Exploring racial differences in the obesity gender gap

Seamans, M.J.; Robinson, W.R.; Thorpe, R.J.; Cole, S.R.; LaVeist, T.A.

Annals of Epidemiology 25(6): 420-425


ISSN/ISBN: 1873-2585
PMID: 25887701
DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2015.03.010
Accession: 057838956

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To investigate whether the gender gap in obesity prevalence is greater among U.S. blacks than whites in a study designed to account for racial differences in socioeconomic and environmental conditions. We estimated age-adjusted, race-stratified gender gaps in obesity (% female obese - % male obese, defined as body mass index ≥30 kg/m(2)) in the National Health Interview Survey 2003 and the Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities-Southwest Baltimore 2003 study (EHDIC-SWB). EHDIC-SWB is a population-based survey of 1381 adults living in two urban, low-income, racially integrated census tracts with no race difference in income. In the National Health Interview Survey, the obesity gender gap was larger in blacks than whites as follows: 7.7 percentage points (ppts; 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.4-11.9) in blacks versus -1.5 ppts (95% CI: -2.8 to -0.2) in whites. In EHDIC-SWB, the gender gap was similarly large for blacks and whites as follows: 15.3 ppts (95% CI: 8.6-22.0) in blacks versus 14.0 ppts (95% CI: 7.1-20.9) in whites. In a racially integrated, low-income urban community, gender gaps in obesity prevalence were similar for blacks and whites.