Obesity Epidemic Among African American Women

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Chapter II
Review of Literature

We know that the problem of obesity is a world-wide epidemic and is becoming an even greater threat to the United States. Currently the U.S is the world’s most obese country and with a large margin between second place (James, Leach, Kalamara, Shayegh 2001). America is also the front runner in a new trend: morbid obesity. Not only does America have the highest population of obese individuals, America also has the largest population of morbidly obese individuals (World Health Organization 2009). Morbid obesity affects both males and females of all ages and ethnicities from different socioeconomic statuses, however, the Black female population that has been affected the most (Lorenzen, (2010). This trend of overweight Black American females has only recently become an epidemic (Davis, 2008). What if any factors played into this abrupt change in obesity levels of the Black-American woman? Obesity and BMI

Obesity can be classified as a condition characterized by excessive body fat to the magnitude that is becomes detrimental to one’s health (Ho-Pham, et al., 2010). There are different methods to measuring ones body mass index with the more common methods being height to weight ratio measurement, waist to hip ratio measurement, skin fold tests, and bioelectrical impedance measurement. For most of these references BMI’s were calculated between a mixture of bioelectrical impedance and skin fold measurement tests. A person should have a BMI of 18.5 to 24.99 be considered “normal” (World Health Organization, 2010). Once a BMI reaches 30 or greater the individual is classified as obese. The term obesity is broken down into 3 different Body Mass Index (BMI) classifications. Having a BMI greater than 30.0 is considered Class I Obesity. A BMI greater than 35.0 is considered Class II Obesity and a BMI greater than 40.0 is Class III Obesity or morbid obesity (World Health Organization, 2000). The Obesity Epidemic

Obesity is a worldwide...
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