Obesity Rates And Their Relation To Poverty In US

Obesity Rates And Their Relation To Poverty In US

There are several studies that are being conducted in order to map obesity across the different states in the US and to understand the correlation of the condition with different factors. The study findings showcase that one among every three adults are obese in America. The prevalence of this condition has increased dramatically as a result of several environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors. The new millennium has seen the obesity levels go down or level off, but it has been declared as an epidemic and yearly monitoring of this condition is being done through several studies and reports.

The fact remains that about 78 million Americans in the adult category are at risk from different ailments like type II diabetes, stroke, heart diseases and cancer which are linked to the obesity condition.

With several policies being taken up to address the obesity epidemic, one study focused on the prevalence of obesity and its link to poverty issues. In order to understand the linkage, the obesity pattern across the different states was first studied over which geographic pattern of poverty was compared to it. There were three states that recorded the highest level of obesity, Mississippi, West Virginia and Arkansas. Most of the states which reflect a high level of obesity are found to be part of the Midwest and South.

Interestingly, the three states that reflect the highest levels of poverty are found to be poor as well. It is also seen that health care access is the poorest in states located in the Midwest and South. Most of the people in these states reported that they do not get the care that they need in their region.

Obesity relates to racial differences as well. It is most prevalent among the black adults of Hispanic as well as non-Hispanic origin. They are most prevalent in the poor locations of the country. The difference comes out when race as well as prosperity is considered in correlation to obesity. When these factors are keyed in, it is found that over 35% of the obese population in the 33 states account for black adults in the non-Hispanic population. It can be concluded that race as well as poverty are influences in obesity and there are several structural causes of the same which contribute to the lifestyle as well as health issues due to which obesity manifests itself in these population categories. The geographic distribution and pattern should help policy makers to take the right steps for addressing the issue.
Image Credit : POLS

October 7th, 2015 by