You'd have to be living under a rock not to have noticed that too many Americans are carrying an unhealthy amount of weight on their frames. More than 60 percent of us are either overweight or obese, leading to higher risks for many ailments and shortening our lives. And for African Americans the situation is dire: Nearly four out of five black women are considered to be overweight or obese, and in general, blacks are 1.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be obese.

If you think that's alarming, consider what's going on with our children. More than 22 percent of our youths between the ages of 6 and 17 are obese, 30 percent more than non-Hispanic white in that age range. If we plan to bequeath to them a longer life span than our own, we're headed in the wrong direction.

It's time to discuss solutions now and learn how each of us can learn a healthier way to live. That's why The Root is convening its Black, Fit & Healthy series of coverage and events.

Find more information about it on our Black, Fit & Healthy Series page.