Obesity in the United States: effects of socioeconomic status, race, education, and gender

Isabelle Swearingen, `14
Isabelle Swearingen, `14

By: Isabelle Swearingen, `14

Over the last century, obesity has become one of the United States’ most pressing issues. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. This makes the United States the second most obese country in the world, right behind Mexico. Obesity is the cause of many health issues such as gallstones, type two diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, sleep apnea, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. These obesity related diseases increase the United States health care costs. It was estimated that in 2008, the United States spend $147 billion just on obesity related illness.  Also, the healthcare cost per obese person was $1,429 higher than those of normal a weight.

I am researching the role that socioeconomic status, race, education, and gender play in the obesity epidemic in the United States. To explore this, I analyzed data from a survey provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). I used the height and weights of the participants to calculate their BMI and break them into four different weight categories. I hypothesized that there is an inverse relationship between obesity and socio-economic status, and that race, education level, and gender affect socioeconomic status.

Obesity in the United States: effects of socioeconomic status, race, education, and gender

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