“In 2005 the annual medical cost associated with obesity was estimated as high as 190 billion and is likely to double by 2050”
In the United States if you are black or latino, then chances are you’re more likely to be obese than a white person. According to the State of Obesity website racial and ethnic disparities exist in both children and adults regardless if you are male or female. Both latino and black communities have less access to affordable healthy food and safe places to be physically active. In addition, inequalities in access to health care also contribute to higher rates of obesity. The fact that both latino and black children are more exposed to advertising of unhealthy foods only adds to the many barriers minority children face when it comes to healthy eating. Many struggling parents of color living below the poverty line also face the challenge of just trying to find time to buy and prepare healthy food and resist the inexpensive fast food options that surround there communities.
The report goes on to state why inequality in obesity rates matter and gives examples such as higher rates of diabetes and stroke in the latino community. African American adults are twice as likely as whites to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a doctor. As the Latino Community continues to grow so will the health care cost which will end up costing billions of dollars. In 2005 the annual medical cost associated with obesity was estimated as high as 190 billion and is likely to double by 2050 if the current trend does not stop.
Fixing the problem is not easy but there has been some success in some areas. Philadelphia was able to able to reduce its obesity rates by 5 percent among children in K through 12 by implementing new strategies. Things like switching 1 percent and skim milk, removing soda machines and banning deep fryers. In New York the city created a Healthy Bodega initiative and recruited roughly 1000 bodegas to increase healthier food options in latino communities. With Partnerships between government, businesses, church groups, community organizations and schools are all vital to finding success by working together and making healthy food more accessible. To learn more about the State of Obesity in the United States you can read the full report here