Engage: Is being fat really what black women want?
A recent article in the New York Times suggested that black women are overweight by choice.
May 14th, 2012
12:50 PM ET

Engage: Is being fat really what black women want?

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Opinion: Social, environmental factors play role in increased number of women of color who are overweight  - Time, in response to this article

Profile: Chess champ may be the next Bobby Fischer - National Public Radio

University of Southern California honors interned Japanese students with degrees - The Los Angeles Times

Opinion: Injustices remain with NYPD's stop and frisk program - The New York Times

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soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Jackie

    Black women are only overweight by choice in so much as laziness is a choice 😉

    May 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kellee

      I rather be overweight by choice than choice to kill myself by going to the tanning salon to get darker while developing cancer in the process. I can't wait until these stupid young white girls find out what tanning really does.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. andrew

    you can not be fat and still have curves; no way!

    May 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Glen

    As an African-American man, I would say that Black women don't want to be fat. But, they don't want to do anything about it, either. My sister retired in her early fifties. She has no kids at home and has nothing but time on her hands, I am older than her and I still work. I work-out regularly and I value exercise and dieting. I asked my sister "Why don't you start a work-out routine?" She told ne " I am NOT going to exercise.." She has balloned to over 200 lbs. Now, she is just beginning to have blood-pressure issues.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • C. Lopez

      Glen speak for yourself if you are black. Self hating is written all over you. I bet you haven't seen the inside of a gym or a track in years. What makes you or anyone else an authority on black women. When someone lumps all black men in one category, lazy, baby daddy with seversl baby mommas, crack smoker, I can go on and on I'm sure they are talking about you. Why do you want to engage in putting black women down. So sad.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • lopez smopez

        Why don't you chill out bro, he just said he regularly works out and values dieting.

        May 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jason

        Don't be mad because he speaks the truth. Most of you are lazy. Don't sweat or even go for a swim because you all are afraid of getting your weaves, wigs, or perms messed up..lol

        June 7, 2012 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Leigh

    I have always admired black women. Their men are pretty worthless and they end up raising the children so why not eat and drink what you want? The women have a strong support system in each other and their church. They laugh, enjoy food and hold one another up when times are bad. I don't see much wrong with that other than becoming too fat because that can kill you.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Solo

      You "admire" the generations that live on welfare benefits?

      May 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jneuy

      makes a lot of sense.. You got left by your man so eat horribly, ruin your health, drain the health care system, live with no energy and pass on bad habits to your kids! Great idea

      May 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eve Summers


    May 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 1-2

    yes if your from NYC and you work your way south you will find the women are alot bigger the further south you go, but the guys seem to like it too i dont get it. Its sad because i see it as laziness. Its easier to give up and let go especially when they get past a certain weight plain and simple. Black men we exercise and play sports we stay pretty fit. I see white people jogging all day long black women really dont seem to care about that, but to be fair they probably have way more to worry about then your average black man or white women and less time for relaxation let alone exercise.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lois

      Are you serious have you been to any mall USA and just looked the people in it, America is fat, black, white ect. this entire country is becoming overweith. When is the last time any of you watched the Biggest Loser, these are mostly white people and when they have the tryouts for these shows there are miles of very, very fat poeple of all colors in these line and well over 300 pounds. Stop hating on one group of this sad problem that we are just becoming a very fat country

      May 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • 1-2

        I guess having an opinion is being a hater nowadays whatever i think about it as tough love. Growing up in a predominantly black neighborhood and now living in a white neighborhood, i see alot of differences, its just a truth i recognize. I dont think all black women are fat and lazy i just don't think they care about their weight. Like i said earlier its probably because they are busy working and raising a single family unlike most white women or black men.

        May 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ms. Rotunda Fat thang

    I love to eat. and i love to eat fried chicken, fried french fries, fried catfishes, or anything fried. Just put some breading on it and fry it in a wad of lard and i'll eat it.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. slimjim

    It's a cultural thing.

    Some people like being fat, others like people that are fat. A buddy of mine has a massive obsession with fat women. If the woman wasn't fat, he wasn't interested. I suppose something like this is going on in African rooted cultures... It's nothing but a cultural perception of what is considered beautiful.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Buela Lakeesha Plumperbut

    My dress size be 28 and that be wen I am on a diet.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Short answer yes. It’s cultural.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Solo

    They want a "fat" check from the government every month.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. patrick

    I like cushion for the pushin. No shame in my game.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fa4ssbbw

    There is a community that although taboo by most social standards – does have an appreciation for the Big Beautiful Woman (BBW) and the Super Size BBW (SSBBW), and within this community, there are Fat Admirers (FA) who appreciate the special brand of beauty offered by both BWs and SSBBWs. Within that community are many women (and men) of all colors that enjoy being, and/or evolving into being BBW or SSBBW. FA's have a preference for BBWs and SSBBWs, and there are women (of all colors) who enjoy being the object of FA appreciation. Some of us FA's even have a preference for 'extreme' SSBBWs (fa4ssbbw@yahoo.com) 😉 and converesely, there are 'extreme' SSBBWs who enjoy beng 'extreme' SSBBWs. To each his/her own, I suppose.....I don't think it's an issue that is racially exclusive.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The you need to review the statistics. Why do you even think there is an article about black woman and not Asian? Black women are disproportionately fat.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Infidel

    Impressive, but your racist post shows that you do not have a clue to what is going on.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lou Skunt

    And the woman in the picture is definitely overweight. Anyone who doesn't see that is probably, OVERWEIGHT!

    May 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Lou Skunt

    Of course some people want to be fat, some people can't help it. These people are food addicts. just like some drug addicts want to be drug addicts, they love the way the drugs make them feel. Of course, a large amount don't want to be drug addicts, but there is a minority that does. And to say ALL people don't want to be fat is crazy.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Your average overweight person is certainly not a food addict – they are just letting themselves go. As you age, it takes a lot more effort to maintain a lean frame, as it is somewhat natural to pack on pounds. Just look around you, or if you are over 40 (heck, it's even different over 30), you have personally experienced it. But an addiction? Please. You just sound like you're whining if you call it that.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mikeydaman

        Actually, Susan, I must disagree with you. And I speak from experience having been a former heavyweight myself at the age of 19 when I was pushing 220 lbs (and only 5 foot 7). Many overweight people DO have food addictions – they were not born with these addictions but they develop them due to poor choices (e.g. processed foods loaded with chemicals and other crap). I made poor choices as a kid and my weight started spiraling out of control as a teen (got worse when I started working fast food). Fortunately, when I became an adult I started developing better habits then eventually took up running. Now, a few marathons and half marathons later, I'm 43 and about 150-155. I no longer suffer from these addictions because I don't make the same choices I did as a kid. I feel for anyone who is struggling with weight, I know how tough it is. But it CAN be overcome.

        May 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • PF

        The word "addiction" gets thrown around a lot nowadays. Susan is't exactly wrong in saying most overweight people do not suffer from "food addiction" per se. It's one thing to develop poor habits that are difficult to break, and something completely different to become physically dependent on something. The fact is, most people do NOT develop physical dependency on fatty and sugary foods. They don't suffer true withdrawal when they stop eating said foods. They simply become so accustomed to eating these foods that they find it very difficult to change their dietary habits.

        May 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        Actually Mikeydaman, I must disagree with you. And I speak from experience having been dating a doctor for 6 years now. Susan is correct. The food addict as well as the gene and medical condition defenses are just excuses. People that really have these are extremely rare.

        May 16, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  17. Daisy

    A black woman wrote the original article. Nice rant, though.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Solo

      They think this because the statistics back up their views.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  18. killajo1960

    Really Folks? Sometimes, articles like this should be ignored. I know, I know. By the very fact I'm posting means I got sucked in too, but this article was written for no reason other than to get a rise out of people. The easiest fuse to light these days is still race-based. Anybody saying anything intelligent or thoughtful gets drowned out by the trolls. Nobody chooses to be less than ideal but some have come to grips that the ideal definition means something else. The lady in the picture is not fat.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  19. C. Lopez

    I'm missing something. I see a lot of obese white and hispanic women everywhere I go.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tmac

      I think they are trying to get a rise out of people. The Time Article that was attached to this sound off noted that obesity is a problem regardless of race. I think the difference is that some cultures accept a thicker woman more readily regardless of race.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Review the statistics. This article doesn’t say or imply ONLY black women are fat. God some of you people are stupid.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lulu

      You must be going to WalMarts.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Flora

    I think the article was done with a blatant oversight of natural body differences. It's a plain fact that most Black women are curvier (wide hips, larger chests) that white women & other races in general. If your ideal of "healthy", "thin", and "fit" is a svelte woman with small (if any) curves, 99% of Black women don't fit that and never will.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      I don't think that's true at all, unless there is maybe some thrifty gene at work for some people of African origin, similar to those of some Native American tribes. But barring that, I am sure this is simply cultural. Black women are no more likely to be fat that white women, and they surely don't have it tougher to keep fat off their bellies. Possibly this is different in America, but again, that is simply culture. African women – those who are in African countries – are not heavier than their European counterparts.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lulu

        Did you not read the article? It said 4 out of 5 black women are seriously overweight. It's not the same with other races.

        May 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Offthepink

        It's called Soul Food. That crap kept us alive as slaves (when a healthy man would be worked so hard he was as broken and feeble as a 90 year old in a period of only 15 years), but these days nobody works hard enough to stave off the ill effects it causes. It's way too high in fat, cholesterol and sodium...and the uninformed majority of the black community LOVES it.

        September 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Bet

    You do know that millions of white people voted for Barack Obama too, don't you? I think this blog is terrible, it's obviously racist, but don't make it worse by ranting about it. Anyone, black or white, can see that this blog was posted just to get people to fight with each other. Don't be part of it, be smarter than that.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daiva

      So not have any native miltiia. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order. Adolf Hitler. Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Benjamin Franklin.

      September 16, 2012 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  22. Bet

    it's really sad that CNN allows this divisive, racist trolling in its blogs.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kara

      I absolutely agree.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  23. MTNlife

    Wow, I thought racism in America was a thing of the past. Sad to see there are still so many narrow minded individuals in this country. I'd rather have a large body than a small mind....

    May 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • PF

      As if a fit body and a fit mind are mutually exclusive...

      May 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Flora

        They are. I graudate smartest person in my class, spent the past several years writing a novel, and am now teaching myself an Asian language.

        Or is all of that invalidated because of my spare tire?

        May 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Flora


        Typo, sorry.

        May 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • PF

        Perhaps a bit more educatioin could have taught you what "mutually exclusive" means.

        May 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • PF

        Without misspelling "education", of course.

        Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that there is no reason to not have both. I know the poster I originally replied to wasn't exactly trying to use a "large mind" as an excuse to not have a "small body". However, I have heard other people make that excuse.

        In answer to your question, no your accomplishments are not invalidated by your being overweight. That being said, those accomplishments don't give you an excuse to be overweight. That's simply your choice (and a bad one at that).

        May 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        Flora you just proved his point lol.

        May 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Delores McDonald

    I really can't believe some of the responses. What makes people think that all black people are on welfare. My father worked 3 jobs to take care of his family. I work full time 10 – 11 hours a day and take work home on the week ends.(guess i am lazy). My daughter just out of college works a full time job with overtime and has a part time job on the weekends. Guess she is lazy too. Good grief!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It’s not a secret. Look up the statistic genius. Blacks are both disproportionately on welfare and fat.

      P.S. your personal experience has no validity when discussing a nationwide percentage.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Really

    wow. so many racist comments....

    and if this was the other way around... white ppl would love anorexia?

    May 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Goku

    Man, I think I leveled that planet with my "hamehameha"

    May 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeywoodJablome

      You spelt it wrong, begins with a K. Kamehameha

      May 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Take A Stats Class

    White people make up 60% of welfare users...and 80% of the country. Black people make up 13% of the country and 30% of the welfare users. Ergo, a higher percentage of the overall black population is on welfare.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kam

      Still doesn't negate the fact that more Whites are on welfare and more tax dollars are going to support white people on welfare. The proportion thing is just some rule bending. The higher proportion of Blacks on welfare makes sense considering the fact that we've had systems in place that prevented wealth building among Blacks. One way that this country's past racism has hurt all of us. Personally I think financial literacy should be a required course from kindergarten.

      May 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Rotunda Lou

    Being fat helps the economy. I have to buy at least two 24pack rolls of toilet paper each week.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  29. The Miseducation of Charles Bubb-a

    I guess my last comment was restricted bc I called you by your true name, but the fact is, whites make up 61% of welfare recipients. You should do a little research. I think most people on welfare actually need it to live, not to be lazy. You probably get "belly money" each month yourself, huh?

    May 15, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Lulu

      The percentages those on welfare by race as of 2011 are listed below in descending order by percentage.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        Are your percentages based on total population by race or total population of those on welfare? It makes a huge difference.

        May 16, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  30. Charlie

    This is probably the dumbest question ever!!! No one wants to be fat, regardless of an individual's race. However, most black women do not buy into mainstream's idea of the "perfect" size being a size 2; black women take pride in their natural curves (i.e. hips and butt), but being fat has never been something ideal.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • pandorashope

      I concur!

      May 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tmac

      I'm white, but I agree with you. I embrace my natural curves. I could stand to loose a few pounds but nonetheless i think a size 2 on almost any body frame is to small.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • imuakali

        nicely said, i'm fit and I really appreciate women with "natural curves"and a few extra pounds that are happy in their own skin!

        May 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yowza

      VERY well-said and on point, Charlie.

      May 16, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  31. Randy Irelund

    Obesity is a lifestyle illness. So your asking, do black women want to be sick? Eating properly is a skill, and if you dont learn it then you suffer the consequenses. I think what you see is women being proud no matter who they are.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • pandorashope

      Well said.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • sane

      Nonsense. In this day and age, everyone knows, or should know that smoking is bad for you and so is being significantly overweight. A very small number of people have genetic issues with weight but by in large, it is a matter of lack of will to control intake and to exercise. I see successful people in affluent areas that are motivated to be fit. Black or White, the same case. Different clutures have different ideals. It just so happens that the Black culture is more accepting of being overweight. This is a BAD thing.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Karl

    I hate that being fat is associated with being lazy. The is a terribly unfair characterization. Some of the heaviest people I know are also some of the hardest working–working long hours to take care of their families.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • bigdumbdinosaur

      If that is so, then why are they fat? If one burns more calories than one eats then weight loss will occur.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  33. t3chsupport

    Some people DO want to be fat. It's a freaky fetish, really weird. One person has a fetish for feeding someone until they get so enormously fat that they are pretty much bedridden. That fat bedridden person has a fetish for being taken care of like a big, all consuming, blog.

    Google 'feeders'.


    May 15, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • NonSensical

      Ewww. I didn;t Google it, but I totally believe you.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |

    Look around you. Most of them are fat and they dress like it's a badge of honor. So yes, it's what they want.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  35. fiveliters

    Regardless of race/gender/etc., seriously...who do YOU know that "wants" to be fat?

    May 15, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |