1.13.2013

Close...but no cigar

So I was online at work the other day, when I came across this article from Reuters:
Overeating, lack of health insurance access and comparatively high poverty are among the many reasons why Americans are less healthy and die younger than people in other wealthy countries, a report requested by the U.S. government showed on Wednesday.

The United States spends more per person on healthcare than any other nation but lags on many important health measures amid higher rates of obesity and heart disease and worse infant mortality rates than other rich countries.

The 404-page report by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, which provide advice to U.S. policymakers, compared the health of Americans to that of people in 16 other rich countries. They included Canada, Japan, Australia and 13 western European countries including Britain, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

"Americans are dying and suffering at rates that we know are unnecessary, because people in other high-income countries are living longer lives and enjoying better health. What concerns our panel is why, for decades, we have been slipping behind," said Steven Woolf, a medical professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who led the panel that produced the report.


Americans overall fared the worst among the countries in the report when it came to nine areas: infant mortality; injury and homicide rates; teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; HIV infection and AIDS; drug abuse; obesity and diabetes; heart disease; lung disease; and disabilities.

"No single factor can fully explain the U.S. health disadvantage," the researchers said.

The report, sought by the U.S. government's National Institutes of Health, underscored what health experts have long known: Americans on average die younger than people in other rich countries and are in poorer health for much of their lives.

Two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight or obese. The report also noted that Americans on average consume more calories than people in most similar countries and have lower physical activity levels.

The United States also has a higher infant mortality rate than the other countries, with 32.7 deaths per 100,000, the report showed. Most similar countries have infant mortality rates between 15 and 25 deaths per 100,000.

"The U.S. health disadvantage has multiple causes and involves some combination of inadequate healthcare, unhealthy behaviors, adverse economic and social conditions, and environmental factors, as well as public policies and social values that shape those conditions," it said.
So far, so good right? Wrong. Because as soon as you go to the article itself, here's the very first thing you see:


Mm-hm.  How come they never use white people for articles like these?  Black women make about 6% of the American population.  So if two-thirds of America - a whopping 66%  - is experiencing a weight crisis, why aren't more white faces being shoved down our throats, along with all the glowing white mothers and their shiny families, all the bony white models/actresses/singers, and all those one-dimensional alpha white heroes?

Articles like these don't promote health or inspire change in anyone because when you see that image first and then read the article, all a (non-black female) person reads is, "Black women are fat.  This article is really about fat black women; the writer's just trying to be nice by using the word 'Americans' instead of 'black women'.  These statistics and issues have nothing to do with me; I don't stuff my face with fried chicken all the time, or soul food of any kind.  And I don't care about fat black women - being fat and unhealthy is their problem, not mine."

10 comments:

  1. What, a photo of Honey Boo Boo's whole family couldn't be found? Shyt, nearly every U.S. food spot show on the Travel Channel is chuck full of hefty White people.

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    1. Right?????? And Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives makes my flesh crawl. Fiero's out there promoting these restaurants which make THE unhealthiest food I have ever seen.

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  2. And in other news, water is wet and UV rays can cause cancer.

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  3. Do White society think that were when it comes to knowing who the target audience is?

    I was just thinking about this whole thing about weight and how it came about. All of this stuff is recent. When I was growing up,I didn't recall most of my peers and elders dealing with this. During my grandparents and parents, people weren't as big as they are today. Especially with my grandmother's time, if you had money you had good food and when I say good food I mean eating from the garden or eating chicken from the coop instead of having all of those weird preservatives in them.People walked more as some had to rely on more manual means for transportation(eg walking,horses)Even those people who were poor ate better and worked harder than they do today.You don't see too many obese elderly people and in comparison to the young they are healthier.

    Besides media's attempt to make fun out of Black people,I also see this as their way of making it a hopeless Black person's disease.Like you said they'll use a Black face to make their point. While I was looking at this story, I was also thinking about the what ifs of life..in this case, what if the White man wouldn't have introduced African slaves to their diet?Most Africans I know (my ex included) are healthy and eat well. The ones that I came across, no matter what of Africa they came from, ate more veggies, rice and fish. Some may eat an occasional sweet, but overall not a lot.You also don't find a lot of obese or unhealthy Africans as well.If they want to go there with African Americans,they should have looked at a study done about Black Hebrews Israel vs here.I wish I would have kept it.It was 10 year old or older study, but it was said that they were far healthier than Americans in part because of how they ate but you'll never hear about that.

    I agree with you guys in mentioning about them focus king on only Black women with this issue.I know I've seen my share of White women like this as well as petite Black women and being Southern, you'll see a little more of them. The real problem about obesity is that it isn't our problem. Because of the chemicals in our foods, the fast foods, the fatty oils, sugars and lack of real exercise is why we're paying it.The real problem with obesity is that we live in a society that thrives on taking the easy way out of life. Compared to most of the world, American society tend to take the easiest, but harmful way out of everything.

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  4. Well, you know that both black and white people seem to get a lot of pleasure out of the stating that all black women are fat, and I've seen many black people state the false statistic that 80% of black women are fat (never the men, never non-black people).
    It's funny, b/c as a black woman who actually IS fat, in my black circles and in my family, I'm an outlier. Most of my friends and relatives are not in fat and never have been.
    But this is just one more thing that let's people bash black women, and honestly, it's something I've noticed other black women will use to show "i'm not one of THOSE kinds of black women."
    I think it is also popular b/c it let's people who don't like black women present one more reason not to like them, and it supports the whole "black women are ugly" meme that is so popular now.

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  5. America loves a scape goat and since the Obama's took office black women have become their favorite punching bags.

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  6. they are making obesisty a black woman problem the same way they made welfar a black woman's problem. To make the white public angry and resentful towards black women instead of toward the root of the problem. The Food and drug industry has been feeding us fake food for the past generation. All of the tax dollars go to highways and the price of gas is kept artificially low both of which contribute to suburban sprawl and reliance on automobiles instead of walking/biking/public transit.

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    1. @Modest-goddess, the sad this is that a LOT of black people enjoy circling the wagons and joining in on the bashing. I don't understand it. But I've seen a lot of black women give their "stats" before they jump into the discussion.

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    2. Cause they want to be the special negro who is different from the rest so they can brag about doing the bare minimum like going to college, not going to jail, not abandoning their children. Is being skinny really that much of an accomplishment in their life?

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