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Obesity and African Americans

  • African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the U.S. About four out of five African American women are overweight or obese.
  • In 2011, African Americans were 1.5 times as likely to be obese as Non- Hispanic Whites.
  • In 2011, African American women were 80% more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic White women.
  • In 2007-2010, African American girls were 80% more likely to be overweight than Non-Hispanic White girls.

 

Age-adjusted percentage of persons 20 years of age and over who are overweight or obese, 2007-2010. (Persons are considered overweight if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or greater.) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

 
Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men
70.0
73.6
1.0
Women
80.0
60.3
1.3

Source:  : CDC, 2013. Health United States, 2012. Table 68.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus12.pdf [PDF | 9.64MB]

 

Age-adjusted percentage of persons 18 years of age and over who are overweight but not obese, 2011. (Persons are considered overweight if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or greater.) National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

 
Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic
White Ratio
Men
38.7
41.1
0.9
Women
29.7
26.8
1.1
Total
33.7
33.9
1.0

Source:  CDC 2012.  Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: 2011  Table 31.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_256.pdf [PDF | 3.12MB]

 

Age-adjusted percentage of overweight persons 20 years of age and over who are obese, 2007-2010. (Persons are considered obese if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater.) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

 
Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men
38.3
34.1
1.1
Women
54.0
32.5
1.7

Source:  CDC, 2013. Health United States, 2012. Table 68.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus12.pdf [PDF | 9.64MB]

 

Age-adjusted percentage of persons 18 years of age and over who are obese, 2011. (Persons are considered obese if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater.) National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

 
Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/Non-Hispanic
White Ratio
Men
33.9
27.7
1.2
Women
43.4
24.8
1.8
Total
39.1
26.2
1.5

Source:  CDC 2012.  Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: 2011.  Table 31.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_256.pdf [PDF | 3.12MB]

 

CHILDREN

Percentage overweight among children and adolescents 6-11 years of age, 2007-2010

 
Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Girls
24.5
14.0
1.8
Boys
23.3
18.6
1.3

Source:  : CDC, 2013. Health United States, 2012. Table 69.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus12.pdf [PDF | 9.64MB]

 

Percentage of obese children and adolescents 6-17 years of age. 2009-2010

African American
Non-Hispanic White
African American/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
25.7
14.6
1.8

Source:  Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America's Children: Key National Indicators of well-Being. 2013. Table HEALTH7
http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/tables/health7.asp

 

Percentage of children and teens ages 2-19 who were told by a doctor that they were overweight, 2007-2010

Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
51.0
41.3
1.2

Source:  2012 National Healthcare Disparities Report. Table 2_10_1_3.1
http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhqrdr12/index.html

 

Percent of children age 2-17 for whom a doctor or other health provider ever gave advice about amount and kind of physical activity, United States, 2009

Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
31.7
35.2
0.9

Source:  2012 National Healthcare Disparities Report. Table 2_10_1_6.2b
http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhqrdr12/index.html

 

Percent of children age 2-17 for whom a doctor or other health provider ever gave advice about eating healthy, United States, 2009

Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
50.3
49.0
1.0

Source:  2012 National Healthcare Disparities Report. Table 2_10_1_8.2b
http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhqrdr12/index.html

 

ADOLESCENTS

Percentage of high school students who were overweight, 2011

 
Black
White
Black / White Ratio
Girls
19.6
13.8
1.4
Boys
12.8
14.7
0.9
Total
16.2
14.2
1.1

Source:  CDC, 2012. Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance - United States, 2011. Table 101.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6104.pdf [PDF | 3.5MB]

 

Percentage of high school students who were obese, 2011

 
Black
White
Black / White Ratio
Girls
18.6
7.7
2.4
Boys
17.7
15.0
1.2
Total
18.2
11.5
1.6

Source:  CDC, 2012. Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance - United States, 2011. Table 101.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6104.pdf [PDF | 3.5MB]

 

HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY

  • More than 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.1
  • People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats, and LDL cholesterol -- all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. 1
  • In 2010, African Americans were 70% less likely to engage in active physical activity as Non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Deaths from heart disease and stroke are almost twice the rate for African Americans as compared to Whites.

Physical Activity:

Percentage Inactive physical activity among adults 18 & over: 2011 (Did not meet federal physical activity guidelines)

Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
55.2
44.1
1.3

Source:  CDC 2012. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: 2011. Table 29.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_256.pdf [PDF | 3.12MB]

 

Percentage Some Leisure Time Physical Activity Among Adults 18 & over: 2011 (Met aerobic guidelines only)

Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
23.2
29.4
0.9

Source:  CDC 2012. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: 2011. Table 29.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_256.pdf [PDF | 3.12MB]

 

Percentage Regular Leisure Physical Activity Among Adults 18 & over: 2011 (Met federal physical activity guidelines)

African American
Non-Hispanic White
African American/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
18.0
23.0
0.8

Source:  CDC 2012. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: 2011. Table 29.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_256.pdf [PDF | 3MB]

 

Percent of adults age 18 and over who were obese who were given advice about exercise, United States, 2009

Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
58.5
59.1
0.9

Source:  2012 National Healthcare Quality Report. Table 2_10_1_7.2b
http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhqrdr12/index.html

 

Percent of adults age 18 and over who were obese who were given advice about eating fewer high fat or high cholesterol foods, United States, 2009

Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
50.3
50.4
1.0

Source:  2012 National Healthcare Quality Report. Table 2_10_1_7.2b
http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhqrdr12/index.html


At a Glance – Risk Factors:

Obesity is a risk factor for several diseases. For statistics on these related diseases see:

Diabetes – See Diabetes and African Americans
Heart Disease – See Heart Disease and African Americans
Stroke – See Stroke and African Americans


1Source: http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2011/Obesity2011Report.pdf Exit Disclaimer [PDF | 7.4MB]
Last Modified: 10/15/2013 1:15:00 PM