Race and Socioeconomic Differences in Obesity and Depression among Black and Non-Hispanic White Americans


Obesity and depression often co-occur; however, the association between these conditions is poorly understood, especially among racial/ethnic minority groups. Using multinomial logistic regression and data from the National Survey of American Life, the relationships between race, ethnicity, and sociodemographic factors to the joint classification of body mass index categories and depression among African Americans, Caribbean Blacks, and non-Hispanic Whites were examined. Differential risk for the combination of obesity and depression by sociodemographic status was found. Being African American, female, young, married, or having low income or education increases the risk for obesity without depression. Risk factors for obesity with depression include being female, young, married and having a low income. Race was not a significant predictor of obesity with depression relative to normal weight without depression status. However, racial differences were observed among the non-depressed. Non-depressed African Americans were more likely than non-depressed Whites or Caribbean Blacks to be obese.

The full study is available in J Health Care Poor Underserved.