Obesity in America is a huge problem. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than two thirds of adults, and one third of children, are considered overweight or obese.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released an obesity prevalence map delineated by race, and the results are startling. While every group seems to be struggling with their weight in America, communities of color are hardest hit.

“It is the largest epidemic of a chronic disease that we’ve ever seen in human history,” Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, chair of the department of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told NPR in an interview.


The CDC found Black Americans had an obesity rate of over 35 percent in 33 states. For Hispanics, the number dropped to 9 states, while whites had an obesity rate north of 35 percent in just one state.

Researchers say the numbers are due to a combination of factors, including socioeconomic conditions that limit access to higher paying jobs, nutritious and affordable food, and healthier environments.

“It is not about one group doing something wrong. It is about the environment that we have built that sets people up to fail,” Lloyd-Jones explained. “Our neighborhoods, workplaces and schools expose people, especially poor people, to less choices of healthy foods.”

The Obama Administration has made reducing the obesity rate a top priority, with First Lady Michelle Obama leading the charge through her Let’s Move campaign.

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  • Mary Burrell

    Many Americans are obese.

  • mywordsaremypower

    This does not seem right. Someone has fiddled with the numbers and the accuracy on this way beyond what it may be. Why is that Hispanics and Black are more prone to be overweight, I know we like our cultural foods but I asked my cousin as she says its harder for people in poorer neighborhoods to access food that is healthier. They keep pumping non-white areas with bad foods as they know they are more likely to buy and no one cares anyway. I love how they must lump people who are other races into the blacks. So if a white person sees this they will assume the obese epidemic is a black people thing and the white people are not to blame. It does not help when theses companies know that something like a bag of chips will be cheaper to buy then a bag of dried apricots. Some people of colour may not be able to afford to eat healthy especially when they have a lot of mouth to feed. When I was student and I was crimping for money, I wanted to eat more healthier and my normal weekly food budget was $20 and that had to last me a week and a half but when I wanted to eat more healthier it cost me $30/$40 so I had to end up walking to areas where there were more cheaper places to buy healthier food. Surprise Surprise these areas where predominately white. My bill ended up being just under $20.