Obesity Rates Highest Among African-American Population

Prevalence among African-Americans 51 percent higher than among Caucasians
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of obesity is far higher among African-Americans than Caucasians in America, and Hispanics also have significantly higher obesity rates, according to a study published in the July 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Liping Pan, M.D., and colleagues at the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Atlanta analyzed 2006 to 2008 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to assess racial differences in obesity rates.

The overall obesity rate for 2006 to 2008 was 25.6 percent for African-Americans, Caucasians and Hispanics, but the prevalence of obesity among African-Americans was 51 percent higher than the prevalence among Caucasians, and the prevalence among Hispanics was 21 percent higher, the investigators found. The authors further note that the prevalence of obesity among African-Americans was 30 percent or more in 40 states.

"We know that racial and ethnic differences in obesity prevalence are likely due to both individual behaviors, as well as differences in the physical and social environment," Pan said in a statement. "We need a combination of policy and environmental changes that can create opportunities for healthier living."

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