Why are so many black college students fat and sick? One-word answer: Racism

Why are so many black college students fat and sick? One-word answer: Racism

In the very memorable Mexican stand-off scene at the end of “Pulp Fiction,” a rank-amateur stick-up duo (played by Tim Roth and Amanda Plumber) attempt to heist a coffee shop one of whose customers is a bloodthirsty and menacing professional hit man named Jules (played by Samuel L. Jackson). When Plumber’s character, Yolanda, whose gun is trained on Jules, grows fidgety, Jules —who has her boyfriend in his own sights — admonishes her:

Yolanda, I thought you said you were gonna be cool. Now when you yell at me, it makes me nervous. And when I get nervous, I get scared. And when motherf**kers get scared, that’s when motherf**kers accidentally get shot.

According to a new study, some motherf**kers. when they get nervous, get fat. They overeat and, in so doing, develop lifestyle-related illnesses, including high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

As to what makes them nervous, that’s easy. It’s racism.

According to Red&Black, the student newspaper at the University of Georgia, visiting scholar Enrique Neblett, Jr., explained in a lecture this past week that according to his research on black college students and their mental health, racism is the catalyst to anxiety, depression, and ultimately overweight.

Enrique Neblett Jr
Enrique Neblett, Jr.

The article quotes Neblett as saying:

When African American youth are going to college and leaving home, their parents are no longer right there. Youth are thinking about their identity and may experience race discrimination for the first time. Experiencing racism might lead to compromised health. For example, some students will cope by eating fatty snacks.

The Daily Caller summarizes Neblett’s experiment as follows:

The study presented research subjects with scenarios involving annoying acts of racism (e.g., a black person getting skipped in a queue) and flagrant acts of racism (e.g., getting called a racial epithet). There were also control scenarios, like a trip to the supermarket.

Neblett said he measured the fight-or-flight reactions of his research subjects. It’s not clear how. But based on these responses, Neblett categorized people based on how their skin color and acts of racism made them feel.

There may be something to Neblett’s hypothesis, but he is omitting other well-documented factors that contribute to overweight and obesity among members of the black community as a whole. Chief among these is lifestyle choice, especially diet. According to research carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks tip the scale among ethnic groups when it comes to choosing what to eat:

Recent statistics show that up to 66% the US population is overweight or obese. These weight trends are even more pronounced among African Americans with 60% of African American men and 78% of African American women identified as overweight. In addition, 28.8% of men and 50.8% of African American women are considered obese.

The CDC chart below depicts these trends graphically. The data were gathered between 2005 and 2008. PIR stands for poverty income ratio, which is also a contributing factor to poor lifestyle choices.

Chart from CDC

Attempting to cure society’s ills by filtering them through a lens of racism has become a kneejerk reaction on the part of the left, but when personal health is at stake it carries with it the risk of failure. Here’s hoping the motherf**kers who are at risk get the message before it is too late.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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