An influencer who advertises herself as The Black Nutritionist, Dr. Kera Nyemb-Diop, said nutrition standards were racist in an Instagram post on Friday.
Dr. Nyemb-Diop posted a series of photos in a single post with the statement, “Diet culture is harmful for the Black community,” accompanied by relatively common health-oriented tips a nutritionist may recommend, including, “You need to eat less of the seasoned cultural foods to be healthy,” “Swap your white rice for cauliflower rice,” and “You can’t eat mac and cheese and have a ‘healthy’ lifestyle.”
The last three photos in her post appeared to be her own commentary with text reading, “Not today colonizer, you’re not getting the same speech from me.” The final text image insisted, “This is a safe space for black women to shed the anxiety and guilt.” The post finally informed users to sign up for Dr. Nyemb-Diop’s email list.
“What’s the worst diet you’ve ever tried?” Nyemb-Diop asked in the caption of her Instagram post, which read:
Y’all, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been called “unnecessary: or “divisive”, I’d be sitting on a money pile lol But it’s always a Betty or a Karen who make these comments without looking around: nutritional standards are racist and excludent. Always leaving the foods of the global majority out of the conversation doesn’t sit right with me.🙅🏾♀️ Diet culture is dangerous, especially for marginalized bodies who think this “ideal” is a skinny white woman who doesn’t eat carbs and sticks to a ‘Mediterranean’ diet. It fills our heads with shame and guilt for enjoying cultural foods that not only nourish our belly but our SOUL. Food is the love language across cultures, it’s the way we communicate. ❤️ Don’t sacrifice that for a whitewashed system. You can heal your relationship with food sis. ✨ And if you are looking for a place to dive deep into your nutrition journey with other black women who just get it, without judgment… come join my coaching program. Tap the link in bio to learn more.
The Black Nutritionist is “a culturally relevant nutrition platform created to empower Black women to better nurture and connect with their bodies,” which “[provides] coaching services, resources to help them cultivate a positive relationship with food and improve eating habits, and of course, reclaim Black food culture,” according to Dr. Nyemb-Diop in a Forbes interview this past June. Dr. Nyemb-Diop developed The Black Nutritionist shortly after George Floyd’s death in May 2020, according to her statement in the interview.
“I felt the need to use my talent and contribute to the collective effort required to heal, empower, and celebrate my community,” she said.
Dr. Nyemb-Diop currently works for Mondelēz International and has been employed as the company’s Senior Scientist, Nutrition & Ingredient Research since 2016, according to her LinkedIn profile. Mondelēz International is a Chicago-based multinational company that owns products like Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, Sour Patch Kids, Belvita and a range of other snack food brands.