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Racial differences among obese people

April 5, 2011
Plain English Version

There are differences in the number of people who are obese based on race and ethnic background.
A study showed

  • 36 percent of black Americans are obese
  • 29 percent of Hispanics are obese
  • 24 percent of whites are obese

Black obesity was 51 percent higher and Hispanic obesity 21 percent higher compared with whites. The highest obesity for blacks and whites were in the South and Midwest. Hispanics in the Northeast were less obese than Hispanics in the Midwest, South or West.
In five states, Alabama, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio and Oregon, more than 40 percent of blacks were obese.
In 11 states, more than 30 percent of Hispanics were obese.
Health experts think people with lower incomes have less medical care. They exercise less and eat less healthy food.
Using height and weight, obesity is the body mass index. A 5-foot, 9-inch adult who weighs 203 pounds would have a BMI of 30. Obesity begins there.

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