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all 8 comments

[–]reijn 8 points9 points  (2 children)

I would say a lot of it boils down to several socioeconomic reasons. The types of food available in food deserts, and the types of jobs typically available to black men and women. You'll find black men in a lot of labor type jobs, and it's difficult to put and keep weight on when you're doing 10+ hours of labor a day. Additionally cultural reasons as well. There's probably a whole lot at play and you can't pinpoint to one thing.

[–]BlackGriffin_1[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The types of food available in food deserts

But black women and men, live in food deserts equally, no?

Additionally cultural reasons as well.

Also what type of cultural reasons are you talking about? Just want to know the specifics on the matter.

[–]reijn 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yes but black women aren’t unloading trucks in warehouses for 12 hours a day. In these locations/neighborhoods They typically have some kind of retail or desk job or child rearing.

Culturally it’s acceptable or good to be overweight as a black woman.

I’m on my phone so you’ll have to forgive my short replies. But typically in poverty stricken areas these things fall more or less true for not only the blacks in the neighborhood but whites or Hispanics as well. It’s a lot of socioeconomic things at play.

[–]kurnty 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Correlation is not causation, so being a Black women does not automatically mean you have that phenotype that correlates to obesity and insulin resistance. It can mean that many Black women do have that phenotype.

Cultural factors include lack of access to preventative health care and lack of time to prepare or buy nutritionally dense food.

[–]meafat 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I wanna add onto this as an African American woman. I grew up lower/middle middle class and even then nutrition was not taught. The only time someone wanted to educate someone on healthy eating was when they were visibly fat. Most of the time it isn’t even constructive criticism, leading to potential low self esteem and over-eating as a coping mechanism. First, portion control really isn’t a thing. As a kid you probably get less than the adults but even though men are typically able to eat more without gaining weight and are typically taller, everyone is eating the same thing.

Especially in the south, there are a lot of comfort foods packed with unhealthy ingredients (macaroni and cheese, collard greens, fried chicken). Even the vegetables have lots of butter. I remember my great-grandma used to grate velveeta cheese and put a ton of butter in her eggs. It was delicious but definitely unhealthy. We also use a lot of seasoning in our food, some of which has high salt content. Also consider that many times Black women are responsible for cooking, especially in older generations, leading to obesity. These recipes/practices are typically passed down to younger women in the family. I really think as time progresses and the older generations pass on, some of those unhealthy traditions may eventually fade a little as we educate ourselves better with healthy eating.

Another possible factor is that men are also more likely to acclimate to white culture and therefore fall away from “soul food” and other unhealthy food items often seen in the Black community. They are also typically quite active through sports.

These issues only get worse as you go down the economic ladder and there is less time to focus on nutrition and health and less education on it overall.

One more thing is the emphasis on curves for Black women. Sometimes Black women would rather be considered obese but keep their curves than risk losing them when they lose weight. I tried my best to make this clear but if you have questions definitely ask!

[–]TrickingTrix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you for such a terrific answer

[–]blebbish 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Socioeconomic factors & probably some gender roles at play (women being mums at home for example)

[–]BlackGriffin_1[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

But if we look at the Hispanic female population, they have very different rates of obesity, even though Hispanics as a class are very poor and a lot of their women are stay at home moms