The contribution of change in ethnic composition to prevalence of obesity and overweight

2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

Objective. The prevalence of overweight and obesity differs substantially among children of different ethnic origin in the United States. The objective of this project is to estimate to what extent changes in ethnic composition since 1980 have contributed to the current general “obesity epidemic” in the childhood population of the United States.

Methods. Populations by single year of age, 0 to 19, male and female, for Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks, from the US Census’ July estimates for 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005 were taken and compared to the population and percentage of those groups from 1980. Age, sex, and ethnicity specific prevalence rates for overweight in 1980 were then applied to the populations by age for the specified year and differences in expected and actual overweight populations were assessed.

Result. The results from this investigation provide estimates of the contribution that different ethnic groups have made to the overall prevalence of overweight and obesity in the childhood population of the United States. Assuming that the 1976-1980 prevalence rates had remained unchanged, and then comparing the population had there been no change in ethnic composition with the population given the actual change in ethnicity, the percentage increase was 1.06% in 1985, 1.72% in 1990, 2.57% in 1995, 3.95% in 2000, and 4.39% in 2005.

Conclusion. The changes in ethnic composition of the population, independent of changes in ethnicity-specific prevalence, have contributed substantially to the current overall prevalence of obesity in the United States childhood population. There are a number of factors that may be responsible for the apparent susceptibility of Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic blacks to overweight and obesity. Further research is needed on specific characteristics of those populations.

Indexing (details)

Public Health Education;
Ethnic studies
0500: Public Health Education
0631: Ethnic studies
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Social sciences; Childhood; Ethnic; Obesity; Overweight; Population
The contribution of change in ethnic composition to prevalence of obesity and overweight
Campos, Juan-Carlos
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Bradshaw, Benjamin
Committee member
Herbold, John
The University of Texas School of Public Health
Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences Management
University location
United States -- Texas
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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