Almost one in two African-American women are now overweight. Even more disturbing is the rising prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease among African-Americans. This paper looks to examining the perceptions of weight through the African-American experience and what causes African-American women to view it as ok to be just slightly overweight.
It is possible that this is created by housing and economics. African Americans who live in inner cities may have a hard time eating within federal dietary guidelines because, inner city neighborhoods lack grocery stores stocked with fresh produce and low-fat choices. Housing conditions make it difficult to store food. Inner city neighborhoods often do not have the variety of healthy fare restaurants suburban neighborhoods do.
Riding a bus across town to follow dietary guidelines is highly unlikely. And then there's media influence. Television advertising that targets African Americans utilizes commercials for low-nutrient foods creating a negative food image influence.
Television shows popular among African Americans, portray far more overweight characters and junk food ads than programs geared to a broader, general audience. The content of "black prime time" also negatively influences what African Americans eat by subjecting them to a disproportionate number of unhealthy food images that influence obesity such the way that alcohol and tobacco advertising influence other health behaviors.
Medically, African Americans have a higher rate of obesity than the general population. A recent study suggested that about 60 percent of African Americans are overweight or obese as compared with 54 percent of the general U.S. population.
Upon analyzation of content within the four, highest rated half-hour African-American sitcoms (Moesha, The Parkers, Malcolm & Eddie and the Jamie Foxx Show), researchers observed that 1) The shows with the largest African-American audience ...