Obesity: An Endemic among African American Women

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Photo Courtesy: blackhealthzone.com

It’s a well-known and well-documented fact that Americans deal with the obesity endemic. A recent observation, however — by Kaiser Health news, NPR, and WHYY — states that obesity is especially acute among African American Women.

Earlier, we mentioned that according to a new study, obese African American women live a better quality of life than white women with the same condition or weight, everything else being equal.  While it might be true that obese African Women might be slightly better off than Obese white women, obesity endemic is a killer condition and is a cause of concern for many.

In a shocking revelation by the U.S Office of Minority Health, the study claims that 4 in 5 African American women are obese or overweight. Obesity leads to several health problems and conditions not excluding higher bloody pressure, cardiac problems, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

Obesity is also believed to account for 25% to 30% of cancers such as colon cancer, breast cancer – especially in postmenopausal women. Weight gain has been proportionately linked to increased risk of suffering from Cancer.

While only 30% of white women are obese, the figure for African Women is at 50% — over half of all African Women are obese. Also, an interesting observation made was that African women tend to put on weight years ahead of white women.

Researchers are worried that the cost of obesity in a woman’s life is higher than ever. For instance, in a September 2011 release, Boston University researchers claimed that overweight and obesity in African Woman leads to an increase in the risk of their death.  As for the cost, the National Cancer Institute claims that in the U.S, over $150 billion a year is pegged to the obesity endemic. This accounts for an incredibly 10% of health care spending in the U.S.

When compared to normal patients, obese patients cost roughly about $1,500 more when medical expenses are taken into account, according to some observations made by a team of researchers at the George Washington University.

Researchers also pointed out that an increased awareness about the perils of obesity, an opportunity for young women to exercise more often and indulge in physical activities, and an active lifestyle with a great care towards diet should all help in correcting the perilous condition of patients suffering from obesity.



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