Adult Obesity

In the last decade, obesity has been a significantly rising disease in the United States. Adult obesity exists and is influenced by a number of social-demographic characteristics such as race, ethnicity and levels of income. Below is a discussion and review of the rates of obesity as defined by race and ethnicity in West Virginia. Research reveals that West Virginia has the highest prevalent rate of obesity in the United States (Hill, 2019). Although socio-economic and environmental factors contributing to obesity vary from one state to another, ethnicity and race are reported to be a common burden. Ethnicity and race disparities exist because of the differing opportunities for healthy lifestyles in different communities.

In West Virginia, the non-Hispanic black individuals are found to have the most prevalent rate of obesity while the race or ethnicity reported to have the lowest rate is the non-Hispanic white individuals. As stated earlier, West Virginia is the state with the highest rate of obesity cases compared to other states. However, like the other states, racial and ethnic disparities are a general factor contributing to the huge cases of obesity. Reports reveal that more than 31 states had a 35 percent pervasiveness of obesity on the non-Hispanic black adults race (Petersen, Pan, & Blanck, 2019). In contrast, only one state had a remarkable prevalence of the epidemic on the non-Hispanic white race.

Therefore, racial and ethnic differences are a common and major burden in most states in America. The differences in the rates of obesity caused by race and ethnicity are mainly because of the respective disparities in socio-economic and environmental standards. The non-Hispanic black people are more exposed to disadvantaging factors which comprise increased levels of poverty, low education levels, unhealthy diets and food deficit (Hernandez, Murillo, & Reesor , 2017). Under the environmental factor the former have minimal or no access to appropriate grounds for physical exercise. One could conclude that the underlying challenge facing this race is poverty which is caused by the lack of employment opportunities (Ogden, et al., 2017). It is these risks and disadvantages that contribute to poor health thus causing obesity pervasiveness among some populations while others thrive.

Race and ethnicity disparities are a major and common factor impacting obesity in the United States. Particularly in West Virginia, there is a high prevalence of obesity among the non-Hispanic white race unlike the non-Hispanic black individuals. The main cause of these disparities is the high levels of poverty faced by the former race. It is this challenge that has caused increased food insecurity and consumption of unhealthy foods. The at-risk individuals or communities should be provided with increased opportunities and access to quality foods. Engaging them in the diverse ways of living healthy lives will also help minimize the race and ethnicity disparities in obesity prevalence.


Hernandez, Murillo, & Reesor . (2017). Food insecurity and adult overweight/obesity: Gender and race/ethnic disparities. PRIME PubMed, 373-378.

Hill, C. (2019). This is the No. 1 most obese state in America. Retrieved July 13, 2019, from Market Watch:

Ogden, C., Fakhouri, T., Carroll, M., Hales, C., Fryar, C., Li, X., et al. (2017). Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults, by Household Income and Education — United States, 2011–2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1369–1373.

Petersen, R., Pan, L., & Blanck, H. (2019). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Adult Obesity in the United States: CDC’s Tracking to Inform State and Local Action. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Volume 16.