Obesity risk similar regardless of race

9 October 2014

A new report has found that the risk of death for people who are obese or overweight is almost the same, regardless of what ethnic background they are from.

The study, conducted by researchers from the American Cancer Society, found that the increased risk of premature death associated with a higher body mass index (BMI) is similar for African Americans and whites.

This discovery is in contrast to previous studies that suggested the link was weaker in African Americans. 

Published online in Public Library Of Science (PLOS) One, the study found that participants that had never smoked, had no history of prevalent disease, and who are obese or overweight had a strong risk of premature mortality in every race. 

The authors state that this information could be key for healthcare purposes, and to help tackle the higher rates of obesity in African Americans with more than a third (35 per cent) being obese.

More than one million people were used for the study, which aimed to address a number of issues between race, BMI and mortality. The team, led by Dr Alpa Patel, found that people who were underweight were also at higher risk of mortality. 

Posted by Jeanette Royston​

 

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