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Africa Speaks

Far too many Black Women are overweight
- Part II

Continued from:
Far too many Black Women are overweight - Part I


B K
Reply on: Mar 16th, 2004, 2:41pm

Why are you trying to say that me encouraging Black women, who is the fattest group in the fattest countries, the responsibility to maintain a healthy and reasonable weight as to not suffer the ravages of obesity is immersing myself in western culture?? This is a pretty ridiculous presumption. Those values I promote are reflecting and are being centered on ancient African principles. Our ancients' ancestors (like people living in societies more harmonious and balance with the ecology of the planet) enjoyed excellent health and athletic bodies. Being slim and athletic was the basic spiritual teaching and practice set by the initiates of old in Africa. Read the Pyramid texts and other indigenous sacred scriptural texts preserved across the millennia in tablets, stones and legends and you will see what I'm talking about. I'm surprised you don't know the lives of indigenous Africans required a discipline of spirit, mind and BODY, beyond the practice of typical western people who eat poison foods and drinks, and try to prevent Black people of today in eating other than good foods. That's what I'm trying to say.

Those ancient values centered on "ancient African principles" will enable a spiritually sensitive and more physically healthy life in Black women and all people of this planet. Black people are systematically oppressed, killed or abused. Our people are shortening their lives because they eat poison foods and suffer from "severe" laziness and irresponsibility, like myself before. So, I know frirsthand how our enemies are expert at provoking depression, a lack of self-respect and greed to name a few to discharge Black people of the feeling of well-being in body and mind! Thus, there is no way I'm going to support this political correctness and this whole "It's okay to be yourself" theory, I judge detrimental form a concerned and aware Black African point of view. In thinking so, I'm certainly not immersing myself in western culture. In any case, it's not all right to be yourself if you are a 300 lbs or 400 lbs obese who can't see your feet and can't do aerobic exercise. Regardless of what you say, there are very few conditions where carrying extra weight is not a problem toward health. It's quite obvious the health risks related to obesity are undoubtedly a major dilemma for Black people!

I recur, there is no getting around the fact that Black women are the fattest group in the fattest countries. Our sisters need some serious lifestyle changes to overcome this epidemic or it will reduces their level of health and very probably shorten their life one way or another. That's the evil scheme of our enemies who are out there subtly or overtly murdering Black people to take our resources. If Black people (Black women especially who give birth and carry life to its cycle) do not take serious lifestyle changes then our worldwide oppression, extreme poverty, genocides and the harmful effects of diet that accelerate obesity and other physical and mental diseases, will eventually eliminate Blacks from the planet earth. Let's not allow this abomination to happen!

Bantu Kelani.



Tyehimba
Reply on: Mar 16th, 2004, 2:59pm

my time is short but I just wanted to interject with a few thoughts.

The discrimination and abuse that face females who do not fit into the catogory of the western ideal in terms of (weight and size) is immense. So much so that many who don't fit this ideal often lack the mechanisms to see through the illusion and thus have very low self esteems. All the social mechanisms reinforce the illusion that if one doesn't fit the western ideal size then one is overwieght and unhealthy. The fact that this is a very damaging illusion doesn't negate the fact that there are people who are termed overweight, who are unhealthy, but those that fit that western size aren't necessarily any healthier. To begin with, the western notion of health, and what it means to be healthy is filled with illusions, insecurities and commercial greed. Companies fill their bank accounts by perpetuating these insecurities.

Furthermore, even using western definitions, because there may be a correlation between health and wieght, it doesn't mean that there is a causation effect, i.e their weight doesn't necessarily cause their ill health.

The discrimination that people face from pervasive false standards is a reality.

Fat: I am a Woman of Size: www.rootswomen.com/articles/Woman_of_Size.html



B K
Reply on: Mar 16th, 2004, 3:24pm

Why are you both referring to WESTERN CULTURE when I referring to ANCIENT AFRICAN PRINCIPLES! In the beginning indigenous AFRICANS were slim and healthy, most literature of the Khemit and indigenous texts will confirm that. In this thread I realize that giving the justification of supposedly endorsing "western culture" is good reason remaining in denial and not take the responsibility for the development of not only one's mind but BODY health as well. Moreover Black women are two to three times more likely than white women to be obese! In addition, Black women experience MORE social pressure about their weight, and are significantly less likely to suffer the ravages of obesity due to economic power. To compare White woman and Black women experience is too simple and flawed.

Bantu Kelani.



Yan
Reply on: Mar 16th, 2004, 3:51pm

I will not in any way encourage anyone to lose weight or put on weight. This is completely against my belief that people must be free to make their own choices once they do not infringe on by ability to make my own. I have been simply presenting other points of view that are not usually considered in these discussions. I am not telling people who may have eating disorders that it is ok to be ill, but I am making the point based on my experiences that there are big women who are quite healthy and that one model for me does not fit all.

The issue of weight as it relates to health in the way it is usually discussed contributes to a kind of size discrimination and a subtle form of race discrimination. I think it is high arrogance for me to just assume that a big person is overweight or obese without trying to get the person's view on how they feel about their size and weight and worse yet, to give my opinion on their weight or size that is unasked for.

It is my belief that the traditional model used to measure ideal weight and size as it relates to health is based on white European models and standards. I do not abide by those and I cannot encourage anyone else to do the same. Those who choose to conform to them or see some good in them are free to do so in my book but these are not universal standards.

I would like to pull out a few quotes from your post that I found ran the gamut of puzzling, to alarming to completely untrue:

Bantu Kelani wrote:
Why are you trying to say that me encouraging Black women, who is the fattest group in the fattest countries, the responsibility to maintain a healthy and reasonable weight as to not suffer firsthand the ravages of obesity is immersing myself in western culture??

HUH? Where did you get this?? I would like you to read carefully what I said and pick out where I stated that you, Kelani, are immersing yourself in western culture.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
Being slim and athletic was the basic spiritual teaching and practice set by the initiates of old in Africa. Read the Pyramid texts and other indigenous sacred scriptural texts preserved across the millennia in tablets, stones and legends and you will see what I'm talking about.

Well this is certainly not true. Nowhere in these texts was a size or weight stipulation placed on development. Being slim? Being slim Where was this stated? Please quote the text and the lines you are speaking of.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
there is no way I'm going to support this political correctness and this whole "It's okay to be yourself" theory

On the contrary, I think the views I have stated are anything but politically correct. The standard view seems to be just what you have stated here. I have stated unequivocally that people in talking of health need to develop a more holistic view of health that is not tied solely to weight loss or weight gain. It is quite ok for anyone to do as they please with they own bodies as far as I am concerned. However I have never advocated ill health within the parameters that I have stated to be a good thing. You keep assuming that when I say I do not see a direct correlation between weight and ill health that I support the consumption of foods that do not benefit the body. This was your interpretation, not mine.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
In any case, it's not all right to be yourself if you're a 300lbs or 400lbs obese who can't see one's feet and can't do aerobic exercise

I do not even know what to say about this statement. I find it extremely ugly. Read it again and ponder the implications of what you have said very carefully.

There is an extreme and palpable danger in using a culturally exclusive standard to judge all people. It is also erroneous to make a link between two factors weight and health that as Tyehimba rightly said may be sometimes related but not universally causal.

I repeat that I have never stated that ill health was a good thing. In each of my posts I said that diets should be adjusted and that we do not always eat foods that benefit our bodies. Somehow you assume that a healthy eating person is a 'slim' one and that a fat person in all cases is someone who does not eat healthy foods. Well I do not know where you would get that idea but I have no evidence of this being true. Indeed there are people that are medically obese. Some of these people may be at risk for several diseases, however some of them are not. There are also slim people that are also at risk for several of these same diseases and others. The idea of overweight as a disease-causing factor is tenuous as best.

I would like to know, where is the data carried out by Africans on obesity in Africa? Where is the data carried out by Indians on obesity in India? Or on obesity in China? Unless this data is examined or studies are even done then any discussion on weight and health will always be one sided and tipped on a European scale, as Europeans certainly seem to be quite obsessed with weight and study it constantly. I have never met one ancient African principle or saying or tenet or teaching that saw fat people as sick or unhealthy or stated that they could not achieve enlightenment or development because of their size. I would really like to see the justifications of this statement and the evidence that our African ancestors of whom you speak advocated weight loss and an ideal body size for health. On the contrary, the only view that I have ever come across is that in some cultures, (and no, I do not speak of archetypes here) fat was revered as a sign of wealth, fertility and attractiveness.

yan



B K
Reply on: Mar 17th, 2004, 4:42am

No offense to you and your personal "heavyset healthy" experience, but it has NOTHING to do with the majority of obese Black women who are likely to die at least 7 years sooner than those who are slim, meaning that in terms of life expectancy. The World Health Organization suggests that obese women lose an average 7.1 years, while men lose 5.8 years. From a practical view, obesity is a silent killer of many Black women. Black women are two to three times more likely to die because of obesity. This is a PROBLEM that we need to get a handle on. So, WHY then act like it's Ok to be obese? And while you identify my posts as puzzling and classify them as fallacious somehow... You should begin to say your own posts as very na´ve indeed. You bring the "me conforming with White European models and standards theory" as if it's exclusive to White people to care for one's health and that it's not an expression of commonly held views by many people the world over who have acknowledged the importance to look over their diets as a way to create peace, harmony health and spiritual growth. India is one country that has maintained its responsibility for one's population health. There are also millions of people in various indigenous cultures around the world who have been found slim and experience good health and longevity. The practice of eating less with healthy live food so one can improve enough life force in the body is clearly described in the Vedas, which is the ancient spiritual scriptures that are somewhere between six to eight thousands of old. The science of Yoga and the science of Ayurveda also teach the same pillars of eating less and an acceptable body weight (20 pounds, not more overweight). Ancient African philosophy teach the same pillars, as well as Taoism, Buddhism, Pythagoreanism, Jainism and Sikkhism. Those teachings are carved into stones, on tablets and scrolls for thousand of years. Of course don't blindly believe my saying, check for yourself. I listed SEVEN sources...none of which are contingent on weak anecdotal evidence that you think, so I'm confident in my opinion.

The ancient Africans were honored for the purity of their thoughts, spirits and bodies. Read Orpheus and Homer. These so-called Greek intellectuals said Black Africans in ancient times followed a very strict regimes based on special roots and herbs that tented to strengthen their body tissues as to permit them to bear the highest vibrations. They claimed by fasting and through following a strict dietary regimen, the average ancient African was slim and light as if they didn't have body at all. Myself, I have never perceived an ancient depiction of obese indigenous "human being" in my whole life. As for the plump depictions of archetypes Goddesses, well there are ARCHETYPES and are never meant to be perceived in their actual form. They are images that come form our unconscious and are certainly not representational and can never be fully be disposed of real human beings. So, to me your point is utterly mute. Further, a significant number of people live under the poverty level all over Africa, therefore I wonder HOW a toiled and often hunger lifestyle is conducive to obesity?? Which is EVIDENT you ignore it, who is the one exposing European bias here?

Your attitude that tends to rebuke Black people who care how too much excess body weight can ruin our health and claim it's a White phenomenon, is the continuous response which causes our people to experience things like morbid obesity, hypertension, heart attack, kidney failure, fibroids, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and the other fifteen hundred disease that seem to be caused by our poor eating habits. It's too easy to say "I comply with White models and standards" rather than acknowledge the link between obesity and poor health because of the foods obese people eat. We always like to say that so and so is obese and is healthy for some odd reasons but this is no excuse for us to learn the art of developing an acceptable body weight standards for HEALTH only not standards set by the cunning and murdering western world who eat very poorly. (BTW, eating less and developing an acceptable body weight is not a back door to anorexia. It's easy to tell if one is undereating because there is noticeable weight loss and a lack of vitality.) Thus, it's ill intentioned for you to assume I endorse White culture or even anorexia (alone).

I dislike repeating myself wastefully and to the extent that we cannot or have not measured across broad agreement lines. At this point, we will have to agree to disagree...FIN.

Bantu Kelani.



Yan
Reply on: Mar 17th, 2004, 12:10pm

Well it is quite possible that you feel you are repeating yourself because you are not really addressing the questions I have put forward. The underlying point of my reasoning is really quite simple. Fat people are not necessarily obese or suffer ill health. I have advocated good health and proper eating as much as you have, where we differ is my point that healthy eating does not necessarily induce weight loss nor is weight loss necessary for good health. You keep choosing to distort my statements. I have said that an unhealthy lifestyle is not good yet you continually speak of healthy eating as a way to be slim or a proof that being slim is better or healthier than being fat. Healthy eating and living does not always bring one to a standard size, as we are not standard! The variations in our bodies are multitudinous and I find our differences quite glorious! Again I will address some points in your post:

Bantu Kelani wrote:
It's too easy to say, "I comply with White models and standards" rather than acknowledge the link between obesity and poor health because of the foods obese people eat.

The point being made is that fat people are not necessarily obese or suffer ill health, and that is all!!! It certainly does not warrant this entire defense. It is one thing to be talking about obesity and quite another to assume that all fat people are obese or unhealthy in some way. You also insist on making this discussion personal as though I have made any assumptions on what you believe or comply with. A reading of my posts will show this quite clearly and I have clarified it for your benefit more than once.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
So, WHY then act like it's Ok to be obese?

I am saying again that it is not ok to be obese but not all fat people are obese and to give the impression that full figured or fat = obese is wrong. Full stop
Bantu Kelani wrote:
India is one country that has maintained its responsibility for one's population health.

Well this is questionable given the number of Indians that are poor and suffering and starving and their late acknowledgement of having an AIDS problem. I wonder where you would get the idea that Indians are healthier than anyone else or that they have made a special effort to keep their population healthy. You may have to provide some evidence of this.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
The practice of eating less with healthy live food so one can improve enough life force in the body is clearly described in the Vedas, which is the ancient spiritual scriptures that are somewhere between six to eight thousands of old.

This may be true. Eating less is good. But eating less by itself does not mean one will develop spiritually or one is necessarily healthier simply by just eating less. It also does not say that those who eat less are guaranteed to be smaller than those who eat more. This may seem to be a casually accurate statement but I can assure you that it is not. It also does not prove your running assumption that all people who are fat are fat because they eat too much or are unhealthy.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
The science of Yoga and the science of Ayurveda also teach the same pillars of eating less and an acceptable body weight (20 pounds, not more overweight).

As far as I know, this is totally untrue. Nowhere in these books they give a standard for weight and size. To even define what is overweight is modern crap. As I asked before please quote the lines or the text of which you speak. I have searched and also consulted others who have a fair knowledge of these texts and they know not of which you speak. If you, or anyone else is reading this post. can quote areas of the Ayur-veda that speaks of health and medicine and stipulate a standard size or a reason why being slim is healthier than being fat please enlighten me and post your source and lines here.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
Ancient African philosophy teaches the same pillars, as well as Taoism, Buddhism, Pythagoreanism, Jainism and Sikkhism. Those teachings are carved into stones, on tablets and scrolls for thousand of years.

Well saying they were carved in stone does not say much. Most ancient texts speak about the importance of good health. But as far as I know they never condemned fat people or stipulated a particular size for people, so again using these texts to impute something different to what I stated is no evidence. You will have to bring quotations from these texts and sources to prove what you are saying here. You mentioned that this was stated in the Pyramid text in another post and I requested similar clarification on this, which you have not yet provided. I have found no evidence in my readings to support this so as you assert it I believe it is your responsibility to back up your claims.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
The ancient Africans were honored for the purity of their thoughts, spirits and bodies.

Purity of thought and body says nothing about the size of a person.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
As for the plump depictions of archetypes Goddesses, well there are ARCHETYPES and are never meant to be perceived in their actual form.

Well you are quite free to that interpretation, but still the slim paintings on walls in the Pyramids could be also said to not be the actual form of the people but we do have stories and cultural traits that go with these depictions and it is a known fact that many cultures valued a woman of size. There are historical reasons for this. It is my belief that archetypal images are representatives of the ideal. They may not be an accurate example of what all people looked like, but I do think they represent a physical, spiritual and aesthetic ideal.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
Further, a significant number of people live under the poverty level all over Africa, therefore I wonder HOW a toiled and often hunger lifestyle is conducive to obesity?? Which is EVIDENT you ignore it, who is the one exposing European bias here?

Well again you are either misunderstanding or deliberately distorting. There are several examples of cultures all over Africa where fat is revered as a sign of wealth and prosperity as I already indicated. The fact that some people in certain times throughout history starved says nothing about the traditional health of African people, as the famines did not affect all Africans. Are you perhaps saying that throughout African history, all people have always been poor and starving so they could never be fat? Well I find that to be a very silly statement if indeed that is what you are imputing. It also does not change the fact that traditionally and even in modern times in societies that remain traditional in many aspects, there are fat farms eg Mauretania that make females bigger to make them more attractive.

As a matter of fact African societies have always made attractiveness a product of functionality. Understanding that a fatter woman was better able to survive famines or food shortages and feed the young ones is what made them attractive to people. It was based on simple survival not simple aesthetics. We must not discount evolution and cultural particularities here.

Bantu Kelani wrote:
Your attitude that tends to rebuke Black people who care how too much excess body weight can ruin our health and claim it's a White phenomenon, is the continuous response which causes our people to experience things like morbid obesity, hypertension, heart attack, kidney failure, fibroids, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and the other fifteen hundred disease that seem to be caused by our poor eating habits.

Well first off I have been reasoning with you quite fairly and I do not think to disagree with you means to rebuke Black people in general. I also think it is a wild speculation to assume that 'morbid obesity, hypertension, heart attack, kidney failure, fibroids, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and the other fifteen hundred disease that seem to be caused by our poor eating habits' are particular to people that are fat. Poor eating habits are poor eating habits, full stop and many people regardless of weight have them. I have never advocated poor eating habits. However as I have said countless times, fat people do not necessarily have poor eating habits and eat too much and they may not always be at risk for these diseases more than thin people. They are as much at risk as anyone else regardless of size if their eating habits are poor and are general in a state of ill health. I hope no one else misconstrues my comments to mean that I am advocating that people go get fat. I am simply stating a fact that not all fat people are unhealthy and not all fat people are obese or need to lose weight. You cannot continue to make this baseless and causal link and expect that I will let it fly.
Bantu Kelani wrote:
We always like to say that so and so is obese and is healthy for some odd reasons but this is no excuse for us to learn the art of developing an acceptable body weight standards for HEALTH only not standards set by the cunning and murdering western world who eat very poorly.

Acceptable by whom? And healthy by what standards? Unless you can bring some concrete evidence of traditional societies that have imputed a specific size or weight for health then I can only see that as an invalid argument. I say again, there is no standard weight or size that is ideal of acceptable to all people.

I end again with asking for clarification and proof of some of the 'evidence' you say you have provided. Again anyone else who may have this information, feel free to share it. I certainly was never under the misconception that to reason meant to agree or that the parties must come to some agreement at the end. There are many people reading this reasoning and it is my responsibility to express these alternative views as clearly and as accurately as possible, for their benefit as well. yan

On an interesting note:

Contrary to the western obsession with tall and thin beauty icons, many men in Africa find fat women attractive.

many men in Africa find fat women attractive
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3304161.stm



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