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Loni Love Weight Watchers

Source: Noel Vasquez / Getty

On an episode of The Real this week, Loni Love, who is an ambassador, promoted the newest Weight Watchers weight loss program: myWW.

She showed people how it works, breaking down the point system that comes with her plan in a fun game with the co-hosts. Using examples of the types of meals she eats in a day, and the 36 points she’s allotted, the ladies guessed how much each plate of food would cost Loni in points. It was all lighthearted and entertaining, and then Loni got serious when she talked about how Weight Watchers helped her learn how to eat a lot better compared to early days growing up in Detroit.

“Let me tell y’all, I did not know how to eat,” she said as her voice started breaking and she shed tears. “Growing up in the projects, we just had to eat what we could. I know it sounds funny, but a lot of women in the African-American community, we don’t know how to eat because we grew up that way. So I’m trying to tell y’all, thank you to WW, because we wanted to do this to help our brothers and sisters — everybody, but I see y’all. I see y’all at my comedy shows and you’re like, ‘We need to get healthier,’  and that’s the reason we’re doing this. It’s just to make y’all aware of what’s happening in the community. You can eat and not starve and you can still lose weight. That’s the reason we’re doing this.”

While a video of the moment was shared online to more so comment on co-host Amanda Seales’s confused facial reactions, most people were stuck on Love’s comments. There were some people who took issue with them, saying that she was generalizing her issues into a Black women’s issue, or just a Black people problem, when it’s bigger than that. Those individuals weren’t pleased and made that known on Twitter, where her name started trending early Thursday.

“Loni has a deep rooted issue with black people and blackness in general that needs to be addressed. every chance she gets she pathologizes black behavior. case in point saying black people don’t know how to eat & ignoring the standard AMERICAN diet is unhealthy.”

“loni is forever projecting her personal issues as ‘black Issues’ just because you didn’t know what healthy eating was doesn’t mean all black women don’t”
“It’s not that black people don’t know how to eat it’s about the lack of access. Research Food deserts sweetie.”
There were people who did agree with Loni, though. Some remarked that it’s true that many of their healthy eating habits were fostered in childhood and by lack of accessible options.
“Loni ain’t lying though. My neighborhood literally has NO healthy options unless it’s delivery. We lucked out with Grubhub and Hello Fresh. But back in the day? Please!”
“She’s right though. African Americans don’t know how to eat. Our diet has been a struggle. Which leads to many health issues for us.”
“Loni was right, growing up poor, you don’t know any better. Y’all are purposely missing the point, because y’all just don’t like Loni.”

I personally have both grown up in a middle-class household and also lived at one point in a poorer area and can attest to the fact that, yes, if you don’t know how to balance your favorite foods with your guilty pleasures and don’t know where to get better options, you can find yourself in an unhealthy state. We did eat vegetables with dinner as a kid, but that’s about it. Healthy diet choices weren’t necessarily pushed growing up (my mom literally would sell candy to us that we used our allowance to buy). And when I started exercising more and doing my research as an adult, despite living in an area with very few options for a time pre-gentrification, when I did go to the store, I knew to get healthy options. I started buying salads, frozen vegetables, fruits and more, and thought about carbohydrates and added sugars. Knowing better does help you do better.

All that being said though, that is an issue for a lot of Americans as mentioned, as opposed to just Black people, but we are more at risk of obesity. The CDC reports that non-Hispanic Blacks have the highest prevalence of obesity, then Hispanics, followed by non-Hispanic whites and then non-Hispanic Asians. So cut Loni some slack, because while she may not have said it in a sugarcoated way, she did have a point this time.

Check out her comments for yourself below, specifically around the 6:35 mark:

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