Childhood Obesity: The Rest of the Story


The nation is celebrating a new study reporting that the obesity rate for children ages 2 to 5 has plummeted over the last decade. But one of the sadder parts of the study released Wednesday was that the U.S. obesity rate is a reflection of the nation’s racial divide: Blacks and Hispanics suffer much higher levels of obesity compared with whites.

As you can see in the chart above, obesity rates among babies are fairly similar across racial lines. But the disparities rapidly emerge. A black child age 2 to 5 is more than three times as likely to be obese as a white child that age. Hispanic children in that age group are nearly five times as likely to be obese. (Zachary Goldfarb)

Comments (16)

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  1. Hostanliv says:

    Probably we need more data for each ethnic group. We probably can not put all immigrants in one category.

  2. Teeza says:

    So economic disadvantage leads to obesity?

  3. Teezi says:

    Well..higher obesity rate may cause higher healthcare enrollment rate..

  4. Gordon D says:

    This study shows that obesity remains one of the biggest threats to the nation’s health. This reflects on the American culture and society. Consumerism determines the American lifestyle. Our society has a never ending hunger for consumption, and that is the main reason why today obesity levels are high.

    • Teezi says:

      But consumerism is the engine of domestic economy.

      • Gordon D says:

        It is, but still it is the main cause of obesity. That is the reason why this issue is hard to tackle. We cannot change the base of our economy because obesity levels are high, it is the contrary. Because consumerism is the base of our economy, how can we make people to keep consuming and lower obesity at the same time? It is not an easy task.

  5. Brandon R says:

    Fast food is the problem. You can buy a greasy hamburger from McDonalds for one dollar, while that dollar won’t be enough to purchase a healthy meal. How can we expect people to eat healthy, when the costs of doing so are extremely high?

    • Fliz says:

      But the truth is healthy food is not as delicious as junk food. Bacon cheeseburger and buckwheat pancakes, which one is tastier?

  6. Perry says:

    Overconsumption= Obesity

  7. Juan M says:

    Maybe what we need to do is to change the definition of obesity, especially for adults. I understand that an obese child will have repercussions that hinder their development, thus we need to prevent that. But are the health risks so preoccupying for adults that we consider this a major issue?

  8. Sarah B. says:

    I have done some comparative research on several obesity studies in minority populations. There is a lot of evidence pointing to family eating habits as explanation for the correlation between race and obesity.

    One of the common conclusions is that immigrated populations are more gravitated to their home country’s foods, but without the vegetables available that they used to buy so cheaply at the market, the foods are less and less healthy.

    For example, beans and rice with vegetables, becomes just beans and rice. Add cheese and salt to this meal and serve it several times a week and it will make any active person overweight. Parents supplement their loss of culture with an increased portion of these foods, and the result is children who are overfed and unhealthy. Food deserts must be eliminated and healthier foods be the focus of kids lunch programs in order to fix this problem!

    • Henry says:

      “will make any active person overweight.” More BS.
      “Active” people are not overweight. Only the sedentary are overweight.