Overweight and obesity in black and Hispanic children aged 2-18 is at a growing rate (8). The average weight of children of all races is also growing (8). Minority and low-income childhood overweight and obesity are growing more rapidly than whites and high-income children (4). This can be combated with prevention programs and behavior modification.
The prevalence of obesity in minority populations can be as much as three times higher than in whites (1). In 2000, in boys aged 6-11, 17.1 percent of blacks and 27.3 percent of Hispanics are overweight or obese (10). In their female counter parts, 22.2 percent of blacks and 19.6 percent of Hispanics are overweight or obese (10). Among minority children aged 12-19, 20.7 percent of black and 27.5 percent of Hispanic boys are overweight, while 26.6 percent of black girls and 19.4 percent of Hispanic girls are overweight or obese (10). Low-income children are twice as likely to be overweight or obese as wealthy children, and since a larger percentage of minorities are low-income, this may be a factor to their higher rates of overweight and obesity (1). Also, black and Hispanic children have lower rates of breakfast consumption than whites, which is a contributing cause of overweight and obesity (4).
High risks of diseases such as non-insulin dependent diabetes (type II), hypertension, and cardiovascular disease pose threats to overweight and obese children, especially minority children. Minority children are more prone to type II diabetes, with incidences of up to 50 percent in areas with populations of black, Asian, Hispanic, and American Indian children (5). Studies indicate that a major cause of type II diabetes is overweight and obesity because it contributes to insulin resistance (5). Ninety-five percent of children with type II diabetes have a BMI that exceeds the 85th percentile (5). Overweight and obese children are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension, which carries into adulthood if they remain overweight and obese (3).