From Science Daily:
The obesity epidemic affects women and men of every ethnic group in the United States, but strong gender and racial disparities in the risk of overweight and obesity exist. African American women are currently more at risk than any other group in the United States: 82.1% of African American women are overweight or obese (defined as having a BMI of 25 or higher), compared to 76.2% of Hispanic women and 64.6% of Caucasian women, according to the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Socioeconomic factors, such as inequalities in access to healthcare, healthy food, and safe places to exercise, are known to be important causes of these and other racial disparities in health characteristics.
In contrast, “only” 69.1% of African American men are overweight or obese — a percentage that is still alarmingly high in absolute terms, but lower than the percentages for Caucasian men (73.2%), and Hispanic men (77.9%), according to the NHANES data. A similar pattern has been reported for type-2 diabetes, a disease strongly associated with overweight and obesity: according to a 2007 study in The American Journal of Public Health, the incidence of diabetes is higher among African American women (24.5%) than among Caucasian women (20.7%), but lower among African American men (16.7%) than among Caucasian men (19.6%).
Why do African American men have a relatively low risk of overweight, obesity, and diabetes, despite facing many of the same socioeconomic disadvantages as African American women? A new study in the open-access journal Frontiers in…