Obesity among African Americans

Factors Affecting Blood Pressure in Young Obese African Americans Ages 24 to 55 Years Old with BMI more than 35

Extensive studies have depicted a relationship between hypertension and adolescent obesity. Such a problem requires to be restrained at an early age before it develops into a big matter. The concern is that the development of diabetes and high blood pressure continues in adults. It is authoritative that it takes the health hazards long before they obtain the ability to progress for a long time. On the other hand, it has been described that very often childhood obesity progresses in adults. From fifteen to thirty percent of the outcomes result from obesity that started in adolescence.

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Dynamics Influencing Blood Pressure


Scientists have come to the conclusion that obesity originates from inequality of individuals’ energy output and energy intake. High energy consumption paired with low output develops an inequality that can result into weight increase. High calorie diets and low levels of physical activities cause obesity. Kreb’s study elucidated obesity in its simplest procedure. The quantity of calories consumed by girls and boys differ. Studies indicate that girls eat less than boys. Various studies have revealed that young African American women are less probable to eat the recommended daily quantity of fruits, whole grains and vegetables compared to young white women. Moreover, the former are more probable to consume high quantities of sodium and fat (Evans & Phillips, 2012).

Physical Activity

There exist clear ethnic and racial variations in the levels of physical activities. African American teenagers are less physically active than Hispanic and white adolescents. Statistics created by researchers indicates that about twenty nine and a half percent of African American youngsters met the commended physical activities level. This is higher as compared to 32.9% of Hispanic and 38.7% of white’s adolescents. The recommended levels are at a minimum thirty minutes of secretion creating physical activities. There is a strong variation across societies with activity extents. African American teenagers still halt behind. According to Hoffman’s (2009) research, entire ethnic and racial groups had little physical activities. However, African American ladies were least physically active (Ferdinand & Clark, 2012).


Genes regulate if an individual is probable to store extra energy. It means that people are fat since it runs in genes. Common opinions might be clue to the conviction that weight advance is genetic. Genetics itself cannot expound obesity. Dalton suggests that environmental issues are largely linked with the progress of a plumpness status.

However, no certain gene has been recognized to be associated with fluctuating blood pressure. High blood pressure all the same seems to be common for certain families. Extensive researches are looking forward at genetics that impact the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems, which control salt equilibrium. Certain inherent factors leave persons predisposed to anguish from unstable blood pressures. African Americans stand at a higher threat than Caucasians and Asians. In addition, people whose parents writhed with unstable blood pressure have a higher opportunity of being affected (Ferdinand & Clark, 2012).

Low Socioeconomic Status

Low education and poverty are a common risk factor linked with obesity. Persons with low socioeconomic standards have a higher likelihood of becoming obese. Federal statistics depicts that twenty four percent of whites and thirty six percent of blacks who earn about fifteen thousand dollars or even fewer are at a higher risk of obesity. It further highlights that a decreased income lowers the chances of consuming low quality foods. The main task of these people is to eat. It should also be mentioned that African American families are prone to consuming low quality fat foods. Vegetables and fresh fruits are the foods they would like to consume. 

Several studies have proved an association between higher blood pressure and racism levels in African American obese youths. Perceived racism together with low self-esteem and stress can negatively impact blood pressure stages. The association among exposure to blood pressure and discrimination levels between African American obese youths differs grounded on socioeconomic standards. Greater economic, social resources, increased capability to challenge, and name discrimination are defensive factors that influence African American youths. John Henryism is a behavior utilized to define environmental and psychosocial stressors that are shown by African Americans. It should be mentioned that African American laborers of reduced socioeconomic standards, those with higher John Henryism, were proved to have extreme fluctuating blood pressure levels as compared to those with reduced John Henryism (James, 2012).

Parental Obesity

A study confirms that parents considered as obese have associations with their teenagers that lead to expansion of obesity. Researchers revealed that there is a relationship between the child and parent BMIs. This implies that if parents are obese (BMI > 35), adolescents are probable to trail in their footpaths. The study shows that parents form a big influential aspect when it concerns ecological issues that support the health level. James (2012) further exposes that parents initiate eating conducts for their offspring. As a result, parents are crucial in shaping their child’s fast food experiences that can be either negative or positive. Moreover, parents make the foundations of their children’s eating behavior.

Cultural Attitudes

Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about hypertension among African Americans can impact health behaviors, adherence to treatment and hypertension perceptions of susceptibility. It was found out that seniors and those of lower socioeconomic standards or educational levels are more probable to get non-clinically founded beliefs concerning hypertension. Moreover, they get big hardships accepting they are hypertension infected, even when the symptoms are dormant. Cultural attitude regarding obesity reveals how an African American parent perceives obesity. The parents of an obese child explain the child’s situation with the phrase “big boned”, meaning that it was instigated by DNA. African Americans traditionally use the phrase “big bone” as a suitable explanation of their children’s weight condition. Some parents might not know the actual consequences related to the excess weight. However, when they offer some information, they quickly start altering the family’s atmosphere. Additionally, various African American families perceive obesity as a matter of small concern. Moreover, all families perceive slight weight improvement as healthy. Therefore, such an insight should be changed. If parents continue to reason in that similar way, the outcomes associated with obesity can never change (Hoffman, 2009).

Health Insurance

Low socioeconomic standard is a big analyst of hypertension between African Americans as compared to whites. Low socioeconomic standards coupled with a shortage of health insurances can make it difficult for this populace to acquire satisfactorily health care. What is more, it further results in difficulties in maintaining blood pressure among African Americans. Those who live in racially separated neighborhoods are at a particular risk for the deprived health. Although socioeconomic standard significantly influences health condition in African Americans, the rates of hypertension cases are still higher. Less utilization of medications and medical services by African Americans as compared to the whites was found to be associated with suspicion. In general, it can negatively impact communication among African American patients and health care providers (Ferdinand & Clark, 2012).

Physical Activity Family Support

Families that support physical activities have a big responsibility before their children as it defines whether an individual establishes obesity or not. If there exist low chances for physical activities combined with unhealthy eating habits such as over-eating, then obesity will develop much quicker. Research indicates that the recent increase in obesity results from the association of social and biological factors in the physical ecology. The absence of physical activities together with eating of extreme quantities of unhealthy foods is linked with excess weight.

It should be mentioned that a big emphasis is put on childhood obesity. According to Lukoschek (2010), it would be logical for a parent to be helpful in practicing physical activity (Lukoschek, 2010). If the family and parents are attentive enough to their adolescents, the latter will be more active. Evans & Phillips (2012) further mentioned the degree at which families’ environment is a motivation or determinate factor in starting practicing physical activities (Evans & Phillips, 2012). It will help a person be more eager and prone to physical activities.

Characteristics of Family Environment

Family environment characteristic is one of the major factors that influence the development of obesity among African American women. Family environment may increase food patterns and preferences that form children’s eating behavior and physical activity. These characteristics can result into unhealthy or healthy weight standards in African American women. If one family encourages sedentary behavior, such as watching television, as compared to fresh air and exercises, there exists no push to integrate physical activities into their daily practice. A research conducted by Hoffman (2009) revealed that supportive family can display interest in the degree of their children’s sedentary activity. According to the research, extreme screen based activities or television watching  have excessive impacts and may lead to the development of asthma and weight gain (Hoffman, 2009). Alternatively, a family should assist their children in leading an active life.


Obesity is associated with several diseases such as asthma, colon cancer, diabetes and hypertension. However, there is a close link between obesity and high blood pressure among African Americans. Some of the consequences of obesity and high blood pressure occur naturally, while others are triggered. Such factors affect blood pressure in young obese African Americans who are from twenty four to fifty years old with BMI more than thirty five. The outcomes of researches concerning the impacts of racism, socioeconomic status, attitudes regarding hypertension, access to care, quality of care, and health insurance comorbidities concerning hypertension rates among African Americans were analyzed.