Obesity in Black American Women

Good Essays
Laurie Addoms
Instructor Otero
English 200 Sophomore Seminar
Essay Final
18 February 2013

Culture, Biology and Lifestyle Cause Forty Nine Percent of Black American Women to be Obese Abstract. Obesity is a major factor in health today. Certain ethnic groups and genders suffer from obesity more than others. Around 49% of all Black American women are classified obese today. There are many reasons for this. But the three the Black American women are susceptible to are culture, lifestyle and biology. Forty nine percent of Black American women are obese. This is an over representation compared to 38% of Latina women and 33% of non-Hispanic white women. (Phelan, Johnson, Wesley). Many factors determine a person’s weight and health status. Economics, lifestyle, diet, culture, biology and society all affect a person’s body size and composition. Culture, biology and lifestyle have the largest impact on why Black American women are obese. Health, economic and societal implications of obesity are overwhelming and affect every person in this country. The medical community defines obesity as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is simply a comparison of weight to height. The actual formula is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. A BMI of greater than 25 but less than 30 is considered overweight and a BMI of greater than 40 is considered morbidly obese. BMI is a comparison of weight to height, not fat to height. BMI is a useful tool for most of the population, but does not work well for heavily muscled people, such as body builders. Fat is damaging to health. Muscle is not. The general population knows that obesity causes diabetes and heart problems. But obesity is much more severe than that. Obesity causes health problems that many find eye opening. Obesity causes hardening of the arteries, increased cholesterol and cardiac failure. In addition to damaging the heart and arteries obesity causes cancer.

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