The Fight Against Obesity is Rooted in “Racism”? No, It is Not! By Mrs Vera West

There was first a feminist backlash against dieting, nutrition and weight loss, with fat “being a feminist issue.” What was said was that for women the quest for health resulted in body shaming and psychological damage, so now woke magazines are promoting the “fuller figure.” Yet, as expected, the race lobby would just have to get a finger in this pie, which they have. Now we have even science journals, which should know better, saying that the present fight against obesity is full of racism, and “heightened concern about black women’s weight reflects the racist stigmatization of their bodies.”  “It also ignores how interrelated social factors impact black women’s health.”


No doubt there are social and psychological factors at work here, as with all health issues. Yet there is a basic biological reality that obesity leads to the possibility of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, diseases which, while having a social and environmental aspect, are still as real as anything. Ignoring this so that Black women, for example, feel good about their obesity, is the real racism, as this ideology will shorten lives. Of course, body shaming is terrible and harmful, but going to the opposite extreme, as Leftist social constructionists do, is just as bad. And, I write this as someone who is technically obese, with exercise being difficult due to arthritis of my spine. I know their pain.


“The fight against obesity is rooted in “racism,” according to a Scientific American essay that claimed black women “consistently experience weightism in addition to sexism and racism,” and the prescribing of “weight loss” has “long since proved to be ineffective.”

In a tweet from the Scientific American Twitter account sharing the piece on Wednesday, the popular guide — which is the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S. — claimed the “heightened concern about black women’s weight reflects the racist stigmatization of their bodies.” 

“It also ignores how interrelated social factors impact black women’s health,” it added.

The piece, originally published in volume 323, issue 1 of the science magazine and titled “The Racist Roots of Fighting Obesity,” was authored by Sabrina Strings, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and Lindo (formerly Linda) Bacon, a self-proclaimed “genderqueer,” who serves as an associate nutritionist at the University of California, Davis.

While asserting that the prescribing of weight loss to black women “ignores barriers to their health,” the essay details the health challenges they face.

“Black people, and Black women in particular, face considerable health challenges,” it begins. 

“Compared with their rates in other racial groups, chronic cardiovascular, inflammatory and metabolic risk factors have been found to be elevated in Black women, even after controlling for behaviors such as smoking, physical exercise or dietary variables,” the essay continues.

In addition, the piece claims black women “have also been identified as the subgroup with the highest body mass index (BMI) in the U.S., with four out of five classified as either ‘overweight’ or ‘obese.’” 

Many doctors, the authors contend, “have claimed that Black women’s ‘excess’ weight is the main cause of their poor health outcomes, often without fully testing or diagnosing them.”

“While there has been a massive public health campaign urging fat people to eat right, eat less and lose weight, Black women have been specifically targeted,” they allege.

Though the “heightened concern about their weight is not new,” the authors argue that it “reflects the racist stigmatization of Black women’s bodies.” 

“Nearly three centuries ago scientists studying race argued that African women were especially likely to reach dimensions that the typical European might scorn,” they write. 

The authors also claim that many medical practitioners in the late 19th century viewed black women as being “destined to die off along with the men of their race because of their presumed inability to control their ‘animal appetites’—eating, drinking and fornicating.”

“These presumptions were not backed by scientific data but instead embodied the prevailing racial scientific logic at the time,” they write. 

“Later, some doctors wanted to push Black men to reform their aesthetic preferences. Valorizing voluptuousness in Black women, these physicians claimed, validated their unhealthy diets, behaviors and figures,” the authors added.

According to the essay, nowadays “The idea that weight is the main problem dogging Black women builds on these historically racist ideas and ignores how interrelated social factors impact Black women’s health.” 

“It also perpetuates a misinformed and damaging message about weight and health,” the essay continues. “Indeed, social determinants have been shown to be more consequential to health than BMI or health behaviors.”

Though doctors frequently “tell fat people that dietary control leading to weight loss is the solution to their health problems,” the authors maintain that “many studies show that the stigma associated with body weight, rather than the body weight itself, is responsible for some adverse health consequences blamed on obesity, including increased mortality risk.”

The essay declares that black women — regardless of income — frequently experience “weightism” on top of “sexism and racism.”

“From workplace discrimination and poor service at restaurants to rude or objectifying commentary online, the stress of these life experiences contributes to higher rates of chronic mental and physical illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety,” it states.

It also cites an opinion piece arguing that “bias against fat people is actually a larger driver of the so-called obesity epidemic than adiposity itself.” 

The essay also posits that “living in racially segregated, high-poverty areas contributes to disease risk for Black women” due to “a lack of potable water and higher levels of environmental toxins and air pollution” as well as featuring an abundance of fast-food chains “and a dearth of grocery stores offering more nutritious food choices.” 

According to the authors, by “blaming Black women’s health conditions on ‘obesity,’” they are ignoring “critically important sociohistorical factors.” 

“It also leads to a prescription long since proved to be ineffective: weight loss,” they write.

Additionally, the essay argues that initiatives to help people reduce weight are overwhelmingly unsuccessful:

Despite relentless pressure from the public health establishment, a private weight-loss industry estimated at about $70 billion annually in the U.S., and alarmingly high levels of body dissatisfaction, most individuals who attempt to lose weight are unable to maintain the loss over the long term and do not achieve improved health.

“This weight-focused paradigm fails to produce thinner or healthier bodies but succeeds in fostering weight stigma,” it adds.

The authors conclude by asserting that “the predominant reason Black women get sick is not because they eat the wrong things but because their lives are often stressful and their neighborhoods are often polluted.”

In response, many ridiculed the popular scientific magazine essay.

“If you focus on the unique challenges of obesity in particular groups, you’re racist. If you don’t, you’re racist because you’re erasing bodies of color and girth,” wrote professor and author Gad Saad.

“All roads lead to bigotry,” he added. “I’m allowed to say this because I used to be differently-weighted.”

“You know what seems way more racist? Ignoring science and common sense information that is literally killing people under the guise of protecting them from ‘racism!’” wrote Donald Trump, Jr. 

“Pretending that certain people are somehow immune to health issues associated with obesity seems sociopathic!!!” he added.”



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Friday, 24 March 2023

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