Racial make-up of community impacts obesity risk
The racial and ethnic composition of a community is associated with the obesity risk of individuals living within the community, according to a study led by researchers at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings, published in the June 14 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, may help explain disparities in obesity rates among racial groups and point to some of the environmental factors that may contribute to obesity in the United States.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which represented a cross-section of the U.S. population. The data were matched with geographical information from the U.S. Census. Obesity was calculated based on each study participant's body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight in relation to height.
Analysis of the data found that community ethnic composition might affect residents' likelihood of being obese, and the effect varied by the residents' own ethnicity, for example, living in a community with a Hispanic population of 25 percent or greater was associated with 21 percent higher odds for obesity for Hispanics in that community. Non-Hispanic whites had 23 percent higher odds for obesity living in the same community.
The opposite was true for communities with high concentrations of non-Hispanic Asians. In those communities, the odds for obesity were 28 percent lower for non-Hispanic whites in those communities. While non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of obesity in U.S., living in a community with a high concentration of non-Hispanic blacks did not raise the odds of obesity even among non-Hispanic blacks.
"Obesity is one of the nation's most pressing health problems, and our findings suggest that community characteristics related to racial and ethnic composition may have an important effect on residents' weight," said James B. Kirby, PhD, of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, who was the lead author of the study. "This study will enhance understanding of the disparities in the U.S. obesity epidemic and how certain racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected."
"Social and built environments play an important role in influencing individuals' health outcomes including obesity. Future research needs to better understand the mechanisms, but clearly interventions are needed to reduce obesity disparities in the United States," said Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, MS, coauthor of the study and director of the Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity and Associate Professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
More information: The authors of "Race, Place, and Obesity: The Complex Relationships Among Community Racial/Ethnic Composition, Individual Race/Ethnicity, and Obesity in the United States" are James B. Kirby, PhD; Lan Liang, PhD; Hsin-Jen Chen, MS; and Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, MS.
Journal reference: American Journal of Public Health
- Socioeconomic status may explain racial disparities in diet, exercise, and weight Nov 28, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Obesity rates differ among racial/ethnic groups in kids as young as four Apr 06, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Social context may be a better indicator of obesity disparities than race May 06, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Poor and uninsured patients more likely to experience racial discrimination Jun 25, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers find ethnicity key to accurate obesity measurements Apr 21, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Calculating Steam Pressure in Closed Container
5 hours ago I am trying to calculate the volume of liquid water i need to place in a sealed container in order to obtain 10 psi of steam pressure in that closed...
Learning curve of Electromagnetism?
10 hours ago I'm taking a first year physics course and have been having a little trouble with the basics of newtons laws and forces and whatnot, though nothing...
thin glass in liquid
11 hours ago I have one question about optics because I start interested in it. If an object is placed a distance p from a thin glass lens (index of refraction...
How many joules expended for a push up?
14 hours ago Just wondering if any of you can do the calculation that well approximates the amount of joules expended by a push up.
force to keep the folding doors
14 hours ago Hello, I would like to ask you to calculate the force F, which needed to keep the folding doors in this position. I would like to know what is the...
Confusion regarding direction of kinetic friction on inclined plane.
15 hours ago *please help! * The formula for kinetic friction acting on a sliding body is μkN When the body is sliding with constant velocity down an...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(Medical Xpress)—Research by the University of Leeds has shown that very young children appear to reject story book characters who are overweight, but not those who are disabled.
Overweight and Obesity May 16, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 2
(HealthDay)—Weight gain in men and women is predicted by two different genetic variations—so-called polymorphisms, according to a new study from the Netherlands.
Overweight and Obesity May 15, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Drinking 500 ml of purified water is not associated with increases in resting energy expenditure (REE), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Congress on Obesity, ...
Overweight and Obesity May 14, 2013 | 2 / 5 (2) | 1
(HealthDay)—Reviews that are funded by industry tend to find the evidence weak for a causal link between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and the increasing prevalence of obesity, while other reviews consider ...
Overweight and Obesity May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new case of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in Saudi Arabia where 15 people have already died after contracting it, the health ministry announced on Saturday on its Internet website.
12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
22 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
23 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A ground-breaking advance in colonoscopy technology signals the future of colorectal care, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week(DDW). Additional research focuses on optimizing the minimal withdrawal ...
14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0