Many Overweight Blacks, Hispanics Underestimate Risks

Article excerpt

HONOLULU -- Many overweight black and Hispanic adults' estimates of their own obesity-related health problems are more optimistic than are practice-based statistical findings, according to research that was presented at the annual meeting of the National Medical Association.

Data from a telephone survey "point to an important opportunity for physicians to communicate to their minority patients the serious health consequences associated with excess weight," concluded Dr. Valentine J. Burroughs, chief medical officer of North General Hospital, New York, and colleagues.

Dr. Burroughs and his associates reported that "self-reported rates of obesity-related comorbidities among African-American and Hispanic adults," self-described as overweight, "fall below what would be expected based on clinical data, suggesting a lack of awareness of actual risk."

The investigators also found that in spite of greater self-reported prevalence of certain risk factors for poor health, "African Americans have a more optimistic view of their overall health and weight status compared to Hispanics."

Information for the study was collected from a telephone survey of 537 black and 526 Hispanic adults; 30.1% of black respondents were male, as were 35. …

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