A student film "The Plus Side" looks at changing approaches toward obesity.
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -
Obesity is an issue that isn't new to the African-American female community.
According to the 2011 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38.1 percent of African-American females are obese and 44.1 percent of African-American females suffer from hypertension.
Living in the South, it is not uncommon for one to enjoy household staples such as fish and grits, fall-off-the-bone ribs and stuffed chicken. It's also not uncommon for vegetables in the South to be fried or served minimally with the hopes that it will taste more similar to the hamhock or turkey meat that is inside of the pot. Luckily, attitudes toward food are changing.
After dealing with years of obesity myself, I decided to take the first step to alleviate a southern stereotype by launching a documentary entitled "The Plus Side". It explores the positive and negative effects of living a plus-size lifestyle as an African-American female.
So, how do African-American women cope with obesity? Do they embrace it or manage it?
Within the documentary, plus-size, African-American women talk about embracing fitness and making healthy choices.
Three particpants discuss nutrition and fitness in the film. Davena Jordan, the chief operating officer of All Walks of Life Inc., has put an end to her weight problems by switching to a vegetarian diet and encouraging her family to do the same. Their household has lost a total of more than 100 pounds.
Dynastie Huston, a senior at Savannah State University, has recently started the road to weight loss and has lost more than 20 pounds, which is encouraging for her future modeling career.
Others have seen success with fitness programs. Preserve the Curves, which is a Savannah fitness group that focuses on size 12 and up in order to help them build healthier and happier lifestyles. Erik Beard, CEO of the Curvy Girl Bootcamp workshops, said he has a 75 percent success rate with his program. He offers classes every day for local females, in order to advance their knowledge of weight loss through lifestyle changes that includes the changing of eating habits as well as adding fitness back into their lifestyle.
Obesity is a subject in the African-American community that continues to be described using words such as "thick" or "phat" when referring specifically to African-American women. Attitudes toward obesity are changing, especially with the new approaches toward nutrition and fitness.
The goal of "The Plus Side" is to ask you: What is the plus side, to the plus size?