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Weighing in on the hidden Asian American obesity epidemic
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    According to national estimates, obesity prevalence is lower in Asian Americans compared to other racial/ethnic groups, but this low prevalence may be misleading for three reasons. First, a lower body mass index (BMI) cutoff as proposed by the World Health Organization may be more appropriate to use in Asian populations. However, evidence is limited to substantiate the potential costs and burden of adopting these cutoffs. Increasing BMI in Asians (as in other racial/ethnic groups) should be considered across the spectrum of BMI, with a minimum awareness of these lower cutoffs among healthcare researchers. Second, the need for disaggregated data across Asian American subgroups is illustrated by the higher obesity (and diabetes) prevalence estimates observed in South Asian Americans. Third, prevalence of obesity should be placed in the larger context of immigration and globalization through cross-national comparisons and examination of acculturation-related factors. However these types of studies and collection of salient variables are not routinely performed. Data from a metropolitan area where many Asian Americans settle is presented as a case study to illustrate these points. Clear evidence that incorporates these three considerations is necessary for program planning and resource allocation for obesity-related disparities in this rapidly growing and diverse population.

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    P60 MD000538/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
    P60MD000538/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
    U48 DP005008/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    U48DP005008/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    UL1TR000067/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
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