According to research, racial and ethnic minorities have a
greater propensity towards obesity. Some of the key factors are:
not being used to practicing an exercise routine, the level of
acceptance of one’s body, and certain characteristics of the homes
It is estimated that 28.7% of Hispanics are prone to being overweight. While this figure is exceeded by the African American community, which has a 35.7% of predisposition to obesity, Hispanics outnumber the non-Hispanic U.S. population, which has a risk of 23.7%, according to data from the report “State-Specific Prevalence of Obesity Among U.S. Adults by Race/Ethnicity, 2006/2008” of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This propensity of racial and ethnic minorities has at least three explanations:
• First, each ethnic group has different behaviors that may or may not contribute to obesity. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics and African Americans are more reluctant to commit to regular physical activity.
• Second, in every population group there are different attitudes and cultural rules about body weight. Hispanic women and black men are more satisfied with their bodies compared to non-Hispanic white women. And a person that feels good about his/her body doesn’t usually worry about following a weight-loss plan.
• Third, some populations have less access to healthy eating and don’t have safe places to be physically active. Healthy foods are usually more expensive than those with more calories. In addition, low-income neighborhoods might have so much traffic it may become very difficult to go out for walks.
Change is Possible
To fight obesity, you don’t need to change all your habits or culture, you only need to modify those aspects that are not letting you lead a healthy lifestyle with healthy eating habits. Here are some tips:
• Get together with a group of neighbors or friends and plan scheduled walks. You can start doing it three times a week. Choose a route along the most illuminated and secure area of your neighborhood. To estimate the distance, walk for fifteen minutes and then return. This way, you’ll be walking at least half an hour a day.
• Make a list of the foods you often prepare at home and find out how to reduce the fat and calories in them. Progressively, you’ll incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle, with no need to leave your roots and traditions.
Source: State-Specific Prevalence of Obesity Among U.S. Adults by Race/Ethnicity, 2006/2008
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