Obesity among Latino Women Essay

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Obesity among Hispanic Latino women between the ages of twenty and sixty-four years old is a current health disparity in the United States. Nutrition, physical activity and obesity are one of the twelve leading health indicators categorized as significant public health issues by Healthy People 2020. Obesity is classified as anyone who exceeds body mass index (BMI) of thirty. According to Women’s Health, three in four Latino women are overweight or obese ("Overweight and obesity," 2010). Compared to other ethnicities, Hispanic Latino women were 1.36 times more likely to be overweight/obese than non-Hispanic white women (Vahratian, 2009). The primary causes of the obesity epidemic is generally an excessive amount of caloric intake, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of physical exercise (“Obesity in latino,” 2006). Obesity in this minority group causes many underlying health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancers. Obesity not only effects the wellbeing of individuals, but also has an economic burden on society and healthcare. According to the CDC (2012), indirect and direct costs of obesity within the United States cost approximately 147 billion dollars. A study conducted by the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health found a positive correlation between the amount of time Hispanic women lived in the United States and the increase in obesity and body mass index (Wolin, Colangelo, Chiu & Gapstur, 2009). This study exemplifies the severity of obesity among Hispanic females residing within the United States. Public health interventions to reduce obesity are challenging and require a significant amount of time to successfully complete. The “American” way of li...

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...6). Physical activity patterns and obesity in hispanic and non-hispanic white women. Medicine and science in sports and exercise,38(1), 33-41. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2010). Overweight and obesity. Retrieved from
Women's Health website:

Vahratian, A. (2009). Prevalence of overweight and obesity among women of childbearing age. 13(2),
268-273. doi: 10.1007/s10995-008-0340-6

Walley, A., Asher, J., & Froguel, P. (2009). The genetic contribution to non-syndromic human
obesity. Nature Reviews Genetics, 10, 431-432. doi: 10.1038/nrg2594

Wolin, K., Colangelo, L., Chiu, B., & Gapstur, S. (2009). Obesity and immigration among latina
women. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 11(5), 428-431. doi: 10.1007/s10903-007-9115-1

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