Weighing In On Obesity In The Female African American Community


MSgt Jamal Barrow
MSgt Jamal Barrow

According to the Office of Minority Health (OMH), African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the United States. To put it into perspective, four out of five African American women are overweight or obese, which represent 80 percent. The statistics are no different for African American girls; between the years 2007-2010, African American girls were 80 percent more likely to be overweight than Non-Hispanic White women. A person is considered to be overweight if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or greater. Obesity is an epidemic that can no longer be tolerated and ignored. Failure to adequately address the issue of obesity will lead to continued consequences.

Research conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the consequences or risk of being overweight led to the development of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, liver and gallbladder disease, cancers, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and stroke. The risk factors are not all listed from the CDC research, but we can all agree that being overweight or obese has an adverse effect on quality of life. We owe it to ourselves to be the best we can be in all things, especially our health. If you are one of the four out of five, there is a comprehensive approach to turning things around.

There are many strategies to overcoming obesity, always begin with the basics. The basics include, but are not limited to, visiting your physician, reconsidering your diet, establishing an exercise plan, joining a fitness facility, being accountable to someone, being positive, and surrounding yourself with positive people. Understand that there are no quick fixes or shortcuts. In embracing the journey to defeat obesity, we essentially embrace the idea of a better community.


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