The thing that people should do when they have a problem is to admit that they have a problem, and acknowledge it. Black women, there is a serious problem that we have in our communities, and it deals with our weight. There have been some recent studies that have shown that 50% to 70% of women of color are defined as overweight. This includes women from all countries of the world. African-American women, in particular, have higher rates of obesity in their community than women of other ethnicities.
Many reasons can be blamed for these disproportionate amounts, but it is usually because of things like cultural beliefs, poor nutrition, and limited exercise. There are also some socioeconomic issues that play a role in these high percentage numbers. Some black women are dealing with deep, unresolved emotional issues that can attribute to weight gain.
The Difference between Being Overweight and Obese
An overweight person is usually someone who is carrying a few more pounds than they should, and this number is above the ideal weight for their height. An obese person is someone who is almost 30% over their ideal body weight.
The Body Mass Index, or BMI, is the most popular way that weight and body mass is calculated. It is simple to calculate your own BMI by using the following equation.
You need to take your weight, which is measured in kilograms, and divide by your height squared. Your height will need to be measured in meters. So, to get your BMI, you would use this formula: (kg/m2)
You will then see where you place on the chart:
- BMI under 20 – Underweight
- BMI 20.0-24.9 – Normal
- BMI 25.0-29.9 – Overweight
- BMI 30.0-39.9 – Obese
- BMI 40+ – Severely Obese
The Consequences of Carrying Extra Weight
When you are very overweight or obese, the extra weight can bring on a lot of health issues for you to deal with. You can develop diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks, and cancer. The extra weight can cause excess pressure on joints, and you can develop arthritis at an early age.
It Will Be Hard, but You Can Overcome It
We have all seen the public struggles of some famous black women who have struggled with weight issues. Janet Jackson, sister of the late Michael Jackson, have publicly acknowledged her struggle with weight, and the low self-body image she suffered with for years. And perhaps the most famous personality we have watched with weight issues has been Oprah Winfrey. We have watched her walk out on stage with red wagon full of fat, and we watched her gain the weight back.
It can seem to be an impossible hill to climb, but you need a balanced weight loss program so you can achieve long lasting results. Do not ever try quick fixes, or fad diets for weight loss. You will mostly lose water weight, and that will reappear as soon as you begin to eat normally again.
Make sure the weight loss plan you select will enable to you exercise at least 3 days a week. Walking is an easy way to transition into fitness. You also want to include more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet.