Native Village Youth and Education News
May 1, 2009 Issue 198
Startling study finds 1 in 5
|13% of Asian children||16% of whites children||21% of black children||22% of Latinos children||31% of American Indians children|
Researchers were surprised to see differences by race at so early an age. The disparity is most startling in American Indians, whose rate is almost double that of whites.
"The magnitude of these differences was larger than we expected, and it is surprising to see differences by racial groups present so early in childhood," said Sarah Anderson from Ohio State University.
Without interventions, the next generation "will be at very high risk" of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, joint diseases and other problems connected with obesity, said Dr. Glenn Flores. Flores said scientists believe higher diabetes rates among American Indians and Latinos may be caused by genetic differences. Other factors include risks more common to minorities: poverty, less-educated parents, and diets high in fat and calories.
Jessica Burger is a member of the Little River Ottawa tribe and health director of a tribal clinic in Manistee, Mich. She said many children at her clinic are overweight or obese, including preschoolers. Burger said one culprit is gestational diabetes, which occurs during a woman's pregnancy. It increases a child's chances of becoming overweight. Gestational Diabetes is almost twice as common in American Indian women compared with whites.
Burger also blamed the federal commodity program for low-income people. The government supplies foods such as pastas, rice and other high-carbohydrate foods. The offerings contribute to what Burger calls the "commod bod."
"When that's the predominant dietary base in a household without access to fresh fruits and vegetables, that really creates a better chance of a person becoming obese," she said
Background: Robert Kaufman Fabrics: http://www.robertkaufman.com/
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