Understudied racial minority groups show alarmingly high rates of obesity and diabetes
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Some of the smallest and historically neglected racial groups in the United States experience far more obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions than non-Hispanic white adults, a study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside has found.
Using data for nearly 185,000 adults from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the study reports that multiracial, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI), and American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) adults in California endure large obesity and diabetes-related health disparities that exceed those experienced by non-Hispanic white adults, and in many cases, other racial minorities such as African Americans and Hispanics.
The study, published in the journal Obesity, is among the first large-scale, population-based investigations to explore the presence of major health disparities affecting multiracial, NHOPI and AIAN adults. Drawing from years of statewide California data, it is also one of the most accurate estimates to date of obesity-related health disparities affecting these understudied groups.
Most health data only code participants into standard non-Hispanic white, Hispanic, African American and Asian American racial categories, while excluding multiracial, NHOPI and AIAN individuals from analysis. For example, almost all health data about Pacific Islanders are grouped with Asian Americans, who tend to be healthier.
“This poses a problem because Pacific Islanders are at very high risk for poor health, yet receive few targeted services or research attention,” said A Continue reading