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25798 Posts in 9900 Topics by 982 Members Latest Member: - Ferguson Most online today: 109 (July 03, 2005, 11:25:30 PM)
+  Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum
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| | |-+  Far too many Black Women are overweight
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Author Topic: Far too many Black Women are overweight  (Read 22232 times)
Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2004, 07:42:04 AM »

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 naïve 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.
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Yann
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2004, 03:10:56 PM »

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:

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: Two Thumbs

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


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3304161.stm

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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2004, 05:56:46 PM »

Well, your posts are also puzzling. I couldn't resist replying to them one more time... so it goes.

Your picture is supposed to prove what? I have lived in 5 countries in Africa (Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Angola, Tanzania and Benin) as well in Europe (France, Spain, England, Germany) and the US. I have had an extensive look at people in these countries and nowhere natives Africans are as fat as people in industrialized countries. You think throwing this picture like confetti as if all people were all fat in Africa is going to make your point? And I never said native Africans have been dealing with hunger since the dawn of times but I have said that MOST native Africans have been enjoying good health because they were lean and light due to proper diet and exercise for thousand of years. Even a fair number of native Africans in the face of extreme poverty today still experience good health as a result. Check my own home country DR Congo. This single picture and article you are throwing is clearly a misinformation and doesn't speak for the entire continent of Africa. Again, I am native African. I know firsthand what cultural beliefs we value. Being fat and obese is certainly not our fancy as we value health and life. You have no clue what native Africans think and feel but only what you have access in western media. You have never lived there. As far as I know, you have never experience neither what life is like nor the typical native African looks like on the continent FROM YOUR OWN EYES. I did that makes me either a truthful witness according to my intellectual and the five senses or direct cognition experience or a liar, decide for yourself. On the continent obese people are VERY few, as we all know how obesity is the cause of many diseases. So, nice try but your point is mute again.

As for the proof of my argumentation, like the verity that the Sacred Texts of old teaching DISCIPLINE and purity of mind, spirit and body is not enough by itself? Have you ever seen a person practicing everyday discipline of eating and being 100 lbs to 300 lbs overweight?? To say so is willful denial or utter foolishness. And yes, women can be "big" if they are proportioned or athletic. They can carry 20 lbs or perhaps 40 lbs overweight, which is quite adequate to support the physical function of the body but certainly not 100 lbs to 300 lbs overweight!  At this point, a woman is not overweight but obese. I know personally how it's the origin of some pretty severe constrain physical conditions. I was fat myself 2 years ago I still remember. For instances, you can't squat or lift yourself straight up after sitting on the floor. You can't climb steep hill without gasps and exhaustion, you can't run, you can't make love lengthy. Overall, you can't live the great blessing of life properly. Fact, the slimmer (but healthy) you are the faster you walk and the higher your energy level is. I have done enough endurance sports (power running, dancing, cyclotouring etc.) to know that the 150 lbs sister kicks the [censored] of the 200 lbs sista.  So, why denying being SLIM and FIT is a good thing and contributes to a longer life expectancy? BTW my dear, your last article and opinion is irrespective from the views of the majority of Black men out there (sheer hypocrites they are) who PREFER slimmer women at the nightclub, gym or any environment that has a lot of singles. At any rate, I excuse their uncouth attitude towards Black sisters, regardless of our sisters being fit or obese anyway. Unlike the majority of our male counterparts, I absolutely don't care about what I could do with their slim bodies in bed. But on the contrary I care about our sisters' health and longevity in this planet where we are the most VICTIMS of all kind of overt and covert genocides perpetuated by those who continually keep Black people in states of oppression. So, I think you may need to look at these latter facts. I bet you won't. Then we will have to agree to disagree again that's indeed the point of this whole thread.  


Bantu Kelani.
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Yann
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2004, 06:57:08 PM »

I wonder why you take this disagreement over specifics like if we are at war. I am engaging this debate because we have debated racism, gender discrimination and colorism and I strongly feel size discrimination is another of the negative discriminations to look at.

Having said that however, I really don't know how I am supposed to respond to this post. Are you telling me that living in Africa in the 21st century makes you an expert on ancient African principles of diet? And that by seeing casually maybe thousands of people makes you an expert on all people who live there? Well in that case you cannot speak of people in the Caribbean as you did before then, as you have never been here.  And nor can anyone anywhere make a statement on anyplace that they have not lived?? I know many people living in the U.S who look to others outside of the U.S to explain what is happening there. Residing somewhere does not by itself mean one knows more about a particular place. If you would like to play that card you will certainly have to still back up your claims. Saying I am from there so I know is simply not enough.

Where is the evidence I requested to the wild claims you made in your earlier posts? That the pyramid texts and the Ayur-Veda’s claim that being slim is a preferred size for health and spiritual advancement? You have been skirting this. It is not enough to glibly say
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“As for the proof of my argumentation, like the verity that the Sacred Texts of old teach DISCIPLINE and purity of mind, spirit and body is not enough by itself?”
 
That is an obvious cop out. We certainly seem to have differing opinions on what constitutes discipline and purity of mind and body. And I suspect you and our esteemed ancestors differ on that too. If you choose to use ancient African principles as evidence of the rightness of your claim that slim is better/ healthier than fat in some way then you must state where you got this from. Unless you provide that, especially for the many who are reading this reasoning very carefully, I can only assume that you were grasping at straws to build an argument. You assume much about what I have seen and what I know but again unless you provide some concrete evidence to your claims that African ancient concepts of diet and size conform to your views then I can see no validity in your argument. You made specific statements: BACK THEM UP.

As for your experience with your own weight, well you cannot at all assume that it is uniform. And as for this:
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Have you ever seen a person practicing everyday discipline of eating and being FAT??


My answer is: YES!!! YES I HAVE! She can lift her foot over her head and do a full split and displays the greatest economy of motion of anyone I have ever seen.
These that I know of are not any ordinary women but ones whom many have the utmost respect, reverence and adoration for.  As a seeker of truth as you say you are, you would do well to regard these women, as they are the epitome of what we call WOMAN.

Your experiences do not make you an expert on all people, which is why it is vital that other sides of this reasoning must come forward.  It is vital that other women who may be seen as obese or fat or unhealthy know that this view of weight meaning ill health is not a universal truth and that they need to work out their body images and body health by being widely informed and without the brunt of negative discrimination. Ordinary people need to know that there are women who may look like them physically who are far beyond the females that may be revered by our wider society. They live by a standard far higher and far older.

The point in the picture, since you seem to have missed it, is that by western standards that woman is considered overweight and if I interpret some of your comments correctly she is obese by extension. But Obese is a medical definition and one that is not determined by casual observation, notwithstanding the fact that the medics are often wrong on this. But the point in the photo is that to others and maybe even the woman there, she is quite fine and fit. And if she is fine with her size, who are we to negatively discriminate against her?

You say:
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one you can't squat or lift yourself straight up after sitting on the floor. You can't climb steep hill without gasps and exhaustion, you can't run, you can't make love lengthy. Overall, you can't live the great blessing of life properly.
But I have shown that this is certainly not true for all fat people but may be the experiences of some who should see a doctor and get better advice on their health. However we cannot use this definition for all people who are fat.

You are absolutely wrong to assume that native Africans enjoyed good health because they were slim. They were healthy by their standards at the time and they had diets relative to their region and Yes Ancient Africans unlike what is portrayed in parts of Africa like Egypt had a wide array of sizes depending on their region they inhabited

Nowhere in any of my posts do I attempt to speak for all of African and even all Black people but I can speak from my varied personal experiences and research and the same way that one picture does not speak for all Africans, the slim image does not either.  That has been the point of my entire argument. There is no uniform size, weight, and judgment of health for all people, black white or otherwise. This is some thing that has to be determined by the person through examination, research, considering all views and becoming comfortable in their own bodies.  We must develop healthier lifestyles and that begins from inside and coming to an understanding of our divine purposes, not from a diet book or on a treadmill.

yan
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kristine
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2004, 03:37:36 PM »

Obesity vs. Size

The term obesity is a word thrown around to define anyone who does not fit the current stereotype of size. The media portrays proper size in an unrealistic picture constantly bombarding us with images that have very little to do with most people I come in contact with. In fact I have never seen anyone who fits the image of this perfect size.

While ones size seems predetermined genetically, it can fluctuate. One of the key factors is diet. It is easy to fall into the poor diet syndrome with the day-to-day demands, which distract us from one of the most important aspects of our existence. What we eat, when and how. The typical western diet is encouraged to be fast with no consideration for quality. In fact the additives used in fast food as well as that offered at the mainstream supermarkets contain hormones and additives which have been recognized to alter the ability to maintain size. This same low quality food rushed into the system has adverse affects emotionally as well. The additives can cause emotional stress as these are not naturally assimilated into the body and can toxically trigger negative emotional reactions. Often since eating is considered comfort it can be hard to recognize bad food as a culprit in a negative emotional state. So we eat more. Once we consider how what and when we eat we can reach the balance necessary to maintain our Self-size.

If we are struggling with this issue it is easy to fall prey to all the fads, which guarantee results. This is another one of those illusions, which I have yet to see work. I personally have seen and heard of many who bought the book and followed the plan and initially lost a bit of weight only to be more discouraged when the plan failed. Again it goes back to proper nutrition. And proper Self image. We can use height as a yardstick to see this a little clearer. If we are 4 feet tall as an adult are we going to spend all our excess time and resources trying to reach 6 foot?

So we have fat people and skinny people and all who fall somewhere in between. Obesity has a separate category. Obesity is over sized to the point of a life threatening condition. Obesity can be the extreme result from massive bad nutrition, however most examples I have seen are present from birth and are similar to other birth defects.

To equate size, as with any physical characteristics, with quality of character severely limits our ability to fully embrace Self. It also hinders us from being able to embrace others due to what we perceive as a flaw.
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2004, 06:54:41 PM »

Yan,

A warrior spirit is my core being, it is my true essence. If it seems to you I'm debating in a warrior attitude, I apologize for this inconvenience. Debating in such manner is typical to me because my warrior core is the head of my intelligence. Actually however I am not fighting you. I am having a good time debating you, because it makes me THINK and allow me to know you better. I'm not seeking to influence Black women with this discussion, but only to inform them. Nowhere in this thread I have said we must conform to stupid books written, published and disturbed by treacherous and or murderers people. You also accuse me falsely and have the pretension to act like it's my own exclusivity. Fact, fit and obese people (100 lbs-300 lbs overweight) are very rare. Most obese people suffer form health problems there is no way around it. Moreover, your experience and opinion are certainly not the majority. And I'm not only talking about western cultural standards here but worldwide health concern. I'm not bashing Black sisters sizes by any means. I'm only concerned about their health and LONGEVITY in this world where we are the most victims of all kinds of genocides. Is it so hard for the protagonists of this thread to understand?

Bantu Kelani.
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Ayinde
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2004, 12:02:40 PM »

Some general comments

What people mean when they say 'overweight' will differ, and even doctors have problems defining obesity. They claim, "Obesity specifically refers to an excess amount of body fat. Some people, such as bodybuilders or other athletes with a lot of muscle, can be overweight without being obese." They further state, "Like most things, obesity is a complex phenomenon about which it is dangerous to generalize. What is true for one person is not necessarily true for the next." Measuring obesity requires some technical ability, and is not something that can be casually observed.

Many people do not like their own bodies, and I would suggest that they check their attitude and other habits before rushing to change. It is far too common that a person alters his or her body only to develop a stronger negative discriminatory attitude towards others who see no need to alter theirs.    
 
Good health cannot be simply measured by how long someone 'lives' (occupies a body), especially now that people can sustain their bodies for a long time with drugs and machines while being in a dysfunctional state. These medical advancements have up sides, but they do little to address the negative discriminatory conduct of most people.  
 
The concept of measuring good health by the length of the physical life of people is flawed as some people work much harder than others, and as such some people do put much more work on their bodies than others. A person can do more in 40 years than another in 100 years. People accomplish what they desire at different rates, and the stress to their bodies is relative to what they do and how they think, so measuring the quality of health by the length of 'life' is not correct in my view.  
 
Most of the views shared on this thread should be part of people's own psychological examination as they question altering their bodies. People may choose to alter their bodies for a whole host of reasons, and that is really their right.    
 
Often the need to lose weight can be tied to 'medical issues', and while many may have legitimate medical reasons to lose weight, the 'medical issues' line is often used as a cliché and an excuse to strive for their 'tainted' ideas of beauty.  
 
I watched one glaring example of this during Oprah's fitness craze where she felt she had to reduce her size to be cool. At that time during her shows she would encourage others to do like her, but with all her material resources and modifications to her eating habit she put back on the weight.    
 
Before she attempted to drop weight, I never found anything wrong with her body on a cosmetic level. I felt she had an ok enough size, but she obviously did not find so (for either cosmetic or health reasons) and who better than her to test it...she certainly had the resources. Who knows the countless females she made feel badly about their own bodies while she was advocating a slimmer figure? But as was proven it did not work for her.  
 
This matter of appropriate size is really up to how people feel about their bodies and health, and they can reasonably change it if they feel badly about their form.    
 
Over the generations as foods have been artificially modified, some people's bodies developed a tendency to fatten; this is not withstanding the modern habit of overeating to deal with depression and low self-esteem. This however is no easy thing to address as many people cannot afford to go to gyms, and many even if they can afford it would realize that maintaining a form against the natural inclinations of the body is expensive, and can become a lifelong work which also adds other dangers to one's health.    
 
The moral of the story is that people should really look at what is fueling the desire to alter their bodies. Are they satisfied with the medical or fitness experts or are they really having problems doing what they wish to do? Of course changing one's look for aesthetic reasons is no big thing and is a personal choice. But seeing that we are addressing things that affect most people, especially Black people, then how people view others based on their own choice to change is important.    
 
Is it that all who do not wish to alter their bodies should not get suitable jobs that they are qualified for, or should be refused access to goods and services because they do not see the need to alter their bodies which are not affecting them doing the tasks they wish to engage? Is it that we are to make others feel ugly or uncomfortable because they would like to participate and are ok with their own large bodies as it is?  
 
The issues surrounding overweight and obesity are about a lot more than exercising and simply eating less for most people. It involves the contaminated foods most people eat and the poor advice they get about their own health to begin with. It involves the stress most people undergo, and it generally involves people's low level of awareness about themselves (low self esteem).

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To equate size, as with any physical characteristics, with quality of character severely limits our ability to fully embrace Self. It also hinders us from being able to embrace others due to what we perceive as a flaw.

This quote from Kristine is very important.
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2004, 06:30:48 PM »

Ayinde, I really appreciate your thoughtful comments but the facts remains many sisters tend to overeat and say they never exercise. The health problems, which result from this are staggering! It's thus sounds imprudent to encourage Black women to see no problem in being 200 lbs + overweight when they tend to not exercice unlike the bodybuilders. Supporting the argument that those who care for their health and encourage others to do so is just finding an excuse to recharge their aesthetic concerns is to be in denial of the long-term affects of the numerous diseases that are commonly related to obesity. In my own view indeed obesity (200 lbs + not exercising) is a not a good thing. This is harming us far more than our White counterparts in addition of the harm of oppressive racism and human rights violations.

Bantu Kelani.
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2004, 09:27:57 PM »

I do not buy the vague and somewhat biased definitions associated with Obesity, which in my view are not Universally sound.

People who care about the health of others are not running the whole Obesity campaign in the mainstream media. It is a part of a commercial enterprise that thrives on negatively stigmatizing people to get them to spend.

The same fat cats who are pushing the diets and fitness craze also invest in other companies that do tremendous harm to people.

Most of the promotions hinge around a White cosmetic model of beauty and fitness that is not attainable or suitable for everyone. The ads are to negatively stress people so they will rush out to spend. Many people do suffer negatively from putting on too much weight, and many do suffer for taking off too much weight. Self-esteem is the factor that regulates size and health.

However, the negative stigmas in relation to size are not true for many people and they only severely impact on fat people (by varied yardsticks for fatness) because of the silly prejudices of others. So the issue is also about the ignorance/prejudices of others.  

According to the fleeting interpretations of Obesity, Sumo wrestlers and many native Alaskans might show up on tests as Obese and unhealthy, but if the wrestler and the native Alaskan are quite healthy and comfortable with their size, who am I to impose a standard on them?

All people do not eat as badly as many may do in the US.  Not all fat people lack exercise, overeat or eat poor quality food, and certainly many of the fat people I know are quite fit and mentally sound. On the other hand, many people should look at the issues that may cause them to suddenly put on or take off weight. Quite often the underlying issues are related to self-worth.

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Supporting the argument that those who care for their health and encourage others to do so is just finding an excuse to recharge their aesthetic concerns is to be in denial of the long-term affects of the diseases that are commonly related to obesity.

I don't really know if this comment was directed to I or if it was a general comment. If it was directed to I then read my comments again. "…Supporting the argument that those who care for their health and encourage others…" You may be trying to personalize the discussion, but if not, I fail to see where I took issue with anyone who cares about the well-being of others. Certainly if I happen to disagree with you on anything it is a disagreement with  your view or how you express something, and it is not a sweeping indictment on everyone else. A good intention does not in itself mean that what someone is saying is true. I also do not believe that many people, including fitness gurus and doctors, really care about the health of others, and especially the health of Black people. I also do not see how encouraging false stereotyping and negative discrimination is part of the cure for anything.

Other than that, I do not have a problem with anyone getting fatter of thinner if they wish.

The physical attributes of people are not true measurements of their character or ability to learn anything, which includes developing spiritually. People's discomfort with their own bodies, and with the rights of others to be different, can be a hindrance to their own development.

If people are uncomfortable with their weight or feel they are at risk for some diseases then there are things they can start doing about it. They should get as informed as possible (which includes consulting doctors) and act on it as they see fit.

However, many people have prejudicial issues with how they look, and they project them on others. They should work on their own biases. I am not here advocating one size for everyone and those who are unfit irrespective of their size should work on it.
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2004, 07:12:40 AM »

Ayinde,

Regardless of what you say, in industrialized countries Black women have significant health problem due to obesity. For the most part because they do not exercise enough and or overeat. Black women are two to three times more likely than White women to be obese. Black women are two to three times less likely to find treatment and prevention of the harmful effects of obesity. This epidemic will not prolong our lives it will cut life short. Why should we reduce our life span purposely when our fore mothers and fore fathers lived more than 170 years? Furthermore, if I don't like morbid obesity I must be biased in my belief? Fine, you and others can make your excuses. Sorry, I won't be doing that. I went 10 years being obese I have suffered many pains, so I'm not going to encourage people to comply with obesity for political correctness and this whole "It's okay to be yourself" theory.

Bantu Kelani.
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
Tyehimba
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« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2004, 12:47:29 AM »

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Sorry, I won't be doing that. I went 10 years being obese I have suffered many pains, so I'm not going to encourage people to comply with obesity for political correctness and this whole "It's okay to be yourself" theory.

Kelani, could you elaborate a lil bit on the pains you suffered through the ten years you said you were obese. I think that this is important.
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Ayinde
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« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2004, 01:30:30 PM »

The Right Order: In my view

The first thing people should be addressing before trying to change anything is the prejudices and negative stigmatizations related to their own self-esteem problems. This involves examining the racial issues and untrue stereotypings associated with the particular issue. This is to first correct perceptions before they end up removing 40lbs from their bodies while gaining more pounds on their egos, which is certainly more dangerous.

From the moment people feel they are overweight, quite often they are not in immediate life and death danger, and can afford to investigate the issues thoroughly. Most often, people who feel badly about their bodies do have to develop a positive self-image before they can be sufficiently motivated to do something about it. This is true for most people, and I rather suspect this was also true for Kelani. So improving the self-image usually comes first.

No one is going to get a better self-image if the information they receive is in reality misinformation. They certainly will not be motivated to improve if all they see and feel is the negative stigmatizations from others. They do need to see and feel better through the intervention of others who can identify with the good in them. We all should know that people's own misinformed views about themselves, and by extension others are directly related to the negative stigmas placed on others, and their own bodies.

We encourage Blacks to examine the issues surrounding Racism and Gender discrimination before rushing to bleach their skin. We encourage them to examine Colorism so they don't remain only considering people of lighter shades attractive or better based on the miseducation they received. Today I am encouraging people to examine the many biases about size before continuing to feel badly about their own bodies, and to ensure that if they choose to change, it is either because of legitimate health concerns or because it is in their own best interest.

My approach towards this size issue is totally consistent with how I address many issues that are loaded with prejudices and general misinformation. We certainly do not expect Blacks to change for the better by feeding them more misinformed views about Blacks. We do expect them to get informed (not misinformed) first.

I am not encouraging anyone to put on or take off weight, but I am encouraging people who are not in immediate life and death danger to consider the prejudices involved in the size issue before castigating or negatively stereotyping others.
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