WASHINGTON — It was a matter of life or death, specifically hers, that motivated Star Jones to act.
The former TV talk-show host is waging a personal campaign that reflects an emerging priority among black women like her: finding ways to combat the high obesity rates threatening their health.
Federal statistics show that four out of five black women are overweight or obese. Among Americans overall, the rate is lower – nearly two out of three.
Black women in particular are beset by diets heavy on calorie-rich soul food and fears about how sweating during exercise affects their hairdos.
Jones had open heart surgery in 2010 at age 47 and once weighed 300 pounds. She advises black women to make simple changes, like limiting portions and exercising 30 minutes a day.