Going the Distance for Black Women’s Health: Black Girls RUN!

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for healthylocsblog.com


We grew up in Tennessee and Georgia, where traditional southern spreads are the norm (in the middle of the week) and being “healthy” has two different meanings. When discussing obesity in the United States, these states are always at the top of the list. But the times are a changing and contrary to popular belief, obesity isn’t just a problem for the South. Obesity has become a nationwide epidemic. Cultural norms typically associated with the “Stroke Belt,” have spawned some very scary, but real statistics.

  • 23.8 percent of black girls ages 12-19 are over weight, compared to 14.6 percent of white girls the same age.
  • 51.6 percent of black women ages 20-74 are considered obese compared to 31.5 percent of white women.
  • About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8 percent) are obese.
  •  Approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of American children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese.
In 2009 we created Black Girls RUN!, to encourage African-American women to make fitness a priority and become a more health conscious society and subsequently aid in lowering the number of chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet. We wanted to dispel all the myths that we, along with other African-American women, had ever heard and believed. Like, being “thick” and “big-boned” were perfectly fine or having salon-fresh hair was more important than exercising and our personal favorite, black women don’t run (recreationally).
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