Race and Ethnic Origin

African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans are at greater risk for obesity. Blacks have a 51% higher prevalence of obesity and Hispanics a 21% higher prevalence than whites (Pan et al., 2009). Asians are at lower risk as an ethnic group. However, health risks of overweight and obesity may appear at a lower weight in Asians, and thus a lower cutoff for overweight has been proposed for Asians (BMI >23 kg/m2). Gender differences are seen within ethnic groups. The prevalence of obesity is greater among African American women than among African American men, whereas these differences are not as evident among non-Hispanic whites. Immigrants have an increased incidence of obesity, starting about 10 years after arrival in the United States (Goel et al., 2004).

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