Obesity differences between African-American men and women.

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Shankar, S and Nanda, J P and Bonney, G and Kofie, V (2000) Obesity differences between African-American men and women. Journal of the National Medical Association, 92 (1). pp. 22-28.


The purpose of this study was to examine the socio-demographic and behavioral differences related to obesity between African-American men and women. Obesity was defined as a body mass index of greater than 27.3 kg/m2 for women and 27.8 kg/m2 for men. Data were collected from 661 African-Americans, 418 women and 243 men, residing in wards 7 and 8 in Washington, DC through telephone interviews. Obesity was prevalent among 38.3% of the women and 20.1% of the men (p < 0.01). For women age 55 or older, annual income over $20K, having less than a high school education, and alcohol and tobacco consumption were associated with being overweight in the initial bivariate analysis (p < 0.05). For men, being 35 years or older and unemployment were significant factors associated with obesity. Our final analysis, when known dietary risk factors were adjusted, revealed that in women, obesity was associated with age, hard liquor consumption and non use of tobacco. For men, older age was a primary association. We concluded that gender, with increasing age, plays a significant role in predicting obesity, as defined by concurrent national standards. African American men 55 years of age or older are the most likely group to be overweight even after predisposing and behavioral risk factors are considered.