Association between discrimination and obesity in African-American men

Roland J. Thorpe, Lauren J. Parker, Ryon J. Cobb, Felicia Dillard, Janice Bowie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to examine the association between discrimination and obesity among a U.S. nationally representative sample of African-American men. Data from the 2001–2003 National Survey of American Life (NSAL) were used to collect measures of everyday and major discrimination, and body mass index (BMI) taken from self-reports. Poisson regression with robust standard errors was applied to estimate the prevalence ratios of everyday and major discrimination as it relates to obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2), controlling for potential confounders. In the model that included both everyday and major discrimination, men who experienced any major discrimination had a higher likelihood of obesity (prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.33, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06, 1.66) than those who did not experience any major discrimination, controlling for age, marital status, income, education, major stressors, two or more chronic conditions, and physical activity. Exposure to any major discrimination was found to be associated with obesity in African-American men. Future studies among this population are needed to examine whether the observed changes in self-reports of major discrimination are associated with obesity, measured by BMI, over time. The health of African-American men must be a priority in reducing excess disparities in disease, disability, and death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalBiodemography and Social Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics


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