Black Women’s Denial About Being Overweight Brought to Light by ABC Show


822xBy: Krystle Crossman

Twenty-five year old Chantell was featured on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss. She weighed in at 327 pounds. While most would think that she does not look healthy, her family sings a different tune. They believe that she looks just fine as she is. This of course is coming from a family that is full of diabetics and other obesity-related problems.

Chantell’s mother was always the first one in the family to tell her that she didn’t need to lose weight. She told her as long as she wasn’t out of breath she was fine and didn’t need to go to the gym. Her other influence was her boyfriend. He kept telling her that he didn’t want her to lose the weight because he didn’t want her to lose her [email protected] and her “behind”. Wow. Fortunately for Chantell (and her health) they are now broken up.

Chantell grew up always having to save and rescue the older women in the family. Finally during the show she told her mother that she was taking time to focus on herself and not others and her mother actually grimaced at this. She began crying when it was mentioned that Chantell would be going to college because she never got to do it. It seems she was trying to hold Chantell back from her dreams in order to not feel badly about her own life.

Despite these challenges and family obstacles, Chantell remained determined throughout the show. She is now 185 pounds. She took the challenge seriously and has worked hard to drop the 142 pounds thus far. ABC is being applauded for bringing to light that four out of five black women are overweight. There needs to be a change in the denial about the thought that being severely overweight is healthy and normal.



  1. Malika CutebutCrazy Flowers on

    I'm not going to argue the numbers, but I understand. I started out as a size 14 and got down to a size 10 with hopes to lose more and I still hear people go "but you look fine!" Its not just about weight loss, its also about being healthier overall. I think that in the black community, we had to work so hard to accept ourselves as we are, that we forget to make positive changes when they are necessary.


  3. I believe black women should only lose weight if it is a health issue or if they really want to lose the weight. Not because white society is trying to project their image on us. The best thing about a black women is her self-esteem. Black women do not let their weight stand in the way of anything. Sisters please do not lose that.

  4. Adrienna Turner on

    Yes I pray my sis is next and don't have to get on a show to lose it. Love her. Her breasts was always big even skinny at 13.

  5. Good for you! Congratulations. When I was young with that “banging” body, that’s all I heard was “girl, you don’t need to lose any weight.” Now at 57 years old, I am pre-diabetic, morbidly obese at 215 lbs with metabolic syndrome and hyerlipidimia (fat in blood stream). So while that all “looks good” today, in the long wrong, it is going to affect your health. Smart girl to figure out what she needs to do for herself. Go Chantell, go.

  6. This is one of those problems in the Black community that people just cannot face. When people hear something like 4/5 Black women are obese, no one wants to listen because everyone is looking at South Florida and California and ignoring the upper midwest and the south where most Black people live and as a man who looks at Black women out of habit, its true. Some people say you should only lose weight if you want to or due to a health problem, not even realizing that we need to change the cultural belief. You live a healthy lifestyle to avoid the health problems. It isn't about White people trying to make us look a certain way, it's about us not being the marketing magnets for liquor and fast food, about us being more profitable as a community because when you run a cleaner system, you think clearer, you have more energy, your cost for food and clothes and healthcare and medication all decrease dramatically. There is more stuff you can do, more places you can go. Your not as limited as you are when your lugging around 50+ lbs of just dead weight. Your either driving in your life or along for the ride, and if your not taking control of your health first and foremost, your ruining the best shot at the most controllable thing in your life.

  7. This isn't about White women, we need to fix and address our house and stop worrying so much about other people.

  8. We have to learn to take constructive criticism and not turn everything into a racial statement. If you need to lose weight, you need to lose weight, hispanic women are probably at greater risk too. Honestly, if you look to your left or to your right you may see that those numbers sound right. I’m especially concerned with the number of younger females and girls that are overweight and out of shape compared to the norm when I was growing up back in the day. And it’s easy to do in the world of fast food and disposable income. Let’s not let denial put us in a health risk category.

  9. I hope they also address the increase in the number of college stufents with bulimia (eating large amounts of food then gorcing yourself to vomit) and the related health problems, including osteoporosis which can be fatal and affects thin white women. Most of what causes diseases associated with obesity are related to unhealthy diets and lack of exercise that causes some people to gain weight. If obesity caused diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension there woukd not be thin people with those diseases and there are obesity is also a bi-product of unhealthy eating and lack of activity in many cases, but in other cases people are fat because of genes and even when they lose weight they aren't thin. But we kive in a thin-obsessed society where fat people are despised, food that is high in calories and low in nutritional value is cheap and healthy and nutritious food is not, and where there is a multibillion dollar weight loss industry.

  10. OVERALL WHITE WOMEN WORKOUT AND ARE A LOT HEALTHIER LOOKING THEN BLACK WOMEN ,I'm sorry to tell you this no matter what gym I have gone to the white women are in there fit and tone as ever,then I look over on the stationary cycle and see some FAT OR PHAT black woman reading a book.FAT WITH A HAIR WEAVE IS HUGE these day's!

  11. can you support that with some type of finding done by black scientist's or something else.because right now what you have stated is not true.people can only control you if you allow them to,so Black women make their own choices based on what they know and how they feel ,just like Black Men do.I workout everyday because I LOVE ME,and like NAS said "do your body right and it loves you back"…

  12. Amanda Robertson
    Hahahaha. Interesting because most black women in my neighborhood and workplace are under 150 pounds. In addition, when I am out at the store and so forth I see just as many fat ass white chicks all around me and yet there's no intense observation on fat ass white chicks. As a matter of fact, when my mother was hospitalize with blood clots I remember the black employees were very thin and the white employees were OVERWEIGHT. And no, this is not something I am making up. I even brought that up to my mom about how there is a notion about white women being oh so health conscious and yet the black women were the ones who were tone and in shape. Go figure. I guess you people are too fucking busy obsessing over blacks, picking apart blacks, and any and everything negative for the sake of your evening chatter. GTFOH!

  13. Are you kidding me! A study focusing SOLELY on the so-called faults of the precious white woman? Oh Geneva you must be dreaming. No, no darling. You see this type of shit is only reserve for black people. Don't you know by now? We're FAAAAAASINATING, like animals in a cage for white people to constantly gawk at.

  14. THANK YOU! I'm black and I am not overweight and I workout 4 times a week. I'm 116 pounds. My black female friends all WORK OUT! My mother works out. Majority of the black women in my workplace are thin. So, I am trying to grasp this so-called reality of obese black women who are over populating the country. Really? Because the last time I checked, it was WHITE WOMEN who represented the majority of obesity in this country.

  15. I think there is something wrong with me. I mean I find these voluptuous beautiful and robust women very sexy and enjoy making love to them and will seek them out! I am very much aware of the labels like, chubby chasers, two tons of fun, etc, etc. But I still enjoy these women a lot!

  16. I feel like self esteem has a lot to do with it. I say that because a lot of men actually do not like when black women are skinny so many black women keep weight on even if it is a problem to their health. I understand if you are already small in the waist, but many are big in the waist which brings in weight in the butt and breast area.
    If they lost weight they would not have a butt or breast so they decide to keep it. Look at all the related deaths, due to butt injections. Our women are being objectified and feel like if they do not conform then they will be alone. Self esteem and dealing with real men will be crucial for black women to be healthy because they need validation. What is going on with these men because a lot of these black women are messed up because the men is out of order and is not fulfilling their role. A lot of these men are obsessed with hip hop ideology of objectifying women and reducing them to a meal. And then wonder why so many are messed up. When men realize they are kings then they will realize there are queens.

  17. As black people, no one is going to take care of us, but us. We need to care about our health, and the stats are very real – diabetes, hypertension, etc. I am not say we need to be at the gym everyday or eat rabbit food all day. We need to take care of us, whatever that means to you! On that note, I am out the door going on my 1 hour walk/hike!. Doing what is good for my body – physically and mentally! Have a blessed day!

  18. Thokozile??? what kinda name is that?? but anyway. do u know how much money the US would save if obese ppl didn't have so many health problems. even the NFL is trying to make sure kids get exercise for 60 mins a day.

  19. Hip and butt are overrated!!! they are usually one meal away from obesity. Our bodies were not meant to carry excessive weight. What might be appealing on the outside, is tearing up the insides. Our men want big butts and big hips, for their egos. Why are African American women sacrificing their health for them. Take care of yourself. Once you lose all that weight, you’ll sleep better, focus better, be more patient, listen better, get rid of allergies, clothes with fit better, you’ll have more choices in clothing, you’ll have more self confidence, you’ll set better examples for your children, and or family members. It goes on and on.
    My stepdaughter, lives in New Orleans. 15 yrs old. She weights almost 300 pounds, is pre diabetic, and her thought process is “I don’t care”. Which is very sad to me. If I was her mother, she never would have had the opportunity to get fat. I believe in eating vegetables, fruit, i don’t eat fried foods, or fast foods, i juice, i exercise, and my son was exposed to eating healthy. I was able to plant that seed in my sons mind. Being healthy is a state of mind, it’s a desire to want to be you’re best. Again hips and but are overrated

  20. I will say this…that number may or may not be accurate but what is accurate is the fact i see more overweight women then not. I did not need this article to tell me that. When i go to the gym which almost daily at random times of all the women there maybe 1or 2 percent are black. When i go outside and see women or walking for a work out the number is the same or less. Id say maybe not four out if five but certainly 3.

  21. China Washington on

    I believe there is a lot truth in the numbers just take a look around. It doesn't take genius to figure out that there is a problem with a lot of people being overweight period. Some women are led to believe that they are just thick. Caring around all that extra weight is not good. You will definitely start to see a change in your health.

  22. I live in a community where the majority of black women are overweight and obese. Thin black women are becoming an anomoly in the black comminity and its sad. In fact i took today to get my hair done…nearly every woman in ths salon is obese. We’ve got to do better black women….and please leave jennifer hudson, mo’nique and all the other black women who have accomplished great weight losses and leave the thin black women alone stop trying to feed us stop and stop telling us we need to eat a sandwich or a burger we dont eat junk food because we want to remain a healthy weight and we dont want to be overweight or obese.

  23. Kizzy Kingdom-Kqueen Bradford on

    Just because your over weight doesn't make you unhealthy. I'm over weight but have no other problems.. it's people who are the so called ideal weight that have more health problems then me.. I'm 5'3 and according to the standards I should only weigh about 120 on the high end.. I would never try to get that small.. now I am taking control off my weight and tryin to get it off but its for me not to be what society think I should.. I just want to be around to see my kids grow up and maybe my greatgramd kids.

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