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Jamaican Women and Obesity

Women who were comfortable with their weight and excused their obesity by hinting that they are fat because they have babies. They called it baby weight. It justified being overweight and obese. Cable television asserted that women like Demi Moore were having several children yet looked slim, healthy and fabulous. Women realized and conceded that children should not affect the way a woman looks or her weight.

 Jamaican women and Obesity

                  Eighty percent of Jamaican women (like most women of African descent) are overweight. Caribbean, Jamaican men do not appear to have a problem with their women being a little on the thick size.  But that has changed because women are more health conscious now than they were prior to the twenty first century (year 2000).

                        Before now, oversized women did not worry about getting a partner. Many obese and overweight women are married with children and live happy fulfilling life in Jamaica. According to an American man,

                       This complacency with their weight has been eroded over the years especially after the year 2000 when Jamaicans had greater access to cable television and the internet. The influx of numerous entertainment stations propounded the need for women to lose weight and reinforced the mantra of diet, weight and exercise that has all but consumed the world.

                        Women who were comfortable with their weight and excused their obesity by hinting that they are fat because they have babies. They called it baby weight.  It justified being overweight and obese. Cable television asserted that women like Demi Moore were having several children yet looked slim, healthy and fabulous. Women realized and conceded that children should not affect the way a woman looks or her weight.

                         The baby weight philosophy was thrown out the door and Jamaican women began to eat healthier. The soul food such as fried chicken with a big plate of rice and peas were thrown out the door.  Mothers cease to eat for two when pregnant (that was the excuse they gave for overeating when pregnant). Others decide to become vegetarian as a means of losing weight. In the morning, the streets are filled with women, who are exercising to lose weight.

                           Jamaican women have woken up to life threatening effects of obesity and have chosen a healthier way of life albeit the majority of women especially from the lower socio-economical classes are unable to purchase health foods because they are very expensive.  The cultural ideology of eating this big plate of food to demonstrate that one’s home is financially stable and that the family is not going hungry is not entirely obsolete.   It is a spin off from African ancestral notion that the more weight a woman carries is indication that she is living an easy life and that she is well fed. The concept of being a hungry belly is not a description that a Jamaican would like to have hurled at him.  

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  1. Thanks for post

  2. Obesity is one of the worse problems in the world..

  3. hmmm I see

  4. We have so many overweight people, both men and women. It’s so unhealthy and costs so much healthwise.

  5. very informative article

  6. does anyone knows a place that speak to those persons who are obese and try to help them to lose the weight? the private persons aver VERY COSTY!

    Im jamaican and live in jamaica

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