Adult Obesity: High Costs for African Americans

We have all heard the fat jokes. Here’re several more jokes to consider:

  1. Yo Mamma is so fat; she had to go to Sea World to get baptized.
  2. Yo mama’s so fat, she was attacked by the Japanese military, they thought she was Godzilla’s wife.

These corny jokes aren’t the ones African-Americans would laugh at, but being overweight can cost black people their health and wealth.

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African Americans have been called overweight and obese numerous times in today’s culture. You may wonder like Jay Harold has, “What is the definition of Obese and Overweight?”

Jay Harold used information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to answer this question. A weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height is described as overweight1 or obese. Body Mass Index, or BMI, is used as a screening tool for overweight or obesity.

Adult Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness.  BMI can be used as a screening tool but is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual. That’s deep stuff, so the CDC made it easy to determine your BMI by including a calculator2. This calculator provides BMI and the corresponding BMI weight status category. Use this calculator for adults, 20 years old and older.

Jay Harold used the calculator and was found out that’s he’s obese. Are the jokes on him?

Obesity3 is common, serious and costly

  • More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. [Read Abstract Journal of American Medicine (JAMA)]
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]
  • The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [Read summary]
    Adult Obesity: High Costs for African Americans

    Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity in the United States.

Obesity affects some groups more than others

[Read Abstract Journal of American Medicine (JAMA)]

The information above shows that African Americans aren’t the only group that loves buffets in the United States.

Obesity and socioeconomic status

[Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief[PDF-1.07MB]

  • Among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men, those with higher incomes are more likely to have obesity than those with low income.
  • Higher income women are less likely to have obesity than low-income women.
  • There is no significant relationship between obesity and education among men. Among women, however, there is a trend—those with college degrees are less likely to have obesity compared with less educated women.

What does that say about Black and Hispanic Men? We attend bars and sporting events and overeat? Grill some meat at home and eat most of it? Men, we have to do better!

Here’s some info needed to make a positive change.

Healthy Living4

The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t short-term dietary changes; it’s about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.

  • Assessing Your Weight5
    BMI and waist circumference are two screening tools to estimate weight status and potential disease risk.
  • Healthy Weight6
    A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. Visit the Healthy Weight Website; learn about balancing calories, losing weight, and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • ChooseMyPlate7
    Healthy eating habits are a key factor for a healthy weight. Visit the ChooseMyPlate Website; look up nutritional information of foods, track your calorie intake, plan meals, and find healthy recipes.
  • Physical Activity Basics8
    Physical activity is important for health and a healthy weight. Learn about different kinds of physical activity and the guidelines for the amount needed each day.
  • Tips for Parents9
    Learn about the seriousness of childhood obesity and how to help your child establish healthy behaviors.

Click this link to get free Health and Wealth information to improve your life. Play the free  “Slow Roll Through Civil Rights” Game found on the Jay Harold website. Enjoyed this post? Share it and read more here.  Questions?  “Ask the Pharmacist a Question!” 



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