Obesity Among African American Adults

Obesity Among African American Adults

Obesity in the African-American community has been a growing concern in recent decades and can be attributed to a multitude of societal elements. Contributing factors include but are not limited to inequities in stable and affordable housing, income and access to quality education. Each one of these factors has the potential to directly or indirectly influence an individual’s chance to live a longer and healthier life. In addition, if one combines those circumstances with disparities in access to affordable and healthy food or safe places to be physically active, the picture of obesity in the African-American community begins to take shape. Among African-American adults, nearly 48 percent are clinically obese (including 37.1 percent of men and 56.6 percent of women, compared to 32.6 percent of whites (including 32.4 percent of men and 32.8 percent of women). Statistics such as these become even more alarming when considering the many health risks that are most commonly associated with obesity. It is for this reason that awareness of these risks must be spread more widely to help combat the habits leading to obesity. Our Ethnicity and Health in America series aims to do just that and will continue to work to elevate awareness concerning obesity in the African-American community throughout the month of February. Obesity Among African American Adults


Maximizing The Impact of Obesity-Prevention Efforts In Black Communities: Key Findings and Strategic Recommendations. (Sept. 1, 2014). Retrieved Jan. 21, 2015, from http://stateofobesity.org/disparities/blacks/#footnote-3


African-American women who are overweight, obese and morbidly obese are likely to experience weight-related health risks, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, various types of cancer, sleep apnea and osteoarthritis, among other risks. Limited and mixed research findings suggest that higher levels of body mass index (BMI) (≥35.0) and a larger waist circumference (≥98 cm) are related to deleterious health consequences among overweight and obese African-American women. Further research investigations should explore the purported inadequacy of the current standards of the BMI cutoffs of 25 to 30 or higher and a larger waist circumference in the assessment of overweight and obesity and in the prediction of health risks among African-American women. Moreover, this paper recommends an increase in within-group research studies on African-American women to more firmly establish the reliability and validity of the empirical evidence. Obesity Among African American Adults

This paper addressed the biological correlates of obesity among African-American women. There are a few studies which indicate the metabolic profile of fat storage and lower rates of fat oxidation in this population. This profile is related to insulin resistance and hypertension as well as to increased risks of obesity-related diseases. Another concern is the physiological dynamics of stress reactivity to race-based discrimination. There is specific attention to how corticotrophin-releasing factor and cortisol might contribute to abdominal obesity and its comorbidities. However, the neuroendocrine and automatic indices influencing the purported relationship between experienced stress and an increase in food intake have not been adequately studied in African-American females. Obesity Among African American Adults

There is a discussion on African-American women’s perceptions of their body image; their level of body-image satisfaction, comfort eating and their maladaptive eating behaviors. There is focus on the most effective anti-obesity interventions among African-American women. Research findings on weight-loss efforts and on weight maintenance among these women are presented. The utility of culturally relevant and individually tailored anti-obesity interventions are also emphasized in this work. Obesity Among African American Adults

  • African American women have the highest rates of obesity or being overweight compared to other groups in the United States. About 4 out of 5 African American women are overweight or obese.
  • In 2018, non-Hispanic blacks were 1.3 times more likely to be obese as compared to non-Hispanic whites.
  • In 2018, African American women were 50 percent more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic white women.
  • From 2013-2016, non-Hispanic black females were 2.3 times more likely to be overweight as compared to non-Hispanic white females.
  • People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats, diabetes and LDL cholesterol – all risk factors for heart disease and stroke.1
  • In 2018, African Americans were 20 percent less likely to engage in active physical activity as compared to non-Hispanic whites Obesity Among African American Adults

Also check: Childhood Obesity