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Obesity and Overweight in Hispanics in the United States

In: Business and Management

Submitted By huazapa
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Obesity and Overweight in Hispanics in the United States

Maria Teresa Carrasco

Francisca Velasco
Adrian Rodriguez

RES 341

November 19, 2011
Deborah Green

Obesity and Overweight in Hispanics in the United States The purpose of the research that will be conducted is to validate what studies have shown about that Hispanic Americans have higher levels of overweight and obesity than Non – Hispanic Whites.
“In accordance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services information in 2008, Hispanic Americans were 1.2 times as likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic Whites. Among Mexican American women, 73 percent are overweight or obese, as compared to only 61.6 percent of the general female population. In 2007 – 2008 Mexican American children were 1.4 times more likely to be overweight as Non-Hispanic White children. In 2007, Hispanic adults were 50% less likely to engage in active physical activity as Non-Hispanic Whites” (OMH – Source: CDC, 2010)
Impact of obesity and overweight The problem with obesity and overweight has affected the Hispanic race in many ways. Obesity and overweight are two different problems. A person with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25-29.9 is considered overweight and a person with a BMI of less than equal to 30 is considered obese. Based on the information gathered by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of minority health, more than 80% of the Hispanic overweight population tends to develop diabetes. Tests were driven in order to develop the hypothesis. Out of 80% people who suffer from type 2 diabetes are considered to overweight or obese. Obesity is an enormous issue that affects the body and health not only physically but internally. Obese people are more likely to suffer from many health problems such as high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats, and cholesterol, which are more often to lead to higher problems such as heart disease and stroke.
Obesity cannot be avoided and reduced by anything if the right decisions are not made. A way to avoid obesity is to change the life styles. For example, people must make the correct choices in what they eat and do. People must stay away from fast food, instead should provide their bodies with healthy portions of food, such as: vegetables, fruits, portions of chicken and fish. People must also not spend too much time watching TV; instead people should exercise or even engage their bodies to outdoor activities. Exercise and healthy food choices is the top solution to obesity. Hypothesis Overweight and obesity for Hispanics in the United States has been an issue for Americans. Regardless of the amount of time and effort that has been placed into this topic, little is known on the factors underlying the overweight crisis for Hispanics in the US. The obesity and overweight rate for Hispanic Americans has been higher in the recent years than those of other Americans. There is limited information on the factors causing an increase in overweight and obesity for Hispanics. The Hispanic population should be concerned with this problem, since the overweight and obesity for Hispanics is over 60% (Begay, 2005). This percentage has placed the Hispanic population among the highest rates for overweight and obesity in the United States. Economic, social and cultural barriers are the top factors leading to the overweight and obesity crisis in the Hispanic population. It is difficult to comprehend why barriers such as low social economic status, language differences, limited health care access and cultural differences can have an impact on the levels of overweight and obesity for Hispanics. According to Diet Health Inc., “The contemporary diet of Hispanics in the United States is heavily influenced by the traditional dietary patterns of their countries of origin, as well as by the dietary practices of the adopted communities in which they live” (para.2). Is it critical for Hispanics to change their traditions and values in order to decrease the overweight and obesity percentage? It is essential for the Hispanic population to be educated on the healthy eating behaviors that should be adapted in order to reduce the overweight and obesity problems. A decrease in malnutrition and an increase in physical activity would allow for a decrease in the overweight and obesity crisis for Hispanics (Advameg, Inc., 2011). An effective method of helping Hispanics to learn about managing a better health should be implemented.
Review of literature: First article reviewed states that obesity is prevalence in Hispanics falling roughly 28.70% higher White-Americans, the analysis for this article was conducted on telephone survey responses. Also states than obesity in Hispanics is higher in women than in men, across all survey regions for about peaking at 39.20%. Reasons found in the survey for this article include a lower likelihood of regular physical activity among Hispanics; less access to affordable healthy foods; reduced access to fitness opportunities; and different cultural attitudes toward body image and size. (Wood, 2009) Second article reviewed analyzes racial/ethnic disparities in exercise and dietary behaviors of middle-aged and older adults. The article states that racial/ethnic minorities generally engaged in less healthy exercise and dietary behaviors that whites, with differences more pronounced in middle adulthood. The disparities were the greatest among English-proficient minorities, specifically, among middle-aged respondents. (August K.J., Sorkin, D.H. 2011) Third article analyzes the factors associated with overweight and obesity among Mexican Americans and Central Americans in California, concluding on the necessity of a wide variety of effective weight-loss interventions targeting these populations, and the differences found in the factors associated with overweight and obesity may suggest the unique intervention strategies for different Hispanic subgroups. (Bowie, J.V., Juon, H.S. Rodriguez, E.M., Cho, J. 2007) Fourth article reviewed analyzes deeper the reasons for obesity in Hispanics, relating it to an adverse impact on cardiovascular mortality. An examination on whether obesity’s association with novel cardiovascular risk factors such as C-reactive protein (CRP) also varies by race and ethnicity. Findings were that higher BMI (Measure of adiposity) was significantly associated with higher CRP (C-reactive protein) in all racial/ethnic groups for both men and women (P>0.05 for BMI-race/ethnicity interaction) before and after adjustment for age, Education, and health behaviors. Lager waist circumferences was also associated with higher CRP levels in all racial/ethnic groups before adjustment; among women, the relationship was strongest for Mexican Hispanics (P>0.01 for waist circumference-race/ethnicity interaction). Results were similar after additional adjustment for medication that might affect CRP levels. (Wee, C.C., Mukamal, K. J., Huang, A., Davis, R.B., McCarthy, E.P., Mittleman, M.A., 2008). The four articles apply for our research papers on giving us some principles to conduct our research, mainly focusing on health, exercise and food habits also on regards the lack of opportunities for fitness and medical healthcare.
Hispanics are the largest growing ethnicity group in the United States with an increasing overweight and obesity problems. In U.S. government statistics, “Hispanic” includes persons who trace their ancestry to Spanish-speaking countries or other Spanish cultures, regardless of race. The rate for overweight and obese Hispanics in the US has been larger in the recent years than those of other Americans. The "" (2011) website mentions that two thirds of the Americans are obese or overweight. Out of those two thirds of obese and overweight Americans, the percentage for overweight Hispanics is 28.3 percent.
Size Sample The sample size for overweight and obese Hispanics in the US was not appropriate. The articles focus on obesity and overweight being higher for Hispanic men than women, middle aged Hispanics and Mexican Americans. The sample size for overweight and obese Hispanics must turn into a smaller sample in order to raise the level of precision. It is critical to understand that the smaller the sample size the results will be more precise, cost and time effective. A larger sample in some occasions will give more accurate answers, depending on the research being conducted, but it will also be more costly. Gathering large amounts of data or information can definitely be more costly than collecting small amounts of information. Most of the information gathered through surveys for overweight and obese Hispanics in the US included results for Hispanic men and women from all age groups. The sample size needed to be more precise and concrete as to what age groups and what gender needed to be analyzed. This would increase the level of confidence in the results.
Bias or Error The information for overweight and obese Hispanics in the US must be both reliable and valid. The rate for bias or error in the research for overweight and obese Hispanics in the United States might be high due to the method in which the information was collected. Some of the information for the findings in overweight and obese Hispanics where done through surveys. Interest from both the interviewer and the interviewee must be applied in order to reduce bias (University of Phoenix, 2003). An example would be gathering information from volunteers instead of gathering information from individuals who might be affected by the outcome. In order to gather reliable information from the Hispanic population in the United States it is important to measure the validity and reliability of the source. In order to view the percentage for Hispanics it is crucial to measure results with accuracy and precision. To gain validity, the samples gathered from the Hispanic population must be well defined and in an adequate size. In this case it is important to know what age groups and what gender are going to be analyzed. Errors and bias can be reduced or eliminated by identifying the main goal of the research. Obesity and/or overweight problems in the Hispanic race have turned into a big issue. “We use respondents’ BMI to determine the weight status. BMI (Body Mass Index) is calculated by dividing the person’s weight in kilograms by the square of that person’s height in meters; a person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight and a person with a BMI of less than equal to 30 is considered obese.”(UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 2001) There are many methods that most of the informants use to collect and divide data. Some of the methods often used in order to inform the audience is dividing the issues into several different categories. In order to elaborate on the issues with obesity and or overweight, is to describe it. Based on the information provided by the UCLA 2001 center for health policy research, breaking the issue down into categories is the best way to expand the information of the issue. Based on the reports given, obesity and overweight issues within the Hispanic race are broken down into four categories. The first category is the demographic characteristics, which are age, marital status and number of children. The ages also divided into categories which are 18-29 years, 30-39 years, 40-49 years, 50-64 years, and 65 years and older. Age has a lot to do with the obesity issue, since the older a human gets, the metabolism changes. The marital status category depends on either the person is married, separated, divorced, widowed, or in the amount of children the person has if woman. The second category which is very important to the obesity and overweight issue in the Hispanic race is, the socioeconomic factors described as the education, employment status and poverty status of the affected person. The social status has a lot to do with the issue because not all the people affected have the knowledge or the money to get treatments to treat themselves. Obesity and overweight issues are also affected by the culture of the affected person and how the person lives, what they eat and their beliefs. The third category on the obesity and overweight matter is based on the access that the person affected has to health care. Today the United States has an enormous increasing population of Hispanics. Many of them do not have any type of insurances or any health care due to low income, ignorance, and legal status. Due to not having any type of health care, people ignore the issue until the problem has grown into a life threatening or health issue to them. The fourth category that can elevate the chances of obesity and or overweight problems with a person is their daily life behaviors. Some of the daily behaviors strongly affect the human body and often lead to health issues including obesity and/or overweight problems. Daily behaviors that can affect and or lead to obesity and overweight problems are: consuming alcohol, smoking. There are also lifestyles that can help a person avoid obesity and overweight issues are eating healthy, vitamins and exercising. “We use respondents’ BMI to determine the weight status. BMI is calculated by dividing the person’s weight in kilograms by the square of that person’s height in meters; a person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight and a person with a BMI of less than equal to 30 is considered obese.”(UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 2001) There different ethical concerns that can affect regarding the data collection. One of the concerns can be the confidentiality each individual. The information that is provided by the individual is and should be private to the world.

Copyright notice
Table 1
Selected Characteristics of Hispanic Adults Aged ≥18 Years, by Hispanic Subgroup, 2001 California Health Interview Survey
|Characteristics |Mexican Americans (n = 8304) % (SEa)|Central Americans (n = 1019) % |Total (n = 9460) % |
| | |(SEa) |(SEa) |
|Sex |
|Female |48.50 (0.47) |51.18 (1.99) |49.01 (0.27) |
|Male |51.50 (0.47) |48.82 (1.99) |50.99 (0.27) |
|Education |

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