Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh Really: Black Women Avoid Exercise to Preserve their Hair

The Huffington Post covered a study that found that two of five African-American women avoid exercise because of concerns about their hair.

"To find out if women were putting hair above their health, the researchers surveyed 103 African-American women who came to the dermatology clinic at Wake Forest University in October 2007.

They found that more than half of the women were exercising for less than 75 minutes per week, which is less than the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.

That's also less than U.S. women on average, according to a 2007 study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found about half of all U.S. women were exercising close to 150 minutes per week.

More than a quarter of the women in the new study said they didn't exercise at all.

About a third of the women said they exercise less than they'd like because of their hair, and half said they have considered changing their hair for exercise.

McMichael and her colleagues found that women who avoided exercise because of their hair were almost three times less likely to meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. That finding, however, could have been due to chance."
Ignoring the survey methodology (this is hardly a representative sample) -- this can't be an actual thing, right?  There are women in this world who are more concerned about their hair than living a healthy lifestyle?  In the words of Mr. Oblaski, such an excuse is "one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard." I fail to see how this can even be considered an excuse especially when African-American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the U.S. 

I mean, to some degree, I get it.  I'm a black woman who has spent many hours (and dollars) at the salon on haircare.  But, a perfect hairdo will never be as important to me as getting exercise.  Then again, I guess it's a matter of priorities...

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