Academic journal article Childhood Obesity

The Relationship between Childhood Obesity, Low Socioeconomic Status, and Race/Ethnicity: Lessons from Massachusetts

Academic journal article Childhood Obesity

The Relationship between Childhood Obesity, Low Socioeconomic Status, and Race/Ethnicity: Lessons from Massachusetts

Article excerpt

[Author Affiliation]

Robert Rogers. 1 Michigan Clinical Outcomes Research and Reporting Program, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.

Taylor F. Eagle. 1 Michigan Clinical Outcomes Research and Reporting Program, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.

Anne Sheetz. 2 Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Alan Woodward. 2 Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Robert Leibowitz. 2 Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA.

MinKyoung Song. 3 University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, MI.

Rachel Sylvester. 1 Michigan Clinical Outcomes Research and Reporting Program, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.

Nicole Corriveau. 1 Michigan Clinical Outcomes Research and Reporting Program, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.

Eva Kline-Rogers. 1 Michigan Clinical Outcomes Research and Reporting Program, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.

Qingmei Jiang. 1 Michigan Clinical Outcomes Research and Reporting Program, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.

Elizabeth A. Jackson. 1 Michigan Clinical Outcomes Research and Reporting Program, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI. 4 Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.

Kim A. Eagle. 1 Michigan Clinical Outcomes Research and Reporting Program, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI. 4 Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.

Robert Rogers and Taylor Eagle contributed equally to this article.

Address correspondence to: Kim A. Eagle, MD, University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Suite 2131, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5852, E-mail: keagle@umich.edu

Introduction

Obesity rates in both adults and children in the United States have steadily risen over the past few decades.1-6 In 2009-2010, the prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥95th percentile) was 18.4% in 12- to 19-year-olds. Increasingly, data suggest that obesity in childhood is associated with a high likelihood of obesity in adulthood.6,7 If an individual is overweight in adolescence, there is a 70%chance that they will remain overweight or obese as an adult.8 This association between childhood and adult obesity brings with it an accumulated multitude of medical conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia, and a higher incidence of stroke, myocardial infarction, some types of cancer, kidney disease, and death.2,7,9-13

Perhaps even more concerning, whereas obesity prevalence increased by 10% for all US children, obesity increased by 23-33% for children in low-education, low-income, and higher-unemployment households in 2003-2007.14 Moreover, low-income families are less likely to realize that their child is overweight or believe that they should interfere with the child's eating and activity behaviors.15 Low-income communities face a host of barriers to improving health statuses.16,17

Efforts to understand the underpinnings of childhood obesity have been increasingly successful in identifying associated factors that appear to substantially correlate with childhood obesity.12 A number of reports have shown that race/ethnicity is highly correlated with rates of childhood obesity.1-3,9 In 2009-2010, 23.7% of African Americans ages 12-19 were obese, compared to only 16.1% of whites in the respective age group.3 African American and Hispanic children also have been shown to have higher rates of obesity-related risk factors, such as hyperlipidemia, lower high-density lipoprotein, and higher fasting glucose. …

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