Obesity Among African Americans Essay

2641 words - 11 pages

Fried chicken, mash potatoes and collard greens mixed with fatback meat was my family’s favorite Sunday meal. Soul food, as it has been called, is valued by many African American families. Given the worldwide obesity epidemic that appears to be affecting most ethnic groups, there is an appreciation that the causes of obesity among African American families and others must lie in the fundamental aspects of the food supply (Capers, C et al. 2011). In my opinion, African Americans in the United Sates are more likely to be obese because there is a large number of low-income families’ and many are uninsured. According to the Office of Minority Health, African American women have the highest rates of being obese compared to other groups in the United States. Furthermore, African American men are also high in rates compared to European Americans and Hispanics.
Obesity is a leading health problem in the United States because of its increasing prevalence and etiology role in many chronic health conditions (Wee et al. 2011). Chronic health conditions that tend to have high rates of weight related chronic condition in the African American population are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and as a result of hypertension, chronic renal failure. Americans has increased its restaurant portions, number of fast food restaurants and has gotten away from home cooked meals served in normal portions. Seven out of 10 African Americans ages 18 to 64 are obese or overweight, and African Americans are 15% more likely to suffer from obesity than the general population (Healthreform.gov). According to Newton, R., Cromwell, R. & Rogers, H. (2009), contributing factors of obesity are inactivity, poor eating behaviors, gender, race, education and socioeconomic status. Subsequently, obesity increases the risk of functional impairments, mobility disability and balance and gait instability. According to the World Health Organization some characteristics of obesity are abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health, a body mass index over 30 which is the most useful population-level measure of obesity as it is the same for both sexes and for all ages of adults.
Policies and regulatory issues impacting obesity and access to care in the African American population have been limited due to the lack of financial and governmental support. However, public schools are required to have a mandatory physical activity class for students as an attempt to increase children recreational activity. In addition, the talk of the nationwide health care was an attempt to ensure the decrease of health disparities among the obese population. The government has provided financial support to some low-income families by a program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families also known as TANF or food stamps. According to the Department of Social Services he TANF program provides eligible families with a monthly cash payment to meet their basic needs. For a child to be...

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