT sexy. I didn't feel sexy. I walked differently and dated men that I know I had no business being with because I didn't feel could attract the type of men I date now. I may be single, but being secure in myself and my body has allowed me to make better choices and staying by myself when it's my best choice. I focus on my body and getting myself right.

    To the ladies fighting the battle of bulge, I feel your pain, but who am I to chastise someone because they are not a "dime piece." Negative reinforcement, which is the tone this article took, usually turns off the audience. My parents did it to me for years and made my self esteem tank and I hid my pain in food. So I say all this to say, "attacking the issue" can sometimes have an unintended backlash.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny says:

    I can see why some felt like this was “pointless”. For those of us in the know about what it takes to have a healthy lifestyle, this is a dog-whistle that we can only hear. Just preachin’ to the choir, as they say. So, for those who feel frustrated by the lack of practical info as well as compassion, I will contribute my two-pence: a link to the USDA's My Plate website @ .

    Some others have posted sites above as well. I like the USDA's new My Plate program… I actually got hella excited when I saw it in the news. As a member of the general layman's population, I think the USDA does a really good job with organizing the information and resources on proper diet and health in plain English. And it's not just a "eat-your-greens" school of advice that we are used to hearing; they go head-on against "empty calories" and high sodium-content, two of the things that are fueling the new obesity epidemic.

  • Anonymous says:

    there is no denial other than denial from people trying to body police and play doctor.

    there is NO way for you to definitively look at my body and say that i am healthy or not unless i look seconds from death. so all this wiki-doctor bullshit flying around is for the birds. i'm tiny and yet i am extremely unhealthy. had heart surgery not that long ago and have had high blood pressure since i was 13. yet my mom who is almost twice my size is healthier than me. no high blood pressure, no heart problems, no asthma, no nothing other than a bad knee from a car accident. the woman doesn't even have cavities for goodness sake.

    people like to assume that simply because a person is a certain size then they must be this or that. you don't know them. you are not their doctor. most, if not all, of you trying to co-sign on this crap are probably not even trained in the medical field and yet you want to diagnose a person based on their clothing size. girl please.

    if she was really and truly advocating being healthy then why the scare tactics and snide comments? why not work from a place of positivity?

    where are suggestions and links and resources so that the women here can follow up on her motivational~ sermon?

    the problem isn't with what is said. because being healthy at whatever weight to the best of your ability is a good thing. but it is how it was said. her having gained the freshmen 15 is not enough to give her leeway to speak on an issue that goes beyond being lazy~.

    what insight did she bring to the table on how to help our community other than black girls don't want to sweat out their hair and holiday food is fatty? did she conduct her own study and come up with ideas to suggest to this community to help better ourselves through providing information? where are links for funded programs that help with food awareness and fitness? books? sites that are helpful towards living a healthier lifestyle? examples of things happening in her community that might serve as inspiration for our own?

    all i saw was her strolling up in here taking jabs at people, trying to keep it real and not being pc, then not give anything other than basic ass "eat healthy yay!" advice then act all hurt and defensive when there is backlash.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny says:

    I don’t think anyone was trying to fat-bash women. I think what Ms. Dorsey et al are getting at is that in the black community, the notion that women have some "meat" on their bones, is getting carried into unhealthy proportions. The “curvy”, “voluptuous”, “thick” euphemisms we use to glorify/normalize what is clearly OBESITY (not "bigness" or "thickness") aren’t doing anybody any favors health-wise. It’s great to have “curves” and confidence, but being overly complacent with your size can be a health risk.

    And who’s to say you have to risk your health in order to have curves or be “thick”. It is possible to be healthy AND curvy at the same time. I actually started out as a "skinny bitch", barely cracking a buck on the scale. No boobs, no butt, no hips, no thighs, and yes, I was bit jealous of the big booty sistas. I wanted me a BOOTY too!!! (Beyonce’s booty to be frank, but that would be a serious stretch of reality for my little self, LOL). Sure, I could have just packed on some pounds, eating whatever, but I knew that I would have only been been fat and still have no butt, no boobs, and no hips. Fortunately I got smart and actually started serious weight training and eating a whole lot of healthy protein for muscle growth. And, yes, I did get some little lady lumps: I now have a little “tush” and hoping to graduate to a full “booty” one day though I have come to terms with the fact that I will probably never have a “donk” (genetics—what can a sister do?). I’ve upped my quads and hamstrings–so I do have some "thick" thighs now. And despite the misconceptions, regular weight/resistance training can give you some pretty vicious and feminine curves: My proportions are quite womanly now and I do have some thickness in the right spots, even though I’m still petite and ridiculously healthy too.

    While it may sound like I’m tootin’ my horn (and to be real, I am—just a little bit, though), I’m just trying to say that as women, we can have the best of both worlds: a healthy lifestyle and a curvy, voluptuous body. We don't have to forsake health for curves. It takes work, and it ain’t easy, but it can be done because I think women SHOULD have curves (especially the kind that don’t dimple or sag, no offense). This isn’t about everybody being “skinny” either. I was skinny before I went all gym-rat crazy. I could have easily been content to sit on my skinny behind and eat all the junk food I wanted. I would eventually developed high-blood pressure and high cholesterol, which runs in my family.

    And one last note, while I do get complements about my physique, the best are the ones to the effect of “I like that you take care of yourself”. Because, really, isn’t it nice to have someone who appreciates and cares enough about your well-being to applaud your efforts? And how much does someone really love you if they can sit back and watch you kill yourself with bad habits, no matter how wonderful your personality is…?

    Sgt. Gym Bunny

  • Anonymous says:

    There is a lot of "DENIAL" going on here. In MY OPINION, the author is correct. There are way too many black women that falls within the "overweight-obese" range. She's not advocating for everyone to be a size 2, but let's be real, a size 20 is overweight and there's no sugar coating that. I know it's hard to hear some hard facts when it hits really close to home, but her message was all about encouraging, not putting down. We need to learn to control the foods we put in our bodies and get up and get moving. The woman is just telling the truth and there are people on here telling her to shove the truth up her @$$, what kind of nonsense is that.

  • Anonymous says:

    Like some have said…its really a shame that this author is being attacked the way she is. I hate to say this, but I think the ppl who have been so offended by this post are the ones she's referring to. She spoke the truth and the truth hurts. This is exactly what she was talking about; the fact that we like to have ppl sugar-coat things and try to be P.C. when talking to someone who is overweight/obese by telling them they're thick or curvy when in reality they're really more than that. Funny thing is, SOME of these so called "thick" women want ppl to be P.C. when talking to them, but I don't see them extending the same courtesy to thin women. You know how many times I have overheard obese/overweight blk women refer to a thin woman as being anorexic ,looking like a boy or not being a REAL woman. I have heard them ask women to their faces if they are sick. But,as soon as someone decides to not be P.C. in talking to them; ppl want to get mad and get defensive….give me a break!!! You may not have liked her delivery, but what she said was true. Just stop making excuses and do what you need to do to lose the weight and become healthier…bottom line!!

  • Blackberry Molasses/The Rebel Intellectual says:

    I’ll just say this and then I’ll step off my soap box.

    Small size does not equal good health.

    I will use myself as an example.

    Most weeks, I clock between 12 and 16 miles of running/ 25-40 miles of cycling. I weight train at a nearly competition level (for women). I can out run, out push up, out bench press and out sit up not only my husband (who is a former high school and college athlete) but MOST people I know on any given day of the week.

    Processed foods, sugary and salty snacks don’t live in my cupboards or refrigerator. My husband and I don’t eat red meat, and we are weaning ourselves off of poultry. We nourish ourselves with whole foods.

    I make conscious food decisions DAILY. Its a habit. That doesn’t mean they’re always the healthiest options, but more often than not, they are. I exercise portion control and drink half my body weight in ounces of water, daily.

    I basically do everything that the author holds pretense will give that coveted “lean” body.

    While my body is fit, it is not what society would consider slender.

    And I’m unapologetic about that sh*t. And I have every right to be. MY body is not YOUR place to comment, place your issues or prejudice.

    I know I’m healthy because I put my faith in the fact that I’m doing the right things to ensure my health. And because my check ups are FLAWLESS.

    Sure some vanity pounds come off every now and again… but that’s not the REASON I’m a gym rat. That’s not the REASON I eat healthy (and have the nerve to enjoy food). I don’t do it to make other people comfortable with me and who I choose to be.

    So the author of this article can take her prejudice, projected insecurities and her false concern for people she doesn't know nor genuinely care about, and shove it up her ass.

  • Anonymous says:

    the body shaming and policing going on here is cray cray, seriously what does another black womans gut have to do with any of you? you're all a bunch of spectators on an issue that probably doesnt pertain to you.
    I get it, you're black and you're trying to educate people but why don't you educate EVERYONE on being healthy, not just your race and not in a condescending way either. Shit, how are we supposed to come together when this bitch is worrying about someone elses shit like they don't know.

  • Anonymous says:

    It breaks my heart that this author is being attacked and made to apologize for speaking the truth. There was absolutely nothing sarcastic or condescending about this post. The tone of most of the comments is of denial, pure and simple.

    Yes, healthy people are not immune to certain conditions. That shouldn't be justification for being overweight-to-obese.

    Being overweight-to-obese increases your odds of becoming afflicted with otherwise preventable diseases, and make those other conditions even more difficult to manage.

    That's not to say we shouldn't love ourselves regardless of what size we are, but c'mon STOP THE DENIAL!!! We need to love ourselves to be healthier, period, and that means maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Anonymous says:

    nothing like having to read fat shaming on a hair blog of all places.

    your snide passive aggressive insults about "I know that real women have curves but not rolls!" are just petty and hurtful for no reason. i've been vegan for about 7 years now and still have some back fat going on. last i checked i was still a "real woman". not to mention heart disease i have because i was genetically predisposed to it regardless of the cardio/crunch yoga i do everyday. sit down.

    how are words any different from people who try and categorize our beauty by saying one has good hair while the other doesn't.

    shaming and belittling people who are overweight while providing nothing but google level suggestions does nothing but make you seem patronizing and immature.

    your same message could have been put forward without low blow scare tactics "cute outfit at your funeral"… seriously? if your goal was to empower women to educate themselves on health and fitness you should have checked the sarcastic snips at the door.

    totally disgusted with this site right now. i can't even.

  • Anonymous says:

    This post was sarcastic and didn't say much other than telling obese women they need to wake up and get it together. But how? Education is key and I think the weekly posts from KinkyShea are much more beneficial, offering real fitness and nutrition information that can be implemented right away.

  • Blessed says:

    Great and informative article.It is time we as women started to tale responsibility for our health.

    I am a Mum of two living in sunny old England, LOL and i am trying to change how i eat because my body has had ENOUGH of the processed foods and bad eating habits.
    My body is letting me clearly that i need to fix up even though i am not overweight i need to eat more healthily.

    I pray more articles like this are printed as prevention is better than cure. Both my parents have made significant changes to their diet due to high blood pressure and cholesterol so i don't want to wait until something happen to change but doing it whislt i am aware of it. Knowledge is pointless unless applied. :D

  • Anonymous says:

    I used to be overnight (size 14) and very unhealthy. Yes, a size 14 is OK for a lot of women, but for me, it was way to heavy. I was on my way towards type II diabetes and high blood pressure. I saw photos of myself and realized I needed to make serious changes in my lifestyle.

    We need to stop living in denial and get our head out of the clouds.

  • Anonymous says:

    @beauteefullsoul: "Aside from that, the health issues that were forementioned {diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.} are plagues that could very well strike a 'healthy' person. Hell, Olympic-gold medalist, Florence Griffith Joyner, dropped dead from a heart condition and she had, what most physicians would consider, a 'clean bill of health'."

    This is not entirely accurate. From what I've read FloJo died to complication from an epileptic seizure. Beyond that, you are right that some athletes do suddenly die from heart conditions ( a rare occurrence), but I believe that many of those deaths are either due to misfired electrical impulses in the heart or an enlarged heart muscle (from what I've read). You can be a professional athlete and have all kinds of health issues, but they don't stop you from competing. One of my former college track coaches has a heart murmur but was at one point the American record holder in the 1500 meters.

    "Healthy " people can be struck by chronic conditions; however, obesity is a risk factor for type II diabetes (as well as other chronic diseases). Type II diabetes is a condition that can be mediated by diet and lifestyle modification, unlike type I diabetes which operates differently. It is also true that black people (of any size) tend to be more susceptible to hypertension, but added weight tends to make it worse. My father suffers from hypertension and he is overweight… technically obese (according to BMI calculations). Before he and my mother moved to the US, he was very active and probably about 30-50lbs lighter than now. He was always at risk for it (I think my grandmother has it, and she is very active), but after moving here, becoming more sedentary, eating his favorite treats, and a lot of added stress, it struck him hard about a year after I was born. My sisters, mother, and I have watched him put on the weight over the years, personally, it hurts because we want him to be around for decades to come. So I try to encourage him, tactfully, to try to make better food choices and to become more active. We don't want him to feel like someone in trying to control him. Sometimes the encouragement doesn't work, but sometimes it does. I'm especially proud of him when he makes the choice for himself. Hoping that one day he'll be able to get himself off the BP medication.

    Basically, I believe people should be happy with their appearance AS WELL AS maintain their health. Whether you are thick or think, you want to be around for a long time to enjoy life.

    There are some really interesting facts on black health on the CDC website ( for anyone who is interested. They also include links to the source documents. Note: Just because a percentage is below 50%, that does not make it insignificant. It can still be very important.

  • Anonymous says:

    All this talk about self love and loving yourself the way you are is quite exhausting! If we love ourselves (and our children) as much as we claim to, we will:
    1. Research ways to eat healthy (and if you can type on this here blog, you have access to the internet which means that you can EASILY find out what foods are the healthiest for you – which are fruits and veggies in case you didn't know).
    2. Exercise. Do not blame it on not being able to have a gym membership either. Walking requires no equipment. Even vigorous dancing (this is not a plug-in for clubbing btw), helps burn calories.
    3. Stay hydrated. With, you guessed it, water. Not soda or juice. Water is what your body needs.
    4. Stop making unnecessary excuses!! It is sickening!

    How are we supposed to teach our children how to care for themselves if we not only don't know, but don't care to know how to care for ourselves. I am a Registered Nurse and a lot of times, it is my fellow black people, women and men alike, that are the hardest to educate regarding best health practices. And some of the responses I saw only served to prove that! Why are we so resistant and defensive. No matter how the writer of the original article came across to you, look at the actual message. I highly doubt that she was trying to destroy anyone's self perception but rather to help us black women get healthier period. For our own sakes and for the sake of future generations. Even the diseases that make people gain weight such as PCOS, diabetes, Congestive Heart Failure (etc), can be much better managed with eating healthier, exercising and losing w

    Lastly if what she said made you mad, maybe you need to examine why it did and make some changes to your own life. The author of this article does not stand to gain from it, YOU DO!!

  • Lorian says:

    Geez guys, the article wasn't that bad. I thought it was concise and to the point. She kept her examples and points simple. It was not a research article, just a little informative tidbit. She's right, black women have the highest rates of obesity. The reasons she listed are also right. Are there a plethora of other possibilities…yes. But the gyst of the article was not to be another piece that harps on the problem. We get it, we face challenges, and even when it comes to the basics of life, our challenges as black people and women are greater than those in other races. But it's time to take some responsibility for our health. Oh well if we have to travel to a more inconvenient location to get healthy foods. You can always can or freeze your own fruits and veggies, make juice, and transform healthy foods in ways that will preserve them and make your trips fewer and farther between. Do your own research! Be accountable! And get it together. To be healthy is not to be white. We are not denying the genetic make-up of our shapes and sizes as black women…but using that as an excuse to be on disability or in any way burdening your family with preventable illness is unacceptable. Get over it! It's the truth! Take it for what it is and move forward in a positive way…

  • Kimmie10 says:

    And there IS love in what I say. I would not tell a friend to exercise so she can sex a man. I was speaking SPECIFICALLY about how too many of us have taken "thick" & "curvy" as being sexy traits and run amok with it. I cannot name ONE overweight or obese Facebook friend or person I follow on Twitter who does not talk about how sexy she is at least once a day. And they're some cute girls. Sexy is a state of mind so they're sexy if they say so. But it's like enough of that sexy crap already. Is that all you've got? So I made the statement: what good is being sexy if you can't sex your man more than 5min b/c the focus is so much on sex with SOME big girls.

    I'm tired of the "backs turned to the camera and butts tooted just so" pictures EVERYONE seems to take b/c backsides are in. Ok so you've got a big butt, but if you've got a big gut too, let's work on that.

  • Kimmie10 says:

    1beautifullymade, I did not insult anyone, nor did I say anything about "every" or "all". My point is about women who are CLEARLY obese using the excusese of: black people are just made thicker, black men like meat on a woman's bones, "i'm thick i'm not fat", etc to remain obese. I know many OBESE (not big-boned, not fat, not big) women who overdo the "sexy" thing as if they're trying to convince themselves and others that they are OK to be their size b/c they feel sexy and men like them that way. Mo'Nique is a perfect example of one who for YEARS swore up and down she was OK with her weight and felt she was the sexiest thing in the world. A lot of people felt she was protesting too much. Especially when she constantly called skinny women bitches. Now she is committed to losing weight to be healthy. She can now admit that while she wasn't "sick" before, she wasn't as fit or as healthy as she could be for herself and her children.

    So my point is: what good is looking sexy if u can't BE sexy? If you can't do sexy things b/c you're winded. If you can't dance the night away with your friends or your man or ride a bike with your children?? If you're propped up looking cute all night but can't be "grown up" for longer than 5min b/c you're breathing hard & everything hurts, then your "sexy" is of what use? That's all I'm saying. And I didn't say all or every black woman is this way. I'm talking about the ones (and we have ALL seen them thanks to Facebook, Twitter, & blogs) who are OBESE with rolls and hunks of belly fat (which is not healthy by any stretch of the imagination or blood pressure cuff)dressed to the nines and faces beat for the cheap seats looking GOOD and proclaiming how sexy they are but would die in a house/building fire because they can't navigate stairs quickly. It doesn't matter if you don't have diabetes (yet) or your blood pressure is fine (for now) think about when you're older and more prone to health issues anyway. Think about how our bones & joints deteriorate as we age and all of that extra weight is being carried around on arthritic knees. I don't want to be in a Wal-Mart scooter before my time. Think about quality of life as we age. Or even now. Unless a woman is 6ft tall, if she weighs close to 300lbs there is no way she can tell me she's fit and could run or climb stairs or carry loads of groceries or laundry w/o being winded. I'd have to see it to believe it.

    Everyone is so busy getting offended by words that aren't sugar-coated (we crave the sugar & that's why we're having this discussion now lol) instead of seeing that they come from a place of truth and realness and concern.

    Be big (not fat, not obese). Be sexy. Be healthy. Be fit. That's all I'm saying. And I'm saying it to myself as well. I love myself, but I know the truth about myself as well.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with the author.
    I think a lot of people missed the point of the post and immediately jumped to the defensive. Even if an obese person is not having health problems right now, they are still much, much, much more likely to develop certain chronic diseases associated with premature death. It is not about being "skinny"or thin, its about having a weight that is in a healthy range for your height. I am a firm believer that not everyone is going to be a size 2 but there is a wide range between a size two and a size 20. The concept of big and beautiful is nice and all but being big is not what makes you beautiful. Being you makes you beautiful, so that shouldn't change if you decide to lead a healthier lifestyle and lose some weight.

    I think obesity has become accepted and thin has been given a negative connotation, in part related to the beauty ideal of "thickness". People have to determine for themselves what beautiful is but beauty is not worth ending your life early. How many obese people do you know that live into their seventies or eighties?

  • April says:

    As a young woman who has been slim much of her life and underweight, due to no other reason than being born into a family where the women are predisposed to be on the smaller side, I have to say that I've always wanted to be a little heavier. And not in an unhealthy, but I guess I wanted to gain more muscle. I didn't find anything harmful or condescending about his article and I definitely don't think that its pushing anorexia or bulimia. That's ridiculous. Diabetes runs in my family and I have a poor diet that is doing nothing to stave off from developing the disease. I'm still in my twenties, but I plan to work on my diet and to exercise. All that I saw this article doing was trying to promote a better awareness of what is happening with a large group of black women and our health. I still want to gain weight but healthy weight, and although this article didn't give concrete examples for helping women to better their health, it's as simple as going to your doctor or a clinic. And yes there are more than one reason for why anyone is obese or overweight, which this article didn't address, but it goes back to knowing yourself and becoming more knowledgable about your health. Go to your doctors and clinics and develop a relationship with your physician, your life depends on it.

  • Anonymous says:

    What is with this rubbish "we" and black women do this and that in the comments? Speak about your reality and that of your friends and family if you feel the need to speak on behalf of others. No one black person is some universal expert on what all black people do. I am disappointed with this post and some of these comments.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is an important topic.

    To me the saddest thing about obesity in our community is the impact on the health of our children. Many are facing high risk for obesity-related medical conditions. Our children depend on us to make good choices and we are failing them.

    I think the poster had good intentions but fell short on delivery: too many digs and not enough practical information.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sherrell, thank you for this blog. I am a black female who is 50 lbs overweight. I did not find this article offensive at all. Thank you for trying to encourage people in general, but black women specifically, to step to the plate and take better care of ourselves. Thank you for spending the time to write and encourage us to do whatever we can to GET & REMAIN as healthy as possible. I am in the process of changing what I eat to more live foods and forcing myself to exercise regularly. It's NOT my favorite pass time but I'm confident I will appreciate the results that stem from it.
    Allnatural1 (Michelle in TX)

  • Anonymous says:

    I couldn't agree more with the anonymous 8:21. Wake up!

  • oneswtl8y says:

    LOVED the article. No it is NOT condescending. You are telling the TRUTH. And the truth HURTS. PREACH honey. I lost ~50lbs eating from wal-mart buying $2 bags of carrots and such. It's what we CHOOSE that makes us fat. I have done the same bootcamp class for 3 years and I was ALWAYS the only black person. I will almost run off the road when I see a black person running (which is next to never, but I remember the last time; it was about 2 months ago). I could have wrote this; I tell this same stuff to everybody who will listen.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think this post was great and the fact that so many found it offensive just shows how in denial so many people are about the hard facts concerning obesity.

  • Anonymous says:

    Are we making Anorexia or Bulimia Sexy in the Black community? Next….??

  • 1beautifullymade says:

    WOW…Thank you to everyone that suggested taking a look at "A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss" I am really enjoying it. @ Sherrell I appreciate the fact that you apologized for coming off condescending, because in my opinion you did…and well you know how it goes "Its not what you say, its how you say it" Your overall message is important..keep it real "Being Obese and overweight is not healthy" Just remember throwing subtle insults will get in the way of your message..and you don't want to do that because your message is an important one. @ kimmy ..same thing….I just don't get it. What part of "educating and teaching will never happen if you are insulting others" dont you get?… ""who gives a damn about sexy if you've got diabetes or can't sex your man for more than 5min w/o getting winded? What's sexy doing for u then?"" For real Kimmy? Was that necessary? Is that a fact? Every Obese or overweight woman can not sex her man for more than 5 minutes? You said a lot of educated things in your comment, however you than went into degrading and insulting an entire group of women. I am surprised that Curly Nikki hasn't commented at all since she is a psychotherapist. Well all said and done I did get some good out of this, I really like the website that was suggested its also refreshing to read her story. As for me tomorrow I will be getting my butt up to run/walk…i HAVE NO IDEA WHAT i AM DOING OUT THERE :) my ankle hurts like hell..but I keep going because it is more than I was doing before:)I look forward to starting Weight Watchers on Monday. I think besides the walking the best thing I can do for my self is have a friend that I can call and say "I feel like giving up…I am never going to be able to do this" So she can tell me "You are strong ..this didn't happen in one day..just keep putting one foot in front of the other..YOU CAN DO IT"!BECAUSE if I had to call someone like one of you condescending women ..that was going to say "Heifer get your FAT A%# OUT THERE SO YOU CAN F*$# YOUR MAN…well I probably wouldn't call! ;) Mannnn where is the love…

  • Aishah says:

    I didn't see anything wrong with the article. Black women make too many excuses about why we aren't in better shape. No every one was not meant to be a size 2 and being a size 2 does not automatically mean you're healthy. I know size 12s that run marathons so you can be a bigger woman and still be healthy. But it is practically impossible for you to be a size 24 and be healthy. Big is NOT beautiful when you can't walk up the steps without being winded, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, you're borderline diabetic, or any of the other ailments associated with being obese.

    OBESE is different from overweight. And where you carry your weight matters. Having large hips and thighs is not nearly as detrimental to your health as having a huge gut. We need to be teaching our young girls to get in shape and stay in shape because the older you get the harder it is to lose the extra weight.

  • A says:

    Fact – being overweight or obese raises your risk for certain deadly chronic diseases.

    Fact – black women have the highest rate of being overweight or obese compared to any other group.

    Maybe the original blogger could have worded her post slightly differently, but it is an epidemic among our community.

    Of course you can be overweight and beautiful, but that is subjective. The facts show that being overweight or obese are not a healthy way to live. Yes there are several barriers to overcoming obesity, but acknowledging that it is a problem is the first step.

  • Anonymous says:

    Honestly, this is an issue that bothers me. Women are attacking the writers tone, simplicity, ect… But look at the problem! We as a culture are eating & excusing ourselves into serious health problems and early graves. Don't act like you don't know women who refuse to workout because of their hair, or women who don't eat healthy foods. THIS IS A PROBLEM! Instead of attacking the author for addressing it, why not find ways to change things for the better? Excuses are why we're in this mess.

  • Anonymous says:

    So since I'm 268 but do not have high blood pressure, diabetes, or anything else wrong with me, there something wrong with me? Let me tell you just because you are not comfortable with yourself doesn't mean you should lump every together. I am so tired of people telling me am a boon to Black health or whatever when I am most than most people who are at single digit size. Instead of harping on people who are high you should go after those who are a size 2 but eat unhealthy food all day. They do that then their kids do it which is setting them up for health problems that my kids do not have even though they are bigger then everyone else.

    I agree with an earlier poster who said use articles from Erica on Black Girls Guide to Weightloss. She is more respectable and her recipes are delicious.

  • Kimmie10 says:

    beauteefullsoul you cannot be serious. Or you're giving a knee-jerk reaction to the title. "are we making obesity sexy in the black community" has nothing to do with big being beautiful. Yes a big woman can be beautiful and sexy. But she asked about OBESITY! We have gone from "thick thighs" and a big butt being sexy to grossly overweight/obese women making the excuse that it's OK to be that way b/c that's what's considered sexy.

    Yes curves are cute and sexy. Rolls are unhealthy. I don't care how disease-free one proclaims to be, if you have rolls of fat hanging off your body you are not healthy and you're certainly not in shape. There's no way. Nobody is saying lose weight to look good or fit into certain clothes or get to a certain size or aesthetic, the point is to get healthy and too many of us are not. And we're making poor excuses about it.

  • Kimmie10 says:

    Weight is an issue but people make excuses to not exercise and to not eat in a healthy manner. They can be skinny minnies and still very unhealthy. Making an effort to get in shape/get healthy will improve health and quality of life. If you're a size 2 but can't carry your baby w/o breathing hard, then what's really good? Of you're a size 6 and having nose bleeds b/c your blood pressure is so high, you can't say "well at least I'm not fat" when people get on you about exercising and eating right.

    And bigger women who say "well I don't have any health problems" could still stand to get in better shape. Could u outrun some maniac killer? Or even climb a set of stairs if the elevator breaks down?

  • Sherrell says:

    Thank you Kimmie! Amen! LOL.

  • tammy says:

    There has to be a distinction between healthy and unhealthy and that distinction is not always size. When I at basic training (Army) I was probably a size 4 ( I refused to buy anything under a medium/size 6 so I really don’t know how small I got and I was mildly embarrassed to be so skinny) I was still told by the doctors that I was not in good shape because of my waist to hips ratio. I literally looked at him and said, “I’m black. I have hips”, and shrugged by shoulders. I am now twice that size and people are always making assumptions about my health because of my weight. I have don’t have high blood pressure, or cholesterol and am nowhere near diabetic. The only thing wrong with me was a vitamin D deficiency and that was due to not drinking milk, taking a multivitamin, and working over 8 hours a day in doors. While my doctor would like me to lose weight she doesn’t stress me out about it because I am in perfect health (huge vit D pills took care of the deficiency and I now sit outside for at least 30 minutes a day at lunch and take a multivitamin. Not sure what I am going to do once it starts to snow…) We as a people need to take preventative measures and get physicals. We need to be aware of what our blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels are. Just losing weight may not make a person healthy.

  • Kimmie10 says:

    I don't see where this article was negative, condescending, or insulting. I'm overweight & even though I have hormonal issues that cause me to be prone to weight gain, I blame myself for being overweight. I could do better, I just don't. I have PCOS & I'm diabetic & I've decided I need to do better. NOW!

    Yes we all know that health issues & genetics can cause some to be overweight. But many people are fat cuz they don't do anything to not be fat! And I agree with the author. We make too many excuses! She's talking ABOUT black women b/c she IS a black woman & we need to check ourselves. We need to get the chips off our shoulders cuz if a non-black person addresses our weight/health issues we cry racism & their european standards of beauty. Yes we might be built differently & yadda yadda, but we don't have to be big & fat because we're black! We make too many excuses and yes MANY use their hair as an excuse. Forget 33% in some study b/c I've heard it from MANY women! We also use the excuse that our men like a little extra meat. FAT/OBESE women are going around calling themselves thick like it's cute & it's not. Not that fat women aren't cute & sexy but who gives a damn about sexy if you've got diabetes or can't sex your man for more than 5min w/o getting winded? What's sexy doing for u then?

    I'm really tired of US always making excuses & attacking people who tell US the truth! If a woman can get her hair & nails done every week, she can pick up some broccoli instead of fries. Buy frozen veggies & steam them if fresh is too expensive. People think nothing of spending a paycheck on "red bottoms" (real or fake) but wanna holler that grapes are too expensive. Buy in bulk. Grow your own. Do SOMETHING besides bitch @ people who are trying to pull your dresstail & tell your big behind that u need to get it together!

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but some of these complaints are nonsense! Yes white people are fat & white men like fat women but guess what? I AM NOT WHITE! Neither is my mother, my sister or my cousins. So guess what? I AM NOT CONCERNED WITH WHITE WOMEN'S HEALTH like I am with black women's! Their health issues don't impact me personally like picking my mother up off the floor when she's passed out b/c of diabetes. Or watching my aunt struggle to breathe cuz she's too damned fat & unhealthy! So let white women save themselves. We've got to look out for US!

    I applaud the author. She told the truth & I always respect truth.

  • beauteefullsoul says:

    I, too, agree with many of the comments previously made stating the absolute ridiculousness of this post. Being the fact that I am a woman of size, I was offeneded by the very title of this blog. 'Are We Making Obesity Sexy in the Black Community?' WHAT?! Of course we are!! Because 'Big IS Beautiful' and it's about time that we as a people recognize that fact and celebrate the beauty of our people, thin or otherwise. Aside from that, the health issues that were forementioned {diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.} are plagues that could very well strike a 'healthy' person. Hell, Olympic-gold medalist, Florence Griffith Joyner, dropped dead from a heart condition and she had, what most physicians would consider, a 'clean bill of health'. At the end of the day, I say it's time out for pointing fingers and focusing on one group when it's such a broad issue. I am very proud of who I am, how I look and how much I weigh! And although I don't have the luxury of being able to 'push my plate away when I feel my size going in to the 10's' *rolls eyes* I do have the ability to look at myself and feel good with the fact that I am a healthy FAT chyck!!!!

  • Sherrell says:


    Thanks so much for your opinion Eve but I never promoted thin as being the beauty standard. I even talked about my own weight issues and going beyond my normal size 8. I hope that in the end you paid attention to the message which is about health, preventing diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. I hope that you are living a healthy lifestyle and encouraging those around you to do so as well.

    We can all take charge of our health just like I have decided to do to loose the 30 lbs I need to in order to be healthy. The message is about health and protecting our health.

    Thank you all for your honest and awesome comments.Be blessed, be happy, be healthy and be beautiful!

    – Sherrell

  • Lexi says:

    I just have a few things i'd like to say…. I don't like the tone of this post. The blogger seems to be going for this "tough-sista-gurl" talk…i get it. But I think it could be said different. There are some valid points, but don't knock someone who has to force themselves to see themselves as valuable just because they may not look the way society tells them to. My motto? LOVE yourself. Just as you are. Right now. Flaws and all. You weren't made to be "perfect" you were made to be you, and each breath you take is living testament of Gods love. So if you loose some weight by fully loving and accepting yourself, cool. And if you don't, don't for one second think that you are any less worthy than anyone else walking around.

  • Eve says:

    As a blog that promotes positive self awareness I am saddened that this article was allowed to be put up. Even the CDC has had to cop to the fact that obesity is not the harbinger of doom that it once scared people into believing so why is this site helping to promote a "one beauty standard for all" mentality? Healthy does not equal thin and since bodies come in a variety of sizes and shapes it would be nice to see people take a minute and stop making fat women feel bad for taking up space. I could rant about the ridiculousness of this article forever, but I'm done.

  • Sherrell says:

    Thank you everyone for commenting on the post. My goal was not at all to be condesending at all to my fellow brown women. The idea here is that we do need to take back our health and find ways to go out of our way to eat healthy. We do need to be real.

    As I mentioned in the post, I've gained about15 lbs and need to loose at least 30 to be at my goal weight. I want this topic to spark discussion.

    I love what anonymous 2:48 said about finding great and fresh foods at your local grocery store even if you don't have a health food store in our neighborhood. The fact is, and statistics show, that we as black women do have the highest rates of obesity. That's fact. Not an opinion.

    So how do we encourage each other to get moving, learn to eat healthier and support each other on this journey?

    My goal is to address the issue so that we can discuss. I got up this morning for the first time in a week and ran a mile. Maybe next time I'll invite a girlfriend.

    We can't make excuses anymore. Statistics are real and show how devastatingly dis proportioned the numbers skew against African Americans. It's very real. Kudos to you if you're already living a healthy lifestyle. But we have to address those that aren't and ask why?

    Just like the post that mentioned people thinking it's too expensive to eat healthy, we have to change that state of mind.

    Thank you to those that were honest about their situation and their lifestyle and making a change after recognizing it.

    Yes, there are many things that contribute to weight gain especially medications and diseases like PCOS. But how many folks are on medications because of weight related issues?

    If you read my blog I talk about PCOS and managing it. I had PCOS and had to combat it by losing weight, exercising and eating right. I don't want us to have to get sick because we aren't healthy and then decide to lose weight. Why not prevent, prevent, prevent now?

  • judie Anne Jacinthe says:

    @ Anonumous 4:17 pm "The world is not as easy as you think !! " ?? are you serious so because it's hard we should just give up !!! As a women who as lost 120 lbs by eating right and exercising daily .. I have to say .. easy is what's making us Black women fat !!! yes they are socio economic factors that we must face but the truth is we have not set standards for ourselves and we are over sensitive about the over weight issue and perfere to find excuses !! In case you are wondering I lost weight by buying fruits and veggies from Costco and the regular grocery store down the street. If you looking for easy all you going to get is diabetes and a heart attack for sure !!! As black people we must demand more options and use the power of our $$ . things are not going to be easy but our survival depends on us being healthy

  • Anonymous says:

    This was a useless post IMO. First the author started off insulting the very same ppl she's trying to reach which does not help get her point across. Secondly she offered no viable ways to combat obesity in Black communities. All she did was made observations with no solution.

    CurlyNikki I think it's great that you're featuring articles abt health as it pertain to Black women but please find more credible sources who does not insult the subject.ERIKA NICOLE KENDALL of have great articles abt weight loss and overall healthy eating. Please feature articles from her website.

  • Anonymous says:

    To Anon @ 12:41: When we lived at 118 and Manhattan, this was before Whole Foods opened on 97th St, I had to stop at the Whole Foods on 69th street to do my groceries. After I took a cab back home. This cost an extra $18 to $30 depending on the time of day, season, and willingness of cabs to take a black person back to Harlem.

    The world is not as easy as you think.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am so beyond tired of this topic. So unbelievably tired of the patronizing and condescending pieces I keep seeing on this topo. Any woman that is obese is well aware she is obese. All this sanctimonious scolding and faux concern is not helping. Eating healthy is not cheap. It is even harder if you live in a majority black or even non-white area. I am part of a two-income family with no kids. We can afford to spend the money to eat healthy and the time to exercise regularly. Not everyone is that fortunate. I think these posts should be mindful of the challenges people face.

    Can we stop with this rubbish 'sweat out the hair' nonsense? This was based on a study and the findings were that 33% of the women said they didn't exercise because of their hair. Not the majority by a long shot. I am not sure why everyone keeps trotting it out to shame black women. I have never not exercised because of my hair. I ran for four miles in the pouring rain yesterday and my hair was not on my list of concerns.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think this post is overly simplistic and uninformed.

    There are many factors that can contribute to overweight/obesity: genetics, hormonal imbalances, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, depression. It's way more complex than a cultural bias that favors a woman with some "thickness" and/or hair issues.

    I also think some of the content in the post was an attempt at humor but came off as demeaning toward overweight women.

    I do agree that Black folks need to own our health by educating ourselves and making lifestyle changes that promote wellness and longevity. We need to lobby for access to healthy food in the 'hood. We need to exercise our bodies to strengthen our muscles and bones. We need to make healthful food choices for ourselves and our children. We need to find healthy ways to bring peace into our sometimes stressful lives.

    AND, very important: we need to love and encourage one another in a positive, constructive way and not tear each other down with so-called tough love and truth-telling.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think there needs to be a distinction made between "overweight" and "obese".

    Many FIT women could be considered overweight, it just depends on what metric you're using. I think being "obese" is a bit more of an objective thing and far more problematic.

    That said, I think the hardest part of the weight issue in the black community is that people are silenced if they make ANY comment about how being obese (or seriously overweight) is a problem. There is also a "counter-culture" in the black community where being fit and trim is scorned! Sorta like how when you go natural people think you must write poetry and listen to jazz, when you're fit/eat right, I feel like black people think you're being bougie or are out of touch with your blackness. I remember how Monique(before SHE lost weight, hmph) would call anyone who wasn't a plus size a "skinny b*tch". What is that about? I also get chided by my friends for eating well and exercising.

    Until we (Americans generally, but black people more specifically) start embracing healthier life choices (not ridiculing them), the health issue described in this post will persist.

  • Hxyzyn says:

    The whole "what about other races?" argument is pretty silly. The blogger isn't addressing women of other races, she's addressing black women on a blog with a predominately black female audience. Given the obesity rate among black women that shouldn't come as a surprise.

  • Anonymous says:

    I just want to point out something here. Just because you're buying food from Whole Foods or Trader Joe's doesn't automatically make it healthy nor it is not necessary for you to shop at these stores to find healthy food options. You can by perfectly healthy food from Publix, Bi-Lo, Shaw's, Stop n' Shop and any other grocery store. If you think a slice pizza from Whole Foods is healthier than a fresh apple from Walmart or an organic orange from Trader Joes is healthier than one from Publix then what you're really buying into is the label and not your health. What people need to do is learn how to READ nutrition labels and ingredients list. Eating healthy can be as simple as buying more veggies and fruit (Fresh or frozen)and putting down the can of soda and picking up a glass of water. The key here is education and physical activity. RD's, nurses, and doctors can help with this. Just saying…

  • Anonymous says:

    I've experienced both sides of the issue. After maintaining a healthy weight for my entire life, about 8 years ago I gained 60 pounds. The reasons for the weight gain were varied…lack of exercise, poor eating habits, job related stress, maybe even some hormonal changes in my body. Whatever the reasons, I held onto those extra 60 pounds for four years until I finally took control of the situation and lost the weight. What I'm about to say probably won't be popular, but I'll say it anyway. I personally feel that "politically correct" words like curvaceous, voluptuous, curvy and full figured really sugar-coated the issue for. Subconsciously, those pleasant sounding words made me feel that it wasn't such a serious thing to be carrying so much extra weight. I used those words to describe my build, and so did well-meaning family and friends. I would ask my husband, "Honey, do you think I'm fat?" and he would kindly reply, "No, you're not fat- you're just curvy!" The truth is, I was fat. In retrospect, I might have been motivated to lose the weight more quickly if I (and others) would have had the courage to use the words that truly applied to me: fat, overweight, obese. Those words are not easy to hear, but they are true. As the saying goes, you can't change what you don't acknowledge.

  • Linden says:

    Black women are either delusional or completely deny the weight issue they seem to have – either that or they are "well white women are obese too.." cause we all know white is right, right?

  • 1beautifullymade says:

    Reeducating our communities is the very first step!Going to college and taking nutrition was a huge eye opener for me. Once we start flush the system with information on this topic people will begin hearing without even trying to, just as we flush the television stations with McDonald commercials.It's really sad just how many people aren't educated on this topic at all..but the positive side is that it is becoming an awareness now! Lets just be careful that we don't taint it with insults, so we don't cause a whole other issue in our communities.

  • P. Champ says:

    First, I agree that being healthy is very important. However, its important for ALL races! I get really tired of black ppl being the "punching bag" example of topics that include angry black women, black women and dating, "good hair", etc. These topics usually originate from someone in the community who has designated him/herself as the expert on xyz, who wants to "help" us. Yet, you don't see other races doing that. Why??? Because its not necessary. In fact, its condescending. For example, how often do we see white ppl speaking out about the rate of sex offenders within their race? Health is important to ALL, and ALL races are guilty of bad choices. More importantly, poor ppl are the most at risk bc of what's available (and not available) to them. There are some men who have a fetish for fat women, but it is not exclusively a black man's fetish. So to say that blk women are staying fat bc brothas like it is absurd. From my experience, while brothas do like curves,they prefer the curves to be within a healthy range. Most men (of all races) appreciate a woman who is not overweight. In fact, the woman in the interview acknowlwdged that. She was equating a big butt with unhealthiness. But, black women w/big butts are not necessarily obese. Some are going to have a big butt regardless. That's a unique feature of our bodies.

  • 1beautifullymade says:

    How is this blog productive? Speaking out to the African American Community on changing their habits to work towards being healthy is a great thing, however when you taint that message with insults such as "We have to take back our health and no longer accept that our susceptibility to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other preventable ailments deserves their own high-fashion collection in the department stores." how much of that message do you really think impacted the obese woman that are probably reading your blog right now? Regardless of your size you deserve to feel good about your self. Overeating is not merely about the food, It usually stems from issues much bigger than what you see on the surface. We have to begin loving ourselves exactly where we are…begin loving ourselves enough to want better for ourselves. I think that is why Monique, Jennifer, Jill, etc ..were able to make the changes they made because they loved themselves enough to want better. I am a plus sized African American woman. I have struggled with weight for years. I recently started walking each morning. On Monday I will join Weight Watchers. Not because I dont think I am sexy, but because I want to be healthy. That is the point wanting to be healthy! But what I read in this blog just basically moves people to go out their and start insulting over weight woman..point fingers at them about their "rolls" and their "cute plus size outfits"… Obesity is not a laughing matter, I am happy to see the changes that are being made towards educating our communities on being healthy such as Mrs Obama's initiatives with the "the plate" and her commitment to put healthy super stores in reach of black communities, the latest talk on The Word about getting our churches involved in the community on health topics, Jennifer Hudson's willingness to talk about choosing to join weight watcher and the other positive outreaches toward educating and making our communities aware. However this blog was not productive at all..because whether I am a size two or a size 24 ..I AM STILL SEXY AND BEAUTIFUL ..and I REFUSE TO LET PEOPLE LIKE YOU TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME!

  • Anonymous says:

    In addition to all the factors mentioned, being overweight also affects fertility making it difficult for obese women to conceive. As for shopping for healthy fresh food, check out the Asian food markets. The produce is fresh and best of all the prices are affordable compared to Whole Foods and the like. Being on a diet doesn't mean starving yourself – just eat healthy food options from each food group.There really is no excuse to being overweight (unless it's a medical condition such as PCOS).

  • Neesh says:

    This post is so true. I am actually working on a paper at this very moment (literally) about obesity. The numbers are astonishing and sad. As anonymous 12:03 said above, yes these stores are not in our area BUT there's transportation that will get you around to those stores. I had a conversation with a friend of mine about eating clean and more organic and her excuse was "healthy food is too expensive. why would i pay all that money to buy organic when a mcdonald's is more affordable and closer?" My mouth literally dropped for 2 reasons: First, we work within 4 blocks of each other and there's a trader joes and wholefoods near us; and because hospital bills are more expensive than both healthy foods and mcdonald's. What I had to learn both about myself and other people is you can badger and badger and badger someone about eating healthy and exercising but until that person makes a mental decision to change their lifestyle, there's nothing you can do.

  • Anonymous says:

    I def agree with the first point about places such as Trader Joe's and Wholefoods not being readily accessible in certain communities. But that also doesn't mean that folks can't hop on that train or bus that will take them where they need to go to find the healthier options. My current neighborhood is littered with a slew of fast food restaurants (such a sad turnoff). But I work near a Wholefoods and Trader Joe's in Manhattan and know where to find at least one of these places in Brooklyn where I live. If you want it, just go get it. One's health should be worth the trip. Plus, should the trip not be feasible or possible, there's always the fruit and veggie section in the local supermarket and the option to cook hearty, yet healthy meals in the comfort of your home. So yes, we need to try; essentially, there is no excuse.

  • ashley says:

    This is so true, sad but true.

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