Structural Racism and Childhood Obesity

In “Addressing Structural Racism is Critical for Ameliorating the Childhood Obesity Epidemic in Black Youth,” Le Bonheur Clinical Psychologist Thomaseo Burton, PhD, and colleagues at other institutions outline the contributions of structural racism, which the authors define as “systems-level practices, norms, rules, and laws that maintain inequity based on race,” to childhood obesity in Black youth.

racism and obesity body 2021

Le Bonheur Clinical Psychologist Thomaseo Burton, PhD

Black youth are disproportionately affected by obesity, and Burton and colleagues illustrate how the following aspects of structural racism can account for the prevalence of obesity among Black youth:

The authors suggest that continued research to identify specific feedback loops that maintain the obesity epidemic in Black youth can help inform meaningful changes in policies and treatment approaches.

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