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Introduction: This study examines demographic and socioeconomic factors of racial/ethnic groups in the United States – particularly the obesity rate of Latinos.

Methods: Data on Latinos and other racial/ethnic groups were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa. Cases in the dataset were weighted and analyzed to produce population estimates.

Results: Americans on average are increasingly becoming more overweight and the problems associated with higher levels of obesity are growing. In the U.S. the Latino population has higher rates of overweight and obesity compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Overall the Latino population has higher rates of overweight, obesity, and type 2 diabetes (the most severe consequences of obesity) compared to non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Asians in United States.

Discussion: Hispanic respondents are more likely to be overweight than any other racial/ethnic group (38%), followed by non-Hispanic Whites (32%), non-Hispanic Blacks (32%), and Asians (28%). Hispanic respondents still show second highest obesity rates (34%), following non-Hispanic Blacks (41%). When overweight and obesity categories are combined, seven in ten Hispanic respondents are either overweight or obese. The only racial/ethnic group that has higher rates of combined categories of overweight and obesity than Hispanics is non-Hispanic Blacks. Slightly more than half of non-Hispanic Whites and less than half of Asian respondents are either overweight or obese. Generally, older respondents show higher overweight and obesity rates regardless of their race and ethnicity. Overall, Hispanic respondents present higher rates of overweight across all age groups compared to other racial/ethnic groups.


For additional information about this collection see

Citation information: Jang, S.H. (2013). The Rates of Overweight and Obesity across Racial/Ethnic Group: Focus on Latinos and Latino Subgroups. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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