Title

Addressing Structural Racism Is Critical for Ameliorating the Childhood Obesity Epidemic in Black Youth

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-1-2022

Journal

Childhood obesity (Print)

Volume

18

Issue

2

DOI

10.1089/chi.2021.0153

Keywords

adolescents/adolescent; ethnic disparities; obesity; racism

Abstract

Racism and childhood obesity are both pervasive factors adversely affecting the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents in the United States. The association between racism and obesity has been touched upon in the literature; yet most work has focused on a few dimensions of intersectionality of these two domains at one time. The renewed focus on structural racism as the primary contributor to distress of Black individuals in the United States has highlighted the urgency of identifying the contributions of racism to the childhood obesity epidemic. The current article is not a complete review of the literature, rather, it is meant to take a broad narrative review of the myriad ways in which racism contributes to the obesity epidemic in Black youth to serve as a call to action for more research, prevention, and intervention. The current article illustrates how a number of mechanisms for the etiology and maintenance of obesity are heavily influenced by racism and how addressing racism is critical for ameliorating the childhood obesity epidemic.

Department

Pediatrics

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