Features Health — 05 September 2014 — by Adele Ramos
Blacks experience highest obesity rate in US-based study

BELIZE CITY–Last Friday, Belize health professionals discussed the prevalence of obesity, linked to non-communicable diseases such as cancer and heart disease, among Belizeans and the data depicted substantially higher obesity rates among Belizean women when compared to their male counterparts. Although no ethnic data was presented at the Belize lecture on obesity, comparative prevalence maps released today by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that if you are a woman of color, the concern may be even greater.

The CDC says that based on Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data combined from 2011 through 2013, non-Hispanic blacks had the highest prevalence of self-reported obesity (37.6 percent), followed by Hispanics (30.6 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (26.6 percent).

The prevalence map shows that for the Black population, a large number of the states were shaded in deep colors, depicting higher prevalence rates.

The 2013 data indicated that no U.S. state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20% for both the Black and general population. It demonstrated that while 18 states had a prevalence of obesity between 30% and <35% and two states had prevalence of over 35% for the general population, for the Black population 12 states had a prevalence of obesity between 30% and <35% and 28 states and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity of 35% or greater.

It means that in 40 of the 50 US states (90%), roughly a third of Blacks are obese or severely overweight, compared to 20 of 50 states (40%) for the general population.

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