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One Billion People Overweight Worldwide


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are one billion people considered overweight or obese around the world. Increased consumption of more energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods with high levels of sugar and saturated fats, combined with reduced physical activity, have led to obesity rates that have risen three-fold or more since 1980 in some areas of North America, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, acording to the WHO.

In her book, Hungry for More: A Keeping it Real Guide for Black Women on Weight and Body Image, author Robyn McGee reveals that black women lead all American women in weight-related diseases such as certain cancers, hypertension and stroke, and that seven out of ten black women are considered overweight or obese.

“We are a community in crisis, but we are also a community in denial,” says McGee.

Lack of adequate health care, the absence of grocery stores that stock fresh fruits and vegetables in many minority communities, and the traditonal soul food diet are some of the reasons, McGee believes African Americans (including children) are suffering from hypertension and diabetes and other weight related diseases. “Fibriod tumors-also related to weight and diet- are also plaquing African American women, in addition to other ills.”

According to McGee, thousands of African Americans are undergoing gastric bypass surgery to win the battle of the bulge. And while gastric bypass operations and other such surgeries will result in dramatic weight loss, “unless you change what in your heart and mind along with your eating and exercising habits, you run the risk of gaining all the weight back,” McGee says.

Robyn McGee author of Hungry for More: A Keeping it Real Guide for Black Women on Weight and Body Image, foreword by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General. McGee will read/sign HUNGRY, Thursday, July 20, 2006 at Amazon Feminist Bookstore 4755 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. For info call, (310) 722-5058.


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