Obesity among African Americans


This chart shows the comparison of obesity rates among african americans, caucasian americans and Hispanics. As we can look and see that Both African american men and women have higher rates of obesity in the United States accruing the CDC.(http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsobesityadults/)

I believe that African americans suffer from obesity more than any other race due to a number of different factors that could range from genetics to environmental. The part that genetics would play is that if a family is well known to have health conditions that may lead them to being obese then that could be a factor that plays a role. Some people may be born as huge babies or overweight babies due to the mother already being overweight and feeding the baby really well during the infancy years. I also believe that if both parents are obese or overweight, the chances of the kids being naturally obese are also major factors in determining why so many African Americans are termed and described  as being obese. The environment could also play a major role in African americans being obese because there are more african americans living in rural or urban areas. In rural or urban areas there seems to be more fast food restaurants instead of grocery markets with fresh produce. The fast food is quick and easy to access due to it being close and the fact that it’s cheaper the feed the whole family. For example going to Mcdonalds and buying things off the dollar menu would be so much cheaper for a family that may be struggling instead of going to the grocery store to buy fresh fruits and veggies. An example from the class would be how african americans living in rural or urban areas are more prone to serious health issues.  I think obesity is prevalent among African Americans because it is cultural also. The fact that Soul food (which is high in fat and sodium) is a tradition for most African American families also shows reasons why African americans are more prone to obesity .



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  1. Ava Peera says:

    I completely agree with all the various factors that you discussed that account for the large number of African Americans that are obese. The one I take more interest in is the environmental factors. I also believe that where a person lives plays a huge role in their lifestyle. It is sad that a person may not eat healthy simply because they have no other option but to eat fast food and other unhealthy foods due to money constraints. There should be some alternative for these families other than to eat bad foods. In some urban or rural areas, violence also is something to consider. If you are surrounded by a lot of violence when growing up, it may cause some anxiety or stress which will influence a person’s health.
    I do not agree with racial categories in clinical studies. I believe that each person is unique and that their health issues are not solely based on their race. As we have learned and discussed, there are many different factors that affect a person’s health. To base someone’s health issues on their race is not fair.
    I believe a better way to talk about health disparities is by discussing environmental factors and family history. Family history is very important in considering if a person is likely to have a same disease as their ancestors. Environmental factors such as pollution, healthy food, social life, etc. are more effective to look at then race.

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