From Science Daily:

For a long time researchers have tracked high rates of obesity among black and Hispanic kids, but a closer look at communities shows family income matters more than race in predicting which kids are overweight.

Using a model created from data on 111,799 Massachusetts students, the University of Michigan Health System showed that as poverty rises, so does the rate of obesity among children in 68 of its public school districts.

Although obesity rates were higher among African-American and Hispanic kids, the relationship disappeared when factoring in family income, according to the study published in the journal Childhood Obesity.

Authors concluded that fewer resources like recreational programs and parks and access to full service grocery stores appear to have a greater impact on the nation’s childhood obesity rate than race.

“The findings reveal differences in the inequalities in the physical and social environment in which children are raised,” says senior author Kim A. Eagle, M.D., a cardiologist and director at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. “It illustrates that race and ethnicity in communities may not have a significant connection to obesity status once the community’s income is considered.”

In low-income communities where places to play and supermarkets may be scarce, it can promote consumption of low nutrition and fast food and little to no physical activity, authors say.

Among the school districts for every 1 percent increase in low-income status there was a 1.17 percent increase in rates of overweight/obese students.

Eagle and colleagues from the Michigan Clinical…

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