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African Americans and Healthy Weight Management


The concept of healthy weight management has a different meaning in the African American community. However, with the continued rise in the major health risks associated with death and disability it needs to be addressed. The most recent statistics show that over half of the US population is either overweight or obese. Unfortunately, this unhealthy weight trend is even more pronounced in the African American community.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 60% of African American men and 78% of African American women are classified in the overweight category. Additionally, 29% of men and 51% of women are considered obese. The sad reality is that African American women lead all population groups in being overweight and obese.

Depressed? Please don’t be. My intention is not to make anyone feel guilty about their weight. Rather, I need to accurately and truthfully highlight that weight is a significant factor in the health issues confronting the African American community. African Americans are already at a higher risk for:

Being overweight and obese compounds these health issues. My goal is to help you see healthy weight management as a paradigm shift from “DIET” to “WELLNESS!” We all know that diets don’t work so I’m not going to suggest diets. Instead, I’m going to recommend some simple changes that can make a major impact on your overall health. These changes will lead you to healthy weight management.

Cultural Issues!
Weight isn’t a big issue in the African American community. Excess pounds are not viewed in the same way as they are in the Caucasian community. Numerous studies have clearly highlighted this:

Whether it is a strong sense of self, a matriarchal background, societal battles or a desire for style, excess weight has not been given the same level of focus as it has in other population groups. For most population groups, weight is all about looks and how people perceive them. So they diet and fail because they’re going at it for the wrong reason.

African Americans already have the “look” so they need to continue to stay out of that trap. Instead, they need to focus on healthy weight management because it has a direct correlation to health. It’s not about looking good, rather it’s all about feeling great!

The Paradigm Shift
Very few people will ever be successful with healthy weight management if all they do is focus on dieting. Instead, most people will be successful with healthy weight management if they focus their food choices on improving their health and wellness. Dieting is restrictive, negative, and self-defeating because it always sets you up for failure. The end result is a program that cannot be maintain and leads you back to unhealthy food choices. Unhealthy foods choices will add back all your weight and more.

When you focus on food selections to improve your health and wellness, then a natural byproduct for most people is weight loss leading to healthy weight management. So, the paradigm shift is from “DIET” to “WELLNESS!” Let me illustrate this. The simplest and most direct way most people can make a major impact on their health and wellness, while having a major impact on reducing their weight, is to focus on what they drink:

This paradigm shift from “DIET” to “WELLNESS” will begin to have a profound effect in other areas of your life. By shifting your focus from appearance to well-being, you’ll start to see the real connection between weight and health. True, long-term healthy weight management comes when you have resolved to make an investment in your health. You will have traded a life with a high risk for disease and illness for one that’s full of energy and stamina. The real question that you need to answer is:

“Do you want a life of illness or vitality?”

If you choose vitality, then there are a series of articles that will begin to help you make the transition to “WELLNESS!” Articles like:

These articles are designed to empower you to a healthier lifestyle. All of them contain keys to helping you achieve healthy weight management. I hope you enjoy them.

Until next time, may we both age youthfully!

Synergistically yours,


Return from Healthy Weight Management to African American Health

Return from Healthy Weight Management to Aging No More (Home Page)



The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

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