The Impact of Educational Attainment on Black Women's Obesity Rate in the United States

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Over the last two decades, Black women have been disproportionately impacted by the obesity epidemic in the USA. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 56.6% of Black women are overweight or obese compared with 44.4% Hispanic and 32.8% of white women. Social scientists and public health researchers have argued that increasing educational attainment would lead to overall improvements in health outcomes. Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative cross-sectional survey, Cycles 1999-2010, I examined how educational attainment impacts Black women's rate of obesity and C-reactive protein levels (N = 2685). Multiple linear regression was used to analyze the association between body mass index (BMI) and educational attainment. C-reactive protein, inflammation response, was used to measure the body's reaction to being exposed to stress. The results demonstrated that educational attainment among Black women does not decrease their risk of being obese or levels of C-reactive protein. This article provides evidence to support a need to increase awareness of health disparities that disproportionately impact Black women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-354
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2019


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