Black Women's Hair Is Not the Cause of Obesity

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell doesn't agree with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin that black women avoid exercising because of their hair.

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The Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell writes that Regina Benjamin, the surgeon general, gets it wrong about the reason some black women shy away from exercise. She says that some of it has do with socialization, while for others it boils down to economics.

Black women can't catch a break.

Lately, they've been criticized for everything from wearing weaves to weighing more than other racial groups.

Now, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, a black woman, is chiming in about the reason behind the higher obesity rates.

Benjamin, who has been criticized for being overweight herself, recently told the New York Times: "Oftentimes you get women saying, 'I can't exercise today because I don't want to sweat my hair back or get my hair wet.' I hate to use the word 'excuse' but that's one of them."

Benjamin's insight on this topic is considered credible because her mother was a hairstylist. Also, she is backed up by a study done by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in 2008. The study polled 103 black women in the North Carolina region and found that a third of them mentioned their hair as the reason they shied away from exercise. 

Read Mary Mitchell's entire column at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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