“39% of African-American women are obese.” This was a statistic I heard on CNN earlier this week. It also indicated that 29% of Hispanic women and 22% of White women are obese. Obese, not just overweight. Being an African-American woman, I was curious to hear more. This study compared poverty levels with obesity rates and found that they were related. Some of the reasoning was that people living in poverty (often the inner city area) had practically no access to fresh vegetables and fruits. These families buy canned and packaged goods because they are cheaper and easier to store. There is no space for gardens in these areas and buying fresh produce would involve travel and higher costs.
In addition, the report stated that 25% of all women do not exercise at all. It is not considered to be important in their lives. This really bothered me because as women, we have to be responsible when it comes to our health. Just looking at how everyday stress impacts our lives, we need to be utilizing a variety of means to relax, decompress, and take care of ourselves and our children. I know how much better I feel after working out for even just 20 minutes. At this point in my life, I know that I would not want to be around me if I didn’t exercise. Breaking a good sweat several times a week helps me to sleep deeper, make better food choices, and calm my nerves. We need to change our attitude regarding exercise. Our bodies were meant to be active. That’s the best way to stay youthful and healthy.