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Poor Communities Are More Obese Study Finds


In a study done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that education and ethnic background do not play a major role in obesity, but are instead more affected by the socio-economic factors.

Authors of the study, Youfa Wang and Xialoi Chen, say the cause may be the availability of quality food establishments. "Poor quality retail food environments in disadvantaged neighborhoods, in conjunction with limited individual economic resources, contribute to increased risk of obesity within ethnic minorities and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations."

Researchers analyzed the responses of over 4 thousand individuals to the USDA’s “Continuing Survey of Individual Food Intakes.” These same people also completed a “Diet and Health Knowledge Survey” which assesses the individual’s awareness between diet and health. They then compared ethnic groups, exercise participation, education and household income.

The ethnic differences in BMI and diet changed very little after controlling for nutrition and psychosocial differences. "Our findings suggest that disparities in obesity in the United States may be more affected by the broader social environment," said Wang and Chen.


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