In news that continues to perpetuate myths and stereotypes, a new study, which is a repeat of previous studies, suggests black women are comfortable being overweight in comparison to their white counterparts.

While all obese women are less satisfied with the weight-related quality of their lives than women of ‘normal’ weight, black women report a higher quality of life than white women of the same weight. In addition, black women appear to be more concerned about the physical limitations resulting from their obesity, than by the potential psychological consequences of being overweight or obese.

The researchers found that for all women, as BMI rose, quality of life fell. However, there were notable differences in weight-related quality of life between black and white women. At similar BMIs, black women consistently scored higher on quality of life measures than white women, with self-esteem being particularly higher among black women.

These findings by Dr. Tiffany L. Cox, and her team from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo, ND, and Obesity and Quality of Life Consulting in Durham, NC, are published online in Springer’s journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

The authors suggest that the relationship between weight and quality of life in black women may be partially explained by body image and social norms. Because black women are typically more accepting of larger body sizes, there may be less reporting of impaired quality of life in this group.

Dr. Cox comments: “The implications of this relationship between weight and quality of life in black women remain unclear. While the highest quality of life is desirable as an indicator of overall well-being, black women’s perception of experiencing a high quality of life despite having a high BMI may also dampen motivation for attempting weight loss. Additional research is needed to understand the potentially bidirectional relationship between weight and quality of life in black women.”

Oh, those irrational black women … So, according to this “new” research, black women are either brainwashed by the countless music videos and men’s lustful jeers that fetishize large buttocks and breasts that they think this attention is positive affirmation, or they’re so environmentally disenfranchised that black women give up and accept obesity, creating a new normal for their culture when it comes to health and well-being.

Basically, black women care about diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and/or the myriad of health-related consequences due to sedentary lifestyles and obesity, but since their partners and family will accept them, this love will keep them out of the gym and front and center at the dinner table.

Interesting … I’m calling B.S.:

Both of these aforementioned generalizations are as absurd as this research. Black women seem to do what they’ve always done — stay as positive as possible in the face negative factors such as food deserts, no local farming, and grocery stores full of refined sugar, fat, and salt.

Both black and white women have to deal with severe shaming when it comes to weight, but considering the politics and economic realities — you know, wealth gaps and such — that face both races, respectively, whites on average will have access to many more avenues for help in the form of dietitians, personal trainers, and family members with similar resources.

Sound-Off: Do black women want attention and acceptance more than health and true well-being? Can’t they have both?

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  1. I can say that my weight has remained so high for so long because of lack of motivation to lose. Motivators like reduction in intimacy, physical limitation, not being able to find fashionable clothing, and health issues didn’t exist. Now due to a hectic schedule and lack of activity, chasing after the bus is a chore. Walking up 3 flights of steps with 4 bags of groceries almost kills me (i live in berlin where there are never elevators), and I notice the physical limitation my weight introduces. Aside from being winded my quality of life is high by most standards. I’m in a loving relationship, I wear fashionable clothing, my health is great (according to all traditional metrics aside from BMI), I have a succesful career and I travel quite often.
    Losing weight is not an easy task, so motivators are required to keep you on target. Of course it is common sense but its a lot of hard work and even when you lose its not like you can relax. You still have to maintain, which has always been the issue for me. Considering all the other things I have going on, I don’t feel like putting forth so much work because I work hard at everything else in my life. It’s not due to laziness because I exert large amounts of focus and energy on things I really want. For some reason, losing weight hasn’t worked it’s way up my priority list. The tide may turn though I was actually considering starting a fitness journey in the new year. we shall see

  2. The perpetuation of these same stereotypes and stories has become boring and irrelevant. Please find something of value to write about or stop writing. There are far more interesting things in the world to talk about than fat, happiness and the Black woman. African-American women are a busy running companies, families and LIVING their lives. We are do not appreciate such disrespectful stories which imply that because we are not gym bunnies that we do not care about our health. These studies are not representative of the masses and serve to divide women of all races and ethnicities which continues to shatter the images of the most powerful creatures on the planet. Get a life!

  3. I’m calling B.S. along with the author.

    Black women are not inherently lazy or have some defect that allows them to love being fat. Our country is obese and it comes from the fast paced lifestyle most of us lead. We are all caught up in the game and we need more black people dedicated to helping people slow down and take care of their bodies.

  4. In my opinion, we are given one body – so why not make your health a priority? Eating clean and healthy and exercising are essential. It might be a huge lifestyle change for some, but isn’t it worth it? I would think leading a healthy lifestyle would be a great thing.

    Sure, life gets busy, but in my opinion – there is no excuse for not taking care of your body. We make time for so many other things, but not for exercise and good health? Exercise doesn’t always mean a gym membership, but what it could be is 15 min, 20 min here or there a few times during the week in your own living room. It really doesn’t take much. However, what it does require is dedication, motivation, and the desire to want to make a lifestyle change.

    Your health should always be a priority.

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