ANCHOR LEAD: WHAT EXPLAINS RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN OBESITY? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Where women live and other factors related to socioeconomic status explain differences in obesity rates between black and white women better than simply looking at race, a Johns Hopkins study led by Sara Bleich has found.
BLEICH: So what the national data suggest that there are these huge disparities among black and white women. What these suggest is that this disparity is not really a race story, it’s a story about the environments in which we live. And so when you can actually compare apples with apples as opposed to apples with oranges, which is what the national data do, what we find is that when it comes to actually trying to make a change in obesity prevalence, we should target where people live rather than how do we change black women, how do we change white women, for example. :27
The Hopkins study demonstrated that rates of obesity in poor white women were the same as those in poor black women, perhaps due to food availability, safety of neighborhoods in which to exercise, and other factors, pointing the way to effective interventions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.