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09-16-2015 | Obesity | Review | Article

Mind the Gap: Race/Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities in Obesity

Current Diabetes Reports

Authors: Patrick M. Krueger, Eric N. Reither

Publisher: Springer US


Race/ethnic and socioeconomic status (SES) disparities in obesity are substantial and may widen in the future. We review nine potential mechanisms that recent research has used to explain obesity disparities. Those nine mechanisms fall into three broad groups—health behaviors, biological factors, and the social environment—which incorporate both proximate and upstream determinants of obesity disparities. Efforts to reduce the prevalence of obesity in the US population and to close race/ethnic and SES disparities in obesity will likely require the use of multifaceted interventions that target multiple mechanisms simultaneously. Unfortunately, relatively few of the mechanisms reviewed herein have been tested in an intervention framework.

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