This map shows the obesity rate of African American adults in the United States according to the CDC. According to this map 40 out of 50 states have obesity rates higher than 30%.(http://www.examiner.com/article/the-growing-threat-of-obesity-for-african-americans)
I am sure there are many Americans that can relate to more than one racial or ethnic background, me being on of them. My mother is of mixed Caucasian decent and my father is Japanese and African American. In most situations society makes us choose one race to identify ourselves, and if an APB were put out on me I would be identified as African American or black. So that is why I chose the health disparity of obesity in African Americans. If a person has a BMI over 25 they are considered overweight and a BMI over 30 is obese. America as a whole is in the middle of a huge obesity epidemic, but African Americans, especially women, have much higher percentage rates. A person who is obese is at a higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, depression, some types of cancers, and others problems. These are all reasons that African American men have higher mortality rates then any other group in America. According to the Office of Minority Health 4/5 Afro-American women are overweight or obese and were 70% more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic white women; young girls were 80% more likely to be overweight. Overall African Americans were 1.4 times more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic whites.
I think the biggest reasons for African-Americans have greater rates of obesity are cultural and socioeconomic rather than genetic. Culturally it is more acceptable to have a larger body type than in other groups. In some ways this is good, but when it comes to physical health it leads to problems. And according to IMDiversity.com African Americans are also less like to feel guilty about overeating. They also point out that in the environments that blacks live in they have more access to fast food and mini marts that offer more fried, sugary, and over-processed foods and drinks. One of the biggest culprits lies within the home. We learn our eating habits from out families, and in African American families the tradition of soul food is passed through the generations. These foods are usually high in fats and sodium. This tradition didn’t used to be that big of an issue, but today the same diet is partnered with less activity. The CDC has also noticed a relationship in socioeconomic status and obesity. Black men with higher incomes are more likely to be overweight then those with lower incomes. This ratio is opposite for women; higher incomes have lower weights than those with lower incomes. When it comes to education, women have shown to have lower rates of obesity the more education they receive.
I think that many health disparities among races has more to do with culture and socioeconomic status than actual genetic. In the United States, racial and ethnic minorities and low-income populations have lower rates of insurance and access to health care. 1/5 of African Americans are insured and 1/10 white Americans don’t have insurance.