Racial Aspects of Diabetes, Obesity, Socioeconomic Status

Okay, this is so important and egregious that I’m just going to reproduce the whole Rand summary wholesale:

Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Whites, Blacks, and Mexican Americans in the United States

Dubowitz T, Heron M, Bird CE, Lurie N, Finch BK, Basurto-Dávila R, Hale L, Escarce JJs. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 6, June 2008, pp. 1883-1891.

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Background
Socioeconomic and racial-ethnic disparities in health status across the United States are large and persistent. Obesity rates are rising faster in black and Hispanic populations than in white populations, and they foreshadow even greater disparities in chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease in years to come. Factors that influence dietary intake of fruit and vegetables in these populations are only partly understood.

Objective
We examined associations between fruit and vegetable intake and neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), analyzed whether neighborhood SES explains racial differences in intake, and explored the extent to which neighborhood SES has differential effects by race-ethnicity of US adults.

Design
Using geocoded residential addresses from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we merged individual-level data with county and census tract–level US Census data. We estimated 3-level hierarchical models predicting fruit and vegetable intake with individual characteristics and an index of neighborhood SES as explanatory variables.

Results
Neighborhood SES was positively associated with fruit and vegetable intake: a 1-SD increase in the neighborhood SES index was associated with consumption of nearly 2 additional servings of fruit and vegetables per week. Neighborhood SES explained some of the black-white disparity in fruit and vegetable intake and was differentially associated with fruit and vegetable intake among whites, blacks, and Mexican Americans.

Conclusions
The positive association of neighborhood SES with fruit and vegetable intake is one important pathway through which the social environment of neighborhoods affects population health and nutrition for whites, blacks, and Hispanics in the United States.

Sounds like at least partially the result of food deserts to me, among other things…
Also see:

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One Response

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