Skip Navigation

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

Office of Minority Health (OMH) Logo

Print Page A A A
En Español Newsroom Contact Us
 

Obesity and American Indians/Alaska Natives

  • American Indian/Alaska Native adolescents are 30 percent more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be obese.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native adults are 50 percent more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic Whites.
Age-adjusted percentage of persons 18 years of age and over who are overweight but not obese, 2015. (Persons are considered overweight if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or greater.) National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
31.2
32.9
0.9

Source: CDC 2017. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2015. Table A-15
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

Age-adjusted percentage of persons 18 years of age and over who are obese, 2015. (Persons are considered obese if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater.)

American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
43.7
28.5
1.5

Source: CDC 2017. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2015. Table A-15
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

CHILDREN

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, 2013

American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
48.8
39.9
1.2

Source: National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. Data Query: Table 7_2_1_6_1.1 [Accessed 08/18/2017]
http://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/data/query

 

Percent of children age 2-17 for whom a doctor or other health provider ever gave advice about eating healthy, United States, 2013

American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
61.3
56.3
1.1

Source: 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. Data Query: Table 7_2_1_8_1.1 [Accessed 08/18/2017]
http://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/data/query

 

ADOLESCENTS

Percentage of high school students who were overweight, 2013

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
White
American Indian/Alaska Native/ White Ratio
Total
12.7
15.2
0.8

Source: High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data.
Available at http://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline. [Accessed 08/18/2017]

Percentage of high school students who were obese, 2015

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
White
American Indian/Alaska Native/ White Ratio
Total
15.9
12.4
1.3

Source: High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data.
Available at http://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline. [Accessed 08/18/2017]

 

HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY

  • People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats, diabetes and LDL cholesterol ("a fatlike substance") -- all risk factors for heart disease and stroke.2
  • American Indian or Alaska Native adults are less likely than white adults to engage in regular leisure-time physical activity.

 

Physical Activity:

Percentage Inactive physical activity among adults 18 & over: 2015 (Did not meet federal physical activity guidelines)

American Indian
Non-Hispanic White
African American/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
46.4
43.7
1.1

Source: CDC 2016. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2014. Table A-14
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

Percentage Some Leisure Time Physical Activity Among Adults 18 & over: 2015 (Met aerobic guidelines only)

American Indian
Non-Hispanic White
African American/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
47.2
53.0
0.9

Source: CDC 2017. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2015. Table A-14
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

Percentage Regular Leisure Physical Activity Among Adults 18 & over: 2015 (Met federal physical activity guidelines)

American Indian
Non-Hispanic White
African American/ Non-Hispanic White Ratio
18.9
23.4
0.8

Source: CDC 2017. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2015. Table A-14
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

At a Glace – Risk Factors:

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

Diabetes –See Diabetes and American Indians/Native Americans

Heart Disease –See Heart Disease and American Indians/Native Americans

Stroke –See Stroke and American Indians/Native Americans

1Source: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects/index.html
Last Modified: 8/25/2017 10:18:00 AM