Exploring racial differences in the obesity gender gap

Marissa J. Seamans, Whitney R. Robinson, Roland J. Thorpe, Stephen R. Cole, Thomas A. LaVeist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate whether the gender gap in obesity prevalence is greater among U.S. blacks than whites in a study designed to account for racial differences in socioeconomic and environmental conditions. Methods: We estimated age-adjusted, race-stratified gender gaps in obesity (% female obese- % male obese, defined as body mass index ≥30kg/m2) in the National Health Interview Survey 2003 and the Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities-Southwest Baltimore 2003 study (EHDIC-SWB). EHDIC-SWB is a population-based survey of 1381 adults living in two urban, low-income, racially integrated census tracts with no race difference in income. Results: In the National Health Interview Survey, the obesity gender gap was larger in blacks than whites as follows: 7.7 percentage points (ppts; 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.4-11.9) in blacks versus-1.5ppts (95% CI:-2.8 to-0.2) in whites. In EHDIC-SWB, the gender gap was similarly large for blacks and whites as follows: 15.3ppts (95% CI: 8.6-22.0) in blacks versus 14.0ppts (95% CI: 7.1-20.9) in whites. Conclusions: In a racially integrated, low-income urban community, gender gaps in obesity prevalence were similar for blacks and whites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-425
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Gender
  • Health disparities
  • Obesity
  • Race
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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