[Editor’s note: The following article was originally published in The Final Call newspaper, Vol. 10, No. 15, July 22, 1991, as the first installation of a special five-part series on health (“The War Against Obesity (Fat)”) penned by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. This is the first excerpt from part 1 of that series.]

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

I am asking every member of the Nation of Islam and every member of the Black Nation and elsewhere to join me in declaring war on OBESITY (FAT).

Allah (God) hates obesity.  Yet, in every efficient society on Earth today, those who live easy lives and even those who are poor, are found to be carrying excessive weight.


This memorandum is not to be seen as an attack on people who are obese (fat), but it is an attack on FAT itself.  This unwanted FAT is legislating death to the entire Black Nation and any other human being who is overweight.

The body must, of necessity, have a certain amount of fat.  However, to eat as we are eating and to put in our bodies the kinds of poisons that we are ingesting, is to act in diametric opposition to the Law of Life itself.

Too much FAT in the body is an accumulation of swill (garbage).  EXCESSIVE FAT is an enemy and we must take it as an enemy.  The first casualty of FAT is physical appearance, which it utterly destroys.  It literally distorts the human form, leaving almost no area of the body untouched. 

It makes a home in the face, the jaws, the chin, neck, upper back, lower back, arms, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, even the wrists, ankles and feet—wherever it can find a resting place, it settles and cripples the useful muscles and organs of the body.

This unnecessary, unwanted, excess fat, gathers around the veins and arteries.  It also clogs the veins and arteries, making it difficult for the blood to flow, carrying life-giving fluid to all parts of the body.  It causes the heart to overwork itself. 

Eventually, this overworking of the heart makes the arteries stiff and brittle.  To meet the increased workload, the heart may add muscle fibers, which places an additional burden on it until it is simply unable to continue and fails.  

Heart disease is the Number One kill in America.  Statistics indicate that heart disease is 3 to 5 times more common among people with hypertension (high blood pressure).  Black people suffer hypertension twice as much as Whites. 

Obesity is a primary contributor to hypertension and where there is hypertension there is heart attack and death, as well as four times the risk of stroke and damaged kidneys.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us a method of How To Eat To Live.  The scholars and scientists of nutrition are now being witness that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was far ahead of the entire world of medical science on proper diet and eating habits (one meal a day).

It is written in the Scriptures of the Bible, that Jesus said, “I come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.”  But is this the case?  In addition to murder and other forms of domestic violence, the Black Nation is dying from all manner of disease.

It would be difficult to find a case of a Black man or woman who lived a long, healthy life and actually died of “natural causes.”  Instead, the Black community is disproportionately plagued with death from heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and diabetes.  According to insurance statistics, more than 75 percent of the entire adult population in America has some type of degenerative disease.

Even when we live beyond the age of 50 or 60, it is a life of agony: crippling arthritis, indigestion, colds, flu, constipation, allergies, sinusitis, headaches, back aches and painful swelling in the joints, are a part of our daily lives. 

Chronic fatigue, false teeth, reading glasses, premenstrual syndrome, menstrual cramps, hair loss, varicose veins and wrinkles are actually unnatural and unnecessary conditions that are considered normal in today’s society.

These complaints are now being suffered by children from the age of four years old, because of improper diet and unhealthy family relations.

In the midst of all of this misery, do we really know the Jesus who promised us abundant life, when we are experiencing just the opposite?

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to us that His Teacher, The Great Mahdi, Master Fard Muhammad, to Whom praise is due forever, came to free us from the bondage of sin, ignorance and disease.  It is written in the Bible that God would come to seek and to save that which was lost;

He would come to a foolish people who, due to their folly, are despised and rejected; and He would choose them to be His people and He would be their God, Saviour, Redeemer, Deliverer and Restorer.

To be continued in an upcoming edition of The Final Call